In this fresh, provocative account of the American philosophical tradition, Roger Ward explores the work of key thinkers through an innovative and counterintuitive lens: religious conversion. From Jonathan Edwards to Cornel West, Ward threads the history of American thought into an extended, multivalent encounter with the religious experience. Looking at Dewey, James, Peirce, Rorty, Corrington, and other thinkers, Ward demonstrates that religious themes have deeply influenced the development of American philosophy.This innovative reading of the American philosophical (...) tradition will be welcomed not only by philosophers, but also by historians and other students of America's religious, intellectual, and cultural legacy. (shrink)
Prepared by editors of the distinguished series The Works of Jonathan Edwards, this authoritative anthology includes selected treatises, sermons, and autobiographical material by early America’s greatest theologian and philosopher.
Presents an analysis of Jonathan Edwards' theological position. This book includes a study of his life and the intellectual issues in the America of his time, and examines the problem of free will in connection with Leibniz, Locke, and Hume.
We propose a descriptive version of the classical multi-attribute utility model; to that end, we add a new parameter, momentary salience, to the customary formulation. The addition of this parameter allows the theory to accommodate changes in the decision maker’s mood and circumstances, as the saliencies of anticipated consequences are driven by concerns of the moment. By allowing for the number of consequences given attention at the moment of decision to vary, the new model mutes the criticism that SEU models (...) call for an omniscient decision maker. Use of the model is illustrated with a large-scale longitudinal study showing that adolescent smokers have higher utility for smoking than nonsmokers. We also propose to use the model hierarchically to describe everyday decisions that people deal with repeatedly. Big decisions, which set policy, guide a host of nested little decisions, which in turn lead to action. For a little decision, one of the options will be consistent with the policy, and will inherit its high utility. Accordingly, most little decisions will be made quickly and will follow the policy. However, people do sometimes decide to violate their own policies, and we describe how these lapses can lead to collapse of the policy. (shrink)
This paper formulates and axiomatizes utility models for denumerable time streams that make no commitment in regard to discounting future outcomes. The models address decision under certainty and decision under risk. Independence assumptions in both contexts lead to additive or multiplicative utilities over time periods that allow unambiguous comparisons of the relative importance of different periods. The models accommodate all patterns of future valuation. This discount-neutral feature is attained by restricting preference comparisons to outcome streams or probability distributions on outcome (...) streams that differ in at most a finite number of periods. (shrink)
Stephen H. Daniel's novel approach interprets the thought of Jonathan Edwards thorough semiotics, the theory of signs. He explicates the theory of signs that pervades Edwards' thought and associates it with elements of post-modernist semiotics in Foucault, Kristeva, and Peirce. He contends that Edwards himself developed a viable alternative to the classical-modern philosophical outlook by drawing explicitly upon the pre-modernist Renaissance propositional logic of Peter Ramus.
This volume contains the editor’s informative “Preface to the Period”, the Quaestio that Edwards submitted in 1723 to complete his master’s degree at Yale, and 19 sermons. Some of the sermons were first preached during 1723 and 1724 in Bolton, Connecticut, but most were composed between 1726 and 1729 in Northampton, Massachusetts while Edwards was junior minister in the church of Solomon Stoddard, his grandfather; a few originated after Stoddard’s death in February, 1729, when Edwards became sole (...) minister of the Northampton congregation. (shrink)
expression that indicates hearer-familiarity conversationally implicates that the referent is in fact nonfamiliar to the hearer” (KW 177, emphasis in original, footnote added). The purpose of this note is two-fold: first, to look more closely at the proposed implicature; and second, to clarify its relation to a different implicature – a scalar implicature of nonuniqueness resulting from use of the indefinite rather than the definite article, which was proposed by Hawkins (1991). In the first section below we distinguish explicit from (...) implicit indications of familiarity. In §2 we look specifically at definite NPs from this perspective. In §3 we consider KW’s evidence for the familiarity implicature, and in §4 we argue that the existence of such an implicature does not cast doubt on the existence of Hawkins’ nonuniqueness implicature. The final section contains some concluding remarks. We should make clear that we may ultimately have little or no disagreement with KW on the issues here. (We have had some indication from one of the authors that that is the case.) Rather, our main purpose is clarificatory. Most importantly, we fear that a reader of KW may come away with the conclusion that their nonfamiliarity implicature in some way supplants or supersedes the Hawkins implicature, and we would like to ward off any such conclusion. (shrink)
In his Edifying Discourses, Soren Kierkegaard published a sermon entitled ‘The Unchangeableness of God’ in which he reiterated the dogma which dominated Catholic, Protestant and even Jewish expressions of classical supernaturalist theology from the first century A.D. until the advent of process theology in the twentieth century. The dogma that as a perfect being, God must be totally unchanging in every conceivable respect was expressed by Kierkegaard in such ways as: He changes all, Himself unchanged. When everything seems stable and (...) in the overturn of all things, He remains equally unchanged; no change touches Him, not even the shadow of a change; in unaltered clearness He, the father of lights, remained eternally unchanged. 1. (shrink)
v. 1. Freedom of the will -- v. 2. Religious affections -- v. 3. Original sin -- v. 4. The Great Awakening -- v. 5. Apocalyptic writings -- v. 6. Scientific and philosophical writings -- v. 7. The life of David Brainerd -- v. 8. Ethical writings -- v. 9. A history of the work of redemption -- v. 10. Sermons and discourses, 1720-1723 -- v. 13. The "miscellanies" (entry nos. a-z, aa-zz, 1-500) -- v. 15. Notes on Scripture -- (...) v. 17. Sermons and discourses, 1730-1733 -- v. 18. The "miscellanies" (entry nos. 501-832) -- v. 19. Sermons and discourses, 1734-1738 -- v. 20. The miscellanies -- v. 22. Sermons and discourses, 1739-1742 -- v. 24. The "blank Bible" (2 v.). (shrink)
Is the existence of God a question of fact? To the majority of theists, both now and in the past, I think it has seemed clear that, if the phrase ‘God exists’ is to be meaningful, then it is a fact, either that God exists or that he does not. This assertion may even seem trivially true; and yet it has evidently been denied, in recent years, by many theologians. The reasons for such a denial are, in part, to be (...) found in the general reaction against metaphysical philosophy, which was characteristic of the early years of this century, and which is, in Britain, epitomised by A. J. Ayer's stipulation that no proposition can be factually significant unless it is verifiable; unless, in principle at least, some series of observations could conceivably show it to be true. By restricting ‘observation’ to the senses of the physical body, and by emphasising the fact that God, as transcendent by definition, was not a possible object of the senses, some philosophically sensitive theologians were startled into denying that ‘God’ was, even in principle, verifiable; and consequently into denying that propositions purporting to assert his existence were factual. (shrink)
The concept of “difference” forms the core of contemporary attacks on “liberal legalism” and is central to proposals for replacing it. Critics charge that liberal law quashes difference because it grounds political equality and individual rights in the assumption that all persons share certain “samenesses,” such as rationality or autonomy. In the words of the philosopher Iris Marion Young, “liberal individualism denies difference by positing the self as a solid, self-sufficient unity, not defined by or in need of anything or (...) anyone other than itself.” The claim is that this “sameness”-based vision of equality is in fact an exercise of power, reflecting a highly specific model of personhood that was constructed by and for a white male elite and ensures its continued social dominance. Liberalism's critics conclude that the achievement of social justice will be possible only when sameness-based conceptions of equality are rejected. (shrink)
Donald Davidson finds folk-psychological explanations anomalous due to the open-ended and constitutive conception of rationality which they employ, and yet monist because they invoke an ontology of only physical events. An eliminative materialist who thinks that the beliefs and desires of folk-psychology are mere pre-scientific fictions cannot accept these claims, but he could accept anomalous monism construed as an analysis , merely, of the ideological and ontological presumptions of folk-psychology. Of course, eliminative materialism is itself only a guess, a marker (...) for material explanations we do not have, but it is made plausible by, inter alia , whatever difficulties we have in interpreting intentional folk-explanations realistically. And surely anomalous monism does require further explanation if it is to be accepted realistically and not dismissed as an analysis of a folk-idiom which is to be construed instrumentally at best. Some further explanation is needed of how beliefs, desires, etc. can form rational patterns which have ‘no echo in physical theory’ and yet those beliefs, desires etc. be physical events. To this end I propose to graft on to anomalous monism a modest version of functionalism. (shrink)