Religious disagreements are widespread. Some philosophers have argued that religious disagreements call for religious skepticism, or a revision of one’s religious beliefs. In order to figure out the epistemic significance of religious disagreements, two questions need to be answered. First, what kind of disagreements are religious disagreements? Second, how should one respond to such disagreements? In this paper, I argue that many religious disagreements are cases of unconfirmed superiority disagreements, where parties have good reason to think they are not epistemic (...) peers, yet they lack good reason to determine who is superior. Such disagreements have been left relatively unexplored. I then argue that in cases of unconfirmed superiority disagreements, disputants can remain relatively steadfast in holding to their beliefs. Hence, we can remain relatively steadfast in our beliefs in such cases of religious disagreements. (shrink)
Theological stateist theories, the most well-known of which is Divine Command Theory (DCT), ground our moral obligations directly in some state of God. The prior obligations objection poses a challenge to theological stateism. Is there a moral obligation to obey God’s commands? If no, it is hard to see how God’s commands can generate any moral obligations for us. If yes, then what grounds this prior obligation? To avoid circularity, the moral obligation must be grounded independent of God’s commands; and (...) therefore DCT fails to ground all moral obligations in God’s commands. I argue that DCT proponents should embrace “metaethical DCT.” On this view, there is no moral obligation to obey God. God creates our moral obligations out of normative nothingness. I argue that this helps DCT proponents to escape the prior obligations objection. Other theological stateist theories can modify their theory similarly to meet this objection. (shrink)
Can it ever be morally justifiable to tell others to do what we ourselves believe is morally wrong to do? The common sense answer is no. It seems that we should never tell others to do something if we think it is morally wrong to do that act. My first goal is to argue that in Analects 17.21, Confucius tells his disciple not to observe a ritual even though Confucius himself believes that it is morally wrong that one does not (...) observe the ritual. My second goal is to argue against the common sense answer and explain how Confucius can be justified in telling his disciple to do what Confucius thought was wrong. The first justification has to do with telling someone to do what is second best when the person cannot do what is morally best. The second justification has to do with the role of a moral advisor. (shrink)
In this article we ask what it means for sociologists to practice intersectionality as a theoretical and methodological approach to inequality. What are the implications for choices of subject matter and style of work? We distinguish three styles of understanding intersectionality in practice: group-centered, process-centered, and system-centered. The first, emphasizes placing multiply-marginalized groups and their perspectives at the center of the research. The second, intersectionality as a process, highlights power as relational, seeing the interactions among variables as multiplying oppressions at (...) various points of intersection, and drawing attention to unmarked groups. Finally, seeing intersectionality as shaping the entire social system pushes analysis away from associating specific inequalities with unique institutions, instead looking for processes that are fully interactive, historically co-determining, and complex. Using several examples of recent, highly regarded qualitative studies, we draw attention to the comparative, contextual, and complex dimensions of sociological analysis that can be missing even when race, class, and gender are explicitly brought together. (shrink)
When we think of the problem of ‘universals’, we tend first of all to identify this issue with medieval philosophy. In that period the arguments ran hot and heavy, and the result was that philosophers almost came to be classified according to the position each took about the relation between the individual and universal concepts. Of course, the fact is that the problem of universals has been important in every philosophical age in western thought. Metaphysics as an enterprise may rise (...) and fall in popularity, but the problem of universals is always with us. Yet, like most philosophical problems of importance, it has not always meant one thing. (shrink)
Many environmental thinkers are torn in two opposing directions at once. For good reasons we are appalled by the damage that has been done to the earth by the ethos of heedless anthropocentric individualism, which has achieved its colossal feats of exploitation, encouraged to selfishness by its world view—of relation-free atoms—while chanting ‘reduction’ as its mantra. But also for good reasons we are repelled, at the other extreme, by environmentally correct images of mindless biocentric collectivisms in which precious personal values (...) are overridden for the good of some healthy beehive ‘whole’. (shrink)
Norbert Wiener has recently pointed out that the relation between God and man, according to orthodox Jewish and Christian theology, is analogous to the relation between men and ‘intelligent’ machines. God is supposed to have created man just as man has created machines. And just as God has endowed man with intelligence, creating him in his own image , so man has endowed the machine with intelligence—i.e. with problem solving capacities of a high order. Moreover, just as the endowment of (...) man with intelligence led to unintended, if not unforeseen developments , so the development of sophisticated computing machinery raises the possibility that some unintended and unwanted consequences may be forthcoming in the man-machine domain. Just such a possibility is realised in the recent film 2001: A Space Odyssey , where a quasi-human computer is represented as having both emotions and purposes of its own. Even though this particular film may be regarded as a bit far-fetched, in some respects, there are nonetheless many who, like Wiener, wonder whether the machines we have brought into being will always behave with reasonable predict ability, and in ways that will promote rather than frustrate human purposes. (shrink)
Frederick C. Beiser presents the first book to be written on two of the most important idealist philosophers in Germany after Hegel: Adolf Trendelenburg and Rudolf Lotze. Beiser addresses every aspect of their philosophy-- logic, metaphysics, ethics, and aesthetics--and traces their intellectual development from their youth until their death.
Hegel is one of the major philosophers of the nineteenth century. Many of the major philosophical movements of the twentieth century - from existentialism to analytic philosophy - grew out of reactions against Hegel. He is also one of the hardest philosophers to understand and his complex ideas, though rewarding, are often misunderstood. In this magisterial and lucid introduction, Frederick Beiser covers every major aspect of Hegel's thought. He places Hegel in the historical context of nineteenth-century Germany whilst clarifying (...) the deep insights and originality of Hegel's philosophy. A masterpiece of clarity and scholarship, _Hegel_ is both the ideal starting point for those coming to Hegel for the first time and essential reading for any student or scholar of nineteenth century philosophy. Additional features: glossary chapter summaries chronology annotated further reading. (shrink)
In Knowledge and Belief, Frederick Schmitt explores the nature and value of knowledge and justified belief through an examination of the dispute between epistemological internalism and externalism. Knowledge and justified belief are naturally viewed as belief of a sort likely to be true--an externalist view. It is also intuitive, however, to view them as an internal matter; justification must be accessible to the subject or constituted by the subject's epistemic perspective. The author argues against the view that internalism is (...) the historically dominant epistemology by examining closely the epistemological principles that underlie the treatment of skepticism in Plato, the Academic and Pyrrhonian skeptics, Descartes and Hume. Schmitt develops a sustained, detailed argument against many forms of internalism in favor of a reliabilist/externalist epistemology. His version of reliabilism, though strictly externalist, accommodates and explains the most durable intuitions alleged to support internalism. Knowledge and Belief assumes no knowledge of epistemology or its history. Readers of philosophy will find this an excellent introduction to ancient and modern epistemology; this systematic study of the internalist and externalist debate is the first of its kind. (shrink)
At the time of writing, the multicultural ideal, if there had ever been one, within North America and Western Europe appears to be in a state of unprecedented precariousness, given recent political developments. The term "multicultural" here, and in fact in the rest of this paper, refers not to a description of the prevailing state of affairs, but to a normative attitude, reflected in public policy, that seeks a relatively pluralist approach to "culture." Apparently confirming political pronouncements by then-UK Prime (...) Minister David Cameron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel that multiculturalism has failed,2 "far-right" sociocultural politics in North America and Western Europe has achieved several popular... (shrink)
Now I maintain that the beautiful is the symbol of the morally good. What sort of face does radical evil have? What strikes Hannah Arendt, as she sought to profile Adolf Otto Eichmann, is how completely ordinary he appeared in court. She describes him as medium-sized, middle-aged with receding hair, ill-fitting teeth, and nearsighted eyes. Yet this was the man who had meticulously organized the mass deportation of Jews to the extermination camps during the Holocaust. Like his appearance, his personality (...) seemed so typical that it led her to coin the phrase the “banality of evil.” Paradoxically, banality can be so extraordinary to the point that Eichmann appeared completely impersonal and inhuman, which .. (shrink)
Luck egalitarians equalize the outcome enjoyed by people who exemplify the same degree of distributive desert by removing the influence of luck. They also try to calibrate differential rewards according to the pattern of distributive desert. This entails that they have to decide upon, among other things, the rate of reward, i.e., a principled way of distributing rewards to groups exercising different degrees of the relevant desert. However, the problem of the choice of reward principle is a relatively and undeservedly (...) neglected issue among luck egalitarians. The main goal of this paper is to highlight the importance and difficulty of this problem, and to elaborate upon G. A. Cohen's community-oriented response to it. In the last section, I provide a taxonomy of distributive pluralism, contrasting Cohen’s view with other (not so genuine) pluralisms - especially with all-things-considered varieties - while trying to motivate readers to adopt the more robust form of pluralism. (shrink)
This paper has attempted to present Wonch'uk's Ban-ya pa-ra-mil-da sim gyeong chan (般若波羅蜜多心經贊) or Commentary on the Heart Sūtra which was written in classical Chinese in the 7th century. As an example of the intellectual analysis of a sūtra, Wonch'uk's Commentary is an important text that has exerted asignificant influence on East Asian Buddhist thought. A prominent Korean Yogācāra scholar, Wonch'uk authored twenty-three works during his lifetime; unfortunately, all but three have been lost. The Commentary on the Heart Sūtra is (...) the shortest among his extant writings, yet it clearly reflects his incomparable erudition. To date, there has been very limited research on Wonch'uk and his thought in both the East and West. Utilizing Wonch'uk's original Chinese text,this paper will examine the distinctive features of Wonch'uk's Commentary which may offer the contemporary readers an opportunity to remind the importance of sūtra study and the engagement in sūtra exegesis. (shrink)
Frederick F. Schmitt offers a new account of Hume's epistemology in A Treatise of Human Nature, which alternately manifests scepticism, empiricism, and naturalism. Critics have emphasised one of these positions over the others, but Schmitt argues that they can be reconciled by tracing them to an underlying epistemology of knowledge and probability.
Neo-Kantianism was an important movement in German philosophy of the late 19th century: Frederick Beiser traces its development back to the late 18th century, and explains its rise as a response to three major developments in German culture: the collapse of speculative idealism; the materialism controversy; and the identity crisis of philosophy.
Based on an integrated theoretical framework, this study analyzes user acceptance behavior toward socially interactive robots focusing on the variables that influence the users' attitudes and intentions to adopt robots. Individuals' responses to questions about attitude and intention to use robots were collected and analyzed according to different factors modified from a variety of theories. The results of the proposed model explain that social presence is key to the behavioral intention to accept social robots. The proposed model shows the significant (...) roles of perceived adaptivity and sociability, both of which affect attitude as well as influence perceived usefulness and perceived enjoyment, respectively. These factors can be key features of users' expectations of social robots, which can give practical implications for designing and developing meaningful social interaction between robots and humans. The new set of variables is specific to social robots, acting as factors that enhance attitudes and behavioral intentions in human-robot interactions. Keywords: Robot acceptance model; Socially interactive robots; Social robots; Social presence. (shrink)
This is the first full study in English of the German historicist tradition. Frederick C. Beiser surveys the major German thinkers on history from the middle of the eighteenth century until the early twentieth century, providing an introduction to each thinker and the main issues in interpreting and appraising his thought. The volume offers new interpretations of well-known philosophers such as Johann Gottfried Herder and Max Weber, and introduces others who are scarcely known at all, including J. A. Chladenius, (...) Justus Möser, Heinrich Rickert, and Emil Lask. Beyond an exploration of the historical and intellectual context of each thinker, Beiser illuminates the sources and reasons for the movement of German historicism—one of the great revolutions in modern Western thought, and the source of our historical understanding of the human world. (shrink)
Based on an integrated theoretical framework, this study analyzes user acceptance behavior toward socially interactive robots focusing on the variables that influence the users’ attitudes and intentions to adopt robots. Individuals’ responses to questions about attitude and intention to use robots were collected and analyzed according to different factors modified from a variety of theories. The results of the proposed model explain that social presence is key to the behavioral intention to accept social robots. The proposed model shows the significant (...) roles of perceived adaptivity and sociability, both of which affect attitude as well as influence perceived usefulness and perceived enjoyment, respectively. These factors can be key features of users’ expectations of social robots, which can give practical implications for designing and developing meaningful social interaction between robots and humans. The new set of variables is specific to social robots, acting as factors that enhance attitudes and behavioral intentions in human–robot interactions. Keywords: Robot acceptance model; Socially interactive robots; Social robots; Social presence. (shrink)
Rules are a central component of such diverse enterprises as law, morality, language, games, religion, etiquette, and family governance, but there is often confusion about what a rule is, and what rules do. Offering a comprehensive philosophical analysis of these questions, this book challenges much of the existing legal, jurisprudential, and philosophical literature, by seeing a significant role for rules, an equally significant role for their stricter operation, and making the case for rules as devices for the allocation of power (...) among decision-makers. (shrink)
Speaking for the theology of the East, Masao Abe says: ‘I do not see the ontological ground on which being has priority over non-being’. Professor Abe is speaking of Tillich's assertion that there is an ‘ontological priority of being over nonbeing’, but Abe's question is more or less directed to the whole Western metaphysical tradition and illustrates the fundamental philosophical point at issue between the East and West. Nonbeing can be ruled out of consideration as Parmenides and Wittgenstein have done (...) . Or, like Plato and Tillich, being can be said to embrace both itself and nonbeing, even if this is not explained in detail very clearly. Yet the challenge of the East still stands: What embraces both being and nonbeing may not be ‘Being’ but ‘that which is neither being nor non-being’. If the East and the West are to meet metaphysically, we can no longer simply assume the priority of being over nonbeing. We must begin by considering the alternative of the East and then justify any choice between competing first principles by prior metaphysical argument. (shrink)
In recent decades, particularly since the publication of Rudolf Otto's The Idea of the Holy and Gerardus Van der Leeuw's Religion in Essence and Manifestion , what is known as the ‘phenomenological’ approach to the study of religion has become extremely popular. I myself, in teaching courses in religious studies, have for a number of years used Van der Leeuw's classic study; it is a work of amazing insight and scholarship, and perhaps the single greatest example ofjust how successful the (...) method of phenomenology can be when applied to a distinct field of study. But it is not only in the domain of religious studies that phenomenologists have made important contributions; in the spheres of social and political theory, for example, as well as in the philosophy of art, the philosophy of psychology, and other areas, there have been notable accomplishments. (shrink)
The attempt to study religion objectively has been part of the academic scene in the West for a century. Such men as F. Max Mueller, Edward Tylor, W. Brede Kristenson, Raffaele Peettazzoni, and Joachim Wach worked to develop such a truly scientific study of religion. They held that a study of religious data could reveal what religious life means for people who participate in it if methods are used which prevent a superimposition of the investigator's personal value judgments. At the (...) same time, there has been the recognition by some scholars, including some of the above, that there is something about religious life that cannot be investigated by normal empirical methods. This sense of the uniqueness of religion is symbolised in Rudolf Otto's book The Idea of the Holy , where he maintains that in order to understand religion in its innermost core, an investigator must recognise ‘a unique “numinous” category of value and of a definitely “numinous” state of mind’. Our concern here is to examine one problem arising from the claim that religious life must be studied in terms of its own intention, or category of value; and yet studied through an inductive method which allows for the distinctive character of different historical expressions of religion. (shrink)
Hume's theory of government and allegiance falls into two parts. In its better known segment Hume explains the conjectural origin of government in general as a convention necessary to enforce the rules of justice and provide other public goods, and he grounds the general duty of allegiance on the utility of government in making stable social life possible. To his credit, however, Hume goes on to give separate treatment to the topic of what he terms the ‘objects of allegiance”, or (...) rules for assessing the legitimacy of particular political regimes or rulers. Given the general desirability of government and of obedience to it, we might nevertheless ask what entitles the particular government in existence to rule over us; more pressingly, there might be competing claimants to this position. What standards should guide our decision about where our allegiance is due when there is more than one alternative? (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.