Many students find themselves caught in an antinomy between “Rationalism”, a view of the world as open to objective, complete, and intellectual comprehension, and “Anti-realism”, the view that the Rationalist vision is façade since there is no objective perspective and any “truth” is relative to the individual. This paper offers a description of an introductory course that provides conceptual resources for resolving the Rationalism-Antirealism debate. Such conceptual resources include: the representation/reality distinction, the fact/evidence disparity, the nature of skepticism, Kant’s distinction (...) between Transcendental Idealism and Transcendental Realism, and the subject/object dichotomy. (shrink)
While there has been considerable recent criticism of perdurance theory in connection with a Humean understanding of causality, perdurance theory conjoined with causal realism has received relatively little attention. One might, then, form the impression that perdurance theory under the auspices of causal realism is a relatively safe view. I shall argue, however, to the contrary. My general strategy is to show that there is no plausible way of spelling out the perdurance position (of the non-Humean, causal realist sort). I (...) implement this strategy by revealing several general problems concerning the causally-connected temporal parts scheme. I begin with a short account of perdurance theory. There follows a description of two general views of causality and the two subsequent accounts of the perduring object; then, the criticism. (shrink)
Drawing on the basic philosophy of mind of the modern period, I offer a means of improving clarity of student written thought. Clarity of thought entails the sort of concept-sensation synthesis central to Kant’s account of human experience: or in more recent terminology, to be clear is to recognize the intention of a concept in a member of its extension. Simple analysis of concepts and of the mental state of understanding reveals structures that can help diagnose and repair conceptual weakness. (...) I describe my means of teaching this method in an introduction to philosophy course. (shrink)
Causal realists maintain that the causal relation consists in something more than its relata. Specifying this relation in nonreductive terms is however notoriously difficult. Michael Tooley has advanced a plausible account avoiding some of the relationâs most obvious difficulties, particularly where these concern the notion of a cross-temporal connection. His account distinguishes discrete from nondiscrete causation, where the latter is suitable to the continuity of cross-temporal causation. I argue, however, that such accounts face conceptual difficulties dating from Zenoâs time. A (...) Bergsonian resolution of these difficulties appears to entail that, for the causal realist, there can be no indirect causal relations of the sort envisioned by Tooley. A consequence of this discussion is that the causal realist must conceive all causal relations as ultimately direct. (shrink)
I call "material continuation" the fact of one material thing or event being followed by another in time. In this article, I address the question why material continuation obtains, as it seems to do. Johanna Seibt's theory of dynamism promises to explain material continuation by reference to Aristotle's concept of energeia. I argue that her account fails to explain how one thing at one time might be followed by another at another.
The 21 selections are divided into three conceptual approaches to the study of perception: the neurophysiology, the psychology, and the phenomenology of perception, with a final section, some problematic studies. In effect, however, the editor is challenging the metaphysical position hidden in the attitude that behavioral physiology should be an "exact science" without philosophical commitments. Parts II and IV, no less than the explicit statements of Husserl, Merleau-Ponty, Gurwitsch and Erwin Strauss in Part III, stand over against a point of (...) view which, beginning with Cartesian dualism, attempts to resolve it in a materialist reduction, a point of view in which behavior is always reaction, of nervous systems to physical stimulation from an "external," "real," world. Tibbetts is pressing two points--first, that all science must be based on some presuppositions or other and second, that any metapsychology ignores physiological and behavioral research only at its peril. In Part I, Bain, Lashley and Sperry are among the authors. In Parts II and IV Tibbetts brings together selections by Hochberg, Gregory, Gibson, Penfield, Donald Campbell, a bit of Piaget, team research reports, and more to provide in one place material not easily at hand. Some authors provide bibliographical references, and the editor gives nine more pages of bibliography.--M. B. M. (shrink)
One of the most important and most interesting questions of the history of Christian thought is that of the influence of Platonism on Patristic and Scholastic speculation. Today, perhaps more than ever before, this question of the influence of Plato--and that of his later, more faithful disciples, the Neo-Platonists--presents itself as a fascinating issue. Ivánka is a historian, and the shorter essays and studies of a thirty-year research career are here recast and integrated into a unified book, focussing on some (...) major figures and problems of Christian Platonism. After a lengthy and highly interesting general reflection on Platonism and its historical fortunes, we have chapters on Origen, Gregory of Nyssa, and Augustine, representing the culmination of Platonism in the Greek East and the Latin West respectively. The second part of the book is devoted to speculative mystical theology: Pseudo-Dionysius, Maximus Confessor, the pre-Thomistic West, and at the end a fascinating chapter on the Platonic core of the spiritual doctrine of the late Byzantine centuries.--M. J. V. (shrink)
The editors of the JRE solicited short essays on the COVID‐19 pandemic from a group of scholars of religious ethics that reflected on how the field might help them make sense of the complex religious, cultural, ethical, and political implications of the pandemic, and on how the pandemic might shape the future of religious ethics.
The use of human brain tissue in neuroscience research is increasing. Recent developments include transplanting neural tissue, growing or maintaining neural tissue in laboratories and using surgically removed tissue for experimentation. Also, it is likely that in the future there will be attempts at partial or complete brain transplants. A discussion of the ethical issues of using human brain tissue for research and brain transplantation has been organized around nine broadly defined topic areas. Criteria for human brain tissue transplantation and (...) laboratory use of brain tissue are proposed. (shrink)
Attentional scanning was studied in anxious and non-anxious participants, using a modified change detection paradigm. Participants detected changes in pairs of emotional scenes separated by two task irrelevant slides, which contained an emotionally valenced scene and a visual mask. In agreement with attentional control theory, change detection latencies were slower overall for anxious participants. Change detection in anxious, but not non-anxious, participants was influenced by the emotional valence and exposure duration of distractor scenes. When negative distractor scenes were presented at (...) subliminal exposure durations, anxious participants detected changes more rapidly than when supraliminal negative scenes or subliminal positive scenes were presented. We propose that for anxious participants, subliminal presentation of emotionally negative distractor scenes stimulated attention into a dynamic state in the absence of attentional engagement. Presentation of the same scenes at longer exposure times was accompanied by conscious awareness, attentional engagement, and slower change detection. (shrink)
A reply to Gregory and Woods on the nature of indoctrination. It rejects their analysis in terms of content and introduces the notion of institutional indoctrination, embedded in the ethos of schools and other places.
While regarding Gregory M. Browne as mainly on target in his Rand-inspired treatment of reference and necessity, as well as in his rejection of the analyticsynthetic dichotomy, Long argues, first, that Browne is mistaken in rejecting some other vital distinctions, such as the a priori / a posteriori distinction; second, that Browne is nevertheless implicitly committed, under different terminology, to these very distinctions that he purportedly rejects; and third, that Browne's treatment of kinds and definitions leads him to misdescribe (...) and misprescribe ordinary language use, and also to embrace unnecessary semantic incommensurability. (shrink)