A healthy, growing field such as the philosophy of biology deserves to have a variety of different points of entry for students, instructors, and non-specialist academics who want to learn about the field. Among the many new books that introduce this dynamic area of research, Garvey's Philosophy of Biology may provide the most compact and accessible survey of the field. After explaining Darwin's theory of evolution, he offers four chapters about contemporary issues in evolutionary theory. The middle chapters concern key (...) concepts in biology: innateness, function, and species. The final four chapters examine how evolutionary biology might influence our perspectives on epistemology, ethics, religion, and human nature.Acquaintances occasionally ask me to recommend a book that introduces the field in layman's terms. Until recently, I didn't have a good answer. The standard textbooks by Sober and Sterelny & Griffiths are good for classroom use but are too demanding for casual reading. Thus, I was intrigued when the jacket blurb described Garvey's book as ‘suitable …. (shrink)
In ‘The ethics of belief and Christian faith as commitment to assumptions’, Rik Peels attacks the views that I advanced in ‘Christianity and the ethics of belief’. Here, I rebut his criticisms of the claim that it is wrong to believe without sufficient evidence, of the contention that Christians are committed to that claim, and of the notion of that faith is not belief but commitment to assumptions in the hope of salvation. My original conclusions still stand.
Listen to the interview with Brian Kemple... and learn to appreciate the diachronic trajectory of semiotics. *** Live interview with Brian Kemple, Executive Director of the Lyceum Institute, to discuss the legacy and influence of John Deely (1942-2017), the thinker most responsible for developing semiotics into the 21st century. This interview, conducted by William Passarini (Mansarda Acesa) and Tim Troutman (Lyceum Institute), is part of the preliminary activities of the 2022 International Open Seminar on Semiotics: a Tribute to (...) John Deely on the Fifth Anniversary of His Passing, cooperatively organized by the Institute for Philosophical Studies of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities of the University of Coimbra, the Lyceum Institute, the Deely Project, Saint Vincent College, the Iranian Society for Phenomenology at the Iranian Political Science Association, the International Association for Semiotics of Space and Time, the Institute for Scientific Information on Social Sciences of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Semiotic Society of America, the American Maritain Association, the International Association for Semiotic Studies, the International Society for Biosemiotic Studies, the International Center for Semiotics and Intercultural Dialogue, Moscow State Academic University for the Humanities and the Mansarda Acesa with the support of the FCT - Foundation for Science and Technology, I.P., of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education of the Government of Portugal under the UID/FIL/00010/2020 project. Brian Kemple holds a PhD in Philosophy from the University of St. Thomas, in Houston TX, where he wrote his dissertation under the inimitable John Deely. He is the Founder and Executive Director of the Lyceum Institute (https://lyceum.institute). Philosophical interests and areas of study include: Thomas Aquinas, John Poinsot, Charles Peirce, Martin Heidegger, the history and importance of semiotics, scholasticism, phenomenology; as well as ancillary interests in the liberal arts, technology, and education as a moral habit. He has published two scholarly books— 'Ens Primum Cognitum in Thomas Aquinas and the Tradition' (Brill: 2017) and 'The Intersections of Semiotics and Phenomenology: Peirce and Heidegger in Dialogue' (De Gruyter: 2019), as well as a number of scholarly articles, popular articles, and his own 'Introduction to Philosophical Principles: Logic, Physics, and the Human Person' (2019) and the forthcoming 'Linguistic Signification: A Classical Course in Grammar and Composition' (2021). In addition to being the Executive Director of the Lyceum Institute, he is the Executive Editor of 'Reality: a Journal for Philosophical Discourse' (https://realityjournal.org/). *** Technical support was assured by Robert Junqueira and the cover image for the video was designed by Zahra Soltani. (shrink)
Espen Hammer’s exceptionally fine book explores modern temporality, its problems and prospects. Hammer claims that how people experience time is a cultural/historical phenomenon, and that there is a peculiarly modern way of experiencing time as a series of present moments each indefinitely leading to the next in an ordered way. Time as measured by the clock is the paradigmatic instance of this sense of time. In this perspective time is quantifiable and forward-looking, and the present is dominated by the future. (...) Hammer argues that this manner of experiencing time provides a way of living that brings with it not only the basis for great successes in technology, but also great costs—specifically, what he calls the problems of transience and of meaning. Hammer goes about his task by considering the ways some of the great modern philosophers have characterized present-day temporality and have responded to the problems he has identified. Specifically, he considers what Kant, Hegel, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Habermas, Bloch, and Adorno provide in response to our peculiarly modern predicaments. The book is remarkable for its clarity and perceptiveness, but in the process in crucial places it simplifies the matters at hand or fails to push its insights as far as it ought, and in the end promises more than it can deliver. In this it betrays a rationalist confidence in the power of reason that founders on what in many ways remains a mystery. (shrink)
Professor Brian V. Johnstone, CSsR, has been quietly and unobtrusively contributing to the intellectual life of Catholicism, especially in the field of moral theology, for nearly four decades. Having published numerous theological articles on many topics, including biomedical ethics, peace and war, and fundamental moral theology, and directed many doctoral dissertations, it is no exaggeration to say that he has dedicated his entire life to teaching and writing theology. In honor of Johnstone's work, this felicitation volume covers a wide (...) range of themes in the Christian moral life with original articles written by internationally recognized theologians. In the spirit of Johnstone's thought and work, each article challenges the reader to reflect upon the present while contemplating the future of moral theology. (shrink)
Madison, G. B. Avant-propos.--Gadamer, H.-G. La mort comme question.--Lévinas, E. L'être et l'autre.--Dufrenne, M. L'esthétique de Paul Valéry.--Eliade, M. Orphée et l'orphisme.--Décarie, V. Vertu totale, vertu parfaite et kalokagathie dans l'Éthique à Eudème.--Strasser, S. Réflexions sur la proposition phénoménologique.--Peursen, C. van. L'existence fait-elle sens?--Edie, J. E. La pertinence actuelle de la conception husserlienne de l'idéalité du langage.--Taylor, C. Force et sens, les deux dimensions irréductibles d'une science de l'homme.--Henry, M. Phénoménologie de la conscience, phénoménologie de la vie.--Philibert, M. Marx, la (...) machine et la manufacture.--Dumas, A. Savoir objectif, croyance projective, foi interpellée.--Maqdici, A. L'ontologie kérygmatique de Paul Ricœur, approche arabe.--Kemp, P. Le rôle du mythe et de la poésie dans l'orientation sociale. (shrink)
In the preface to his book God the Problem , Gordon Kaufman writes ‘Although the notion of God as agent seems presupposed by most contemporary theologians … Austin Farrer has been almost alone in trying to specify carefully and consistently just what this might be understood to mean.’.
Professor Brian Goodwin (1931-2007) was a visionary biologist, mathematician and philosopher. Understanding organisms as dynamics wholes, he worked to develop an alternate view to extreme Darwinism based solely on genetic factors. He was a pioneer in the field of theoretical biology.
Karl Rahner’s theory of fundamental option has been criticized in recent years due to a perceived discontinuity between categorical actions in history and their transcendental implications. Jean Porter, for example, argues that such a discontinuity undermines any usefulness of the theory for the moral life because it is unable to generate a substantive account of the life of virtue. This essay disputes such claims, arguing that Rahner’s reluctance to definitively connect particular actions with a positive or negative fundamental option is (...) simply in keeping with the Roman Catholic tradition of being tentative with regard to subjective judgments about the relationship between particular actions and the state of one’s soul. Further, it is argued that an examination of Rahner’s understanding of the unity of love of God and love of neighbor will serve to generate paradigmatic behaviors which are potential “sites” for a fundamental option. In this regard, the essay focuses on Rahner’s discussions of conscience and Ignatian discernment as well as on the relationship of fundamental option to “dying with Christ” or Christian witness. (shrink)
I advocate Time-Slice Rationality, the thesis that the relationship between two time-slices of the same person is not importantly different, for purposes of rational evaluation, from the relationship between time-slices of distinct persons. The locus of rationality, so to speak, is the time-slice rather than the temporally extended agent. This claim is motivated by consideration of puzzle cases for personal identity over time and by a very moderate form of internalism about rationality. Time-Slice Rationality conflicts with two proposed principles of (...) rationality, Conditionalization and Reflection. Conditionalization is a diachronic norm saying how your current degrees of belief should fit with your old ones, while Reflection is a norm enjoining you to defer to the degrees of belief that you expect to have in the future. But they are independently problematic and should be replaced by improved, time-slice-centric principles. Conditionalization should be replaced by a synchronic norm saying what degrees of belief you ought to have given your current evidence and Reflection should be replaced by a norm which instructs you to defer to the degrees of belief of agents you take to be experts. These replacement principles do all the work that the old principles were supposed to do while avoiding their problems. In this way, Time-Slice Rationality puts the theory of rationality on firmer foundations and yields better norms than alternative, non-time-slice-centric approaches. (shrink)
William Hasker replies to my arguments against Social Trinitarianism, offers some criticism of my own view, and begins a sketch of another account of the Trinity. I reply with some defence of my own theory and some questions about his.
In teaching jurisprudence, I typically distinguish between two different families of theories of adjudication—theories of how judges do or should decide cases. “Formalist” theories claim that the law is “rationally” determinate, that is, the class of legitimate legal reasons available for a judge to offer in support of his or her decision justifies one and only one outcome either in all cases or in some significant and contested range of cases ; and adjudication is thus “autonomous” from other kinds of (...) reasoning, that is, the judge can reach the required decision without recourse to nonlegal normative considerations of morality or political philosophy. I also note that “formalism” is sometimes associated with the idea that judicial decision-making involves nothing more than mechanical deduction on the model of the syllogism—Beccaria, for example, expresses such a view. I call the latter “Vulgar Formalism” to emphasize that it is not a view to which anyone today cares to subscribe. (shrink)
Epistemology orthodoxy is a purist one in the sense that it separates out the epistemic from the practical. What counts as evidence is independent of what we care about. Which beliefs count as justified and which count as knowledge are independent of our practical concerns. In recent years, many epistemologists have abandoned such purist views and embraced varying degrees of pragmatic encroachment on the epistemic. I survey a variety of these views and explore the main arguments that proponents of pragmatic (...) encroachment have offered in addition to the main criticisms of the pragmatic approach. (shrink)
The purpose of this study is to propose the structural outline and conceptual framework of a Ricœurian translation theory. Following a discussion on the ambiguities around situating Ricœur in translation theory, three major interlinked components of the theory are explored. First, the metaphysics of meaning and translation is established based on Ricœur’s hermeneutics of infinitude. Then, the language-processing component is constructed through an incorporation of Ricœur’s narrative theory. Finally, the ethics and politics of translation, particularly in globalization, are founded based (...) on Ricœur’s “age of hermeneutics theory.”. (shrink)
As the author of Justice as Impartiality, I am not ashamed to admit that I was delighted by the liveliness of the discussion generated by it at the meeting on which this symposium is based. I am likewise grateful to the six authors for finding the book worthy of the careful attention that they have bestowed on it. Between them, the symposiasts take up many more points than I can cover in this response. I shall therefore focus on some themes (...) that cluster round the contractual device that I associate with the notion of justice as impartiality. Is it necessary? If it is not necessary is it nevertheless useful? Within an overall contractual framework is the form of contract that I propose uniquely justifiable? And does the form of contract that I defend generate the implications that I claim for it? (shrink)
I defend counterfactual decision theory, which says that you should evaluate an action in terms of which outcomes would likely obtain were you to perform it. Counterfactual decision theory has traditionally been subsumed under causal decision theory as a particular formulation of the latter. This is a mistake. Counterfactual decision theory is importantly different from, and superior to, causal decision theory, properly so called. Causation and counterfactuals come apart in three kinds of cases. In cases of overdetermination, an action can (...) cause a good outcome without the latter counterfactually depending on the former. In cases of constitution, an action can constitute a good outcome rather than causing it. And in cases of determinism, either the laws or the past counterfactually depend on your action, even though your action cannot cause the laws or the past to be different. In each of these cases, it is counterfactual decision theory which gives the right verdict, and for the right reasons. (shrink)
I am grateful to Alan Madry and Joel Richeimer for their intelligent and stimulating critique of my article “Heidegger and the Theory of Adjudication.” It is the most interesting commentary I have seen on the paper, and I have learned much from it. It may facilitate discussion, and advance debate, to state with some clarity where exactly we agree and disagree. I leave to the footnotes discussion of certain minor points where Madry and Richeimer are guilty of some critical overreaching.
This book brings together essays on themes of human rights and legal history, reflecting the long and distinguished career of Brian Simpson as an academic writer and a human rights activist. The collection opens with a biography of Simpson's academic life, noting his major contribution to legal thought, and closes with an account of his career in the United States.
Depuis 1960, Paul Ricœur est le principal représentant de la philosophie herméneutique en France. Cet ouvrage, qui forme le troisième volet d'un triptyque dédié aux différentes expressions que l'idée de phénoménologie herméneutique a reçues dans la philosophie du XXe siècle, se donne pour tâche d'analyser et d'évaluer la contribution de Ricœur à ce courant. Il se focalise d'abord sur la percée herméneutique de 1960, qui a pour arrière-plan une phénoménologie du volontaire de l'involontaire et une anthropologie de la faillibilité. La (...) seconde partie, placée sous l'égide du " Cogito narratif ", retrace la genèse d'une herméneutique de la conscience historique sous le fil conducteur d'une analyse des opérations de mise en intrigue narrative dans le récit de fiction et le récit historique. La troisième partie dégage les principaux phénomènes qui étayent l'idée d'une phénoménologie du " sujet capable " qui domine les derniers travaux de Ricœur. Qu'il s'agisse de la capacité de se souvenir, d'oublier, de pardonner, de promettre ou de témoigner, ces recherches donnent tout son relief à la question kantienne : " Que m'est-il permis d'espérer? ". (shrink)
Multidimensional concepts are everywhere, and they are important. Examples include moral value, welfare, scientific confirmation, democracy, and biodiversity. How, if at all, can we aggregate the underlying dimensions of a multidimensional concept F to yield verdicts about which things are Fer than which overall? Social choice theory can be used to model and investigate this aggregation problem. Here, we focus on a particularly thorny problem made salient by this social choice-theoretic framework: the underlying dimensions of a given concept might be (...) measurable on different types of scales—e.g., some ordinal and some cardinal. An underappreciated impossibility theorem due to Anna Khmelnitskaya shows that seemingly plausible constraints on aggregation across scale types are inconsistent. This impossibility threatens to render the notion of overall Fness incoherent. We attempt to defuse this threat, arguing that the impossibility depends on an overly restrictive conception of measurement and of how measurement constrains aggregation. Adopting a more flexible—and, we think, more perspicuous—conception of measurement opens an array of possibilities for aggregation across disparate scale types. (shrink)
This book shows how modern political, economic and moral theory, including our ideas of liberty and individualism, are trapped in 17th century notions of intuitive reasoning and not informed by modern scientific understanding. Brian Ellis starts with a re-appraisal of the founding of the United Nations and the political and economic policies of the post-war reconstruction period. He then shows how this period, despite its many faults, embodied a philosophy more closely embedded in scientific realism than dominant theories of (...) either left or right today. He goes on to develop this philosophy, meticulously, demolishing theories of Rawls, Nozick and others along the way. The result is a philosophy that investigates how a society actually works, supports evidence-based economics and can better enable human beings to flourish. It is a philosophy that can also accommodate the historical differences between societies and their different, but parallel, development strategies over time. (shrink)
Paul Ricœur laisse comme testament une œuvre immense.Elle est justement saluée aujourd'hui pour s'être confrontée aux principaux enjeux intellectuels du XXe siècle, sans jamais cesser de dialoguer pour autant avec le "grand livre de la philosophie". A travers la diversité des thématiques abordées par le philosophe, cet ouvrage nous éclaire sur ce qui fait la trame et le moteur de cette pensée en mouvement : une réflexion sur l'homme en tant qu'être agissant.L'auteur propose de reconfigurer le parcours de cette philosophie (...) de l'agir humain en suivant trois perspectives à la fois distinctes et complémentaires. Selon une première perspective, il s'agit de retracer la genèse d'une anthropologie philosophique qui porte sur les fondamentaux de l'agir humain. Selon une deuxième perspective, l'auteur cherche à resituer l'épistémologie de Paul Ricœur, ressourcée dans la tradition herméneutique, au contact des sciences de l'homme.Selon une troisième perspective, il s'agit de reconstituer les jalons d'une philosophie normative qui ouvre la morale, le politique, la justice et le droit à l'horizon de l'universalité, sans dénier l'incarnation de l'agir humain dans un "monde de la vie" déjà structuré par des valeurs. A l'opposé d'une rhétorique hagiographique ou d'une critique systématique, la "juste distance" prise par l'auteur permet de restituer l'unité profonde de l'œuvre ricoeurienne et d'en dévoiler en même temps les tensions et les paradoxes.Cet ouvrage accorde une large place à la réception philosophique du travail de Paul Ricœur sur l'agir humain en le présentant comme une "œuvre ouverte", élevée au "conflit des interprétations". C'est dire qu'après la mort du penseur, sa pensée ne fait que commencer, que renaître dans l'esprit de chaque nouveau lecteur. (shrink)
The analysis of fundamental texts such as “Architecture and Narrativity” and Memory, History, Forgetting aims to fill a gap in studies of Environmental Hermeneutics. Indeed, the analogy between space and narrative, through parallelism with the process of triple mimesis, is usually deduced by environmental hermeneuticists from the works Time and Narrative and Oneself as Another. However, Ricœur himself took it upon himself to make this transposition in a direct and elaborated way from a phenomenological and hermeneutic analysis of the built (...) space and the inhabited space, opening the way for a broader and more grounded epistemology of environmental hermeneutics. The introduction of the critical concept of landscape, as seen today by constructivist and cultural geography, legitimizes the claims of an environmental hermeneutics as an interpretive process of formally non-textual objects. Indeed, landscape in its connection to territory has its own semiotic and semantic character, which is appealed to for reading and interpretation. (shrink)