This essay responds to Lewis Ford’s “Allan’s Atheism,” in which he assesses a recent essay of mine that finds God an unnecessary and indeed coherence-destroying addition to Process and Reality. I clarify my position by showing how Whitehead’s notions of physical purpose and aesthetic determination adequately account for the novelty required for an actual occasion’s concrescence and for increases in achieved value. I then criticize Ford’s claim that genuine novelties must have a divine origin and that in Adventures of (...) Ideas the Eros of the Universe refers to God. (shrink)
In this concluding chapter, Allan and Keller posit that Just Peace should be defined as a process resting on four necessary and sufficient conditions: thin recognition whereby the other is accepted as autonomous; thick recognition whereby identities need to be accounted for; renouncement, requiring significant sacrifices from all parties; and rule, the objectification of a Just Peace by a ‘text’ requiring a common language respecting the identities of each, and defining their rights and duties. This approach, based on a (...) language-oriented process amongst directly concerned parties, goes beyond liberal and culturalist perspectives. By moving beyond the idea of a peace founded on norms claiming universal scope, each side of a conflict has a place at the negotiating table to present their own perspective on what justice might entail. This inclusion into the decision-making process helps create the feeling of personal investment in the final negotiated product. In addition, negotiators need to work towards building a novel shared reality as well as a new common language to help foster an enduring harmony between previously clashing peoples. (shrink)
This chapter distinguishes Just Peace from its closest ‘moral’ neighbours — a stable peace and positive peace. Drawing on both consequentialist and deontological considerations, Allan develops an international ethical scale to evaluate different acts from a moral standpoint, with different levels of conflict as the baseline of ethical behavior. The more extreme the discord, the worse it is considered on the scale; the more harmonious, the better. Arguing that absolute unhappiness and absolute happiness are not of this world, (...) class='Hi'>Allan presents eight intermediary moral situations, each being superseded by the next one in ethical terms: genocide, war, non-war, Just War, stable peace, Just Peace, positive peace, and Global Care. He develops an ethic of ‘global care’ based on feminist theories of care, religious and secular declarations on a global ethic, evolutionary theory arguments, and a critique of a liberal human rights approach. (shrink)
The Sovereignty of Law presents Trevor Allan's most recent and fully elaborated defence of common law constitutionalism - an account of the unwritten or non-codified constitution as a complex articulation of legal and moral principles, defining what in the British context are the requirements of the rule of law. The British constitution is conceived as a coherent set of fundamental principles of the rule of law, legislative supremacy, and separation of powers. These principles.
Following strict rules of interpretation, this book focuses on the ideas in Plato's early and middle dialogues that lie within the fields now called logic and methodology, specifically elenchus and dialectic and the method of hypothesis.
Very little has been written in recent decades about the temporal nature of art. The two principal explanations provided by our Western cultural tradition are that art is timeless (`eternal') or that it belongs within the world of historical change. Neither account offers a plausible explanation of the world of art as we know it today, which contains large numbers of works which are self-evidently not timeless because they have been resurrected after long periods of oblivion with significances quite different (...) from those which they originally held, and which also seem to have escaped history because, though long-forgotten, they have `come alive' again for us today. In his two key works on the theory of art, "Les Voix du silence" and "La Métamorphose des dieux", André Malraux offers an entirely new account of the temporal nature of art based on the concept of metamorphosis. Unlike the traditional explanations, Malraux's account makes sense of the world of art as we now know it. He revolutionizes our understanding of the relationship between art and time. (shrink)
A standard account of creativity is that it is a process in which the form of a thing or event is altered—restructured or reinterpreted—in a way that changes fundamentally that thing’s or event’s meaning, its nature or function, its intrinsic or instrumental value. What is created in this manner, however, is only a variation of the initial form. Such processes are creative in a weak sense; the strong sense requires that the old form be replaced by a quite different one, (...) as in reconstructions or metaphors. But creative substitution is not haphazard, not a matter of insight, genius, luck, or divine assistance. It utilizes the generative rules governing a formal structure to make or discover new forms that are transformations, not variations, of the original form. These procedures are teachable and not mysterious, although the possible transforms of the structure are never predictable. (shrink)
Choderlos de Laclos’s novel 'Les Liaisons dangereuses', first published in 1782, is regarded as one of the outstanding works of French literature. This article concerns a well known commentary by the twentieth-century writer André Malraux which, though often mentioned by critics, has seldom been studied in detail. The article argues that, while Malraux endorses the favourable modern assessments of 'Les Liaisons dangereuses', his analysis diverges in important respects from prevailing critical opinion. In particular, he regards the work as the commencement (...) of an important new stage in the French novel rather than, as often argued, the culmination of the existing libertine tradition. (shrink)
Whitehead’s process metaphysics, as developed in Process and Reality, is harmed by the incoherence of his notion of eternal objects as timeless and essentially unrelated entities, which therefore need a primordial agent as their ontological ground and the source of their relatedness and relevance. Such nontemporal entities undermine what is supposed to be a thoroughly temporalist metaphysics. Eternal objects can be understood solely as functions of Creativity, however, as features of a purely temporal process. A notion of God is not (...) required. Whitehead’s Categoreal Obligations specify the necessary conditions for this process, including how the novelty is possible that is needed to account for temporal change and the increased complexity that value enhancement presupposes and makes possible. Adventures of Ideas, especially through the notions of Art and Peace, develops at the level of human civilization this same secular interpretation of the capacity of entities to fashion novel and progressive outcomes. (shrink)
After an initial period of popularity in the 1960s and 1970s, André Malraux’s works on the theory of art, "The Voices of Silence" and "The Metamorphosis of the Gods", lapsed into relative obscurity. A major factor in this fall from grace was the frosty reception given to these works by a number of leading art historians, including E.H. Gombrich, who accused Malraux of an irresponsible approach to art history and of "reckless inaccuracies". This essay examines a representative sample of the (...) art historians' arguments and contends that they reveal serious misreadings of Malraux’s texts and a recurring tendency to confuse matters of interpretation with matters of fact. The article suggests that the charge of irresponsibility might well be levelled at the critics themselves, and that the myth of Malraux as guilty of ‘reckless inaccuracies’ needs to be debunked. (shrink)
This paper attempts to clarify the way in which we interpret English comparatives. It shows that recognition of a comparative depends primarily on the recognition of the comparative operator, cl. The cl has two constituents (1) a comparative marker which, because there are less than a dozen of them, makes cl readily recognizable; and (2) a scale marker. I argue that comparisons are made on a particular scale, and that scales have a supra end and a sub end; the scale (...) marker in cl identifies which end. Thus the combination of scale marker and comparative marker determines the proper interpretation of the comparative operator, and hence the comparative relation. This interpretation is affected by the ‘committedness’ (Cruse 1976) and perhaps ‘pull’ (Rusiecki 1985) of the scale marker. A comparison identifies the relative locations of the comparands X and Y on the scale named in the cl. X, the primum comparationis, is identified through the scope of cl. Y, the secundum comparationis, is recognized through the fact that it is normally a semantic-syntactic parallel to X in a clause introduced by the c2: c2 is normally than or as. The paper ends with detailed discussion of the means for translating English comparative constructions into an interpretative metalanguage. (shrink)