This paper addresses central issues in the debate about inclusive language for God by responding to AndrewDell’Olio, who offered biblical, theological, linguistic, and ethical reasons for a “supplemental” use of feminine language for God. Since he leaves unclear whether “supplemental” means “secondary to” or “fully equal to” the masculine language of the biblical tradition, it is difficult to determine whether he makes his case. While a secondary role for feminine language for God is legitimate, I argue that (...) giving feminine language a status equal to the Bible’s masculine language for God is not warranted by the standard biblical and theological criteria of the Christian tradition. (shrink)
Students in two classes in the fall of 2004 making extensive use of online courseware were logged as they visited over 500 different “learning pages” which varied in length and in difficulty. We computed the time spent on each page by each student during each session they were logged in. We then modeled the time spent for a particular visit as a function of the page itself, the session, and the student. Surprisingly, the average time a student spent on learning (...) pages was of almost no value in predicting how long they would spend on a given page, even controlling for the session and page difficulty. The page itself was highly predictive, but so was the average time spent on learning pages in a given session. This indicates that local considerations, e.g., mood, deadline proximity, etc., play a much greater role in determining student pace and attention than do intrinsic student traits. We also consider the average time spent on learning pages as a function of the time of semester. Students spent less time on pages later in the semester, even for more demanding material. (shrink)
This is a response to Wesley J. Wildman’s “Behind, Between, and Beyond Anthropomorphic Models of Ultimate Reality.” While I agree with much of what Wildman writes, I raise questions concerning standards for evaluating models of ultimate reality and the plausibility of ranking such models. This paper was delivered during the APA Pacific 2007 Mini-Conference on Models of God.
As the perfect companion to introduction to ethics courses, Dell'Olio and Simon's reader includes the most influential ethical theories without overwhelming the beginning student. It contains a variety of readings encompassing contemporary and classic philosophers, male and female perspectives of both western and non-western ethical traditions, and readings in both theoretical and applied ethics as well as a section on 'living the good life.' Useful introduction with thought provoking study questions and suggestions for further readings accompany each chapter which make (...) it easier for students to understand and appreciate their reading. (shrink)
In this paper I suggest that near-death experiences (NDEs) provide a rational basis for belief in life after death. My argument is a simple one and is modeled on the argument from religious experience for the existence of God. But unlike the proponents of the argument from religious experience, I stop short of claiming that NDEs prove the existence of life after death. Like the argument from religious experience, however, my argument turns on whether or not there is good reason (...) to believe that NDEs are authentic or veridical. I argue that there is good reason to believe that NDEs are veridical and that therefore it is reasonable to believe in the existence of what they seem to be experiences of, namely, a continued state of consciousness after the death of the body. I will then offer some comments on the philosophical import of NDEs, as well as reflections on the current state of contemporary philosophy in light of the neglect of this phenomenon. (shrink)
This essay considers recent criticism of the use of inclusive language within Christian discourse, particularly the reference to God as “Mother.” The author argues that these criticisms fail to establish that the supplemental usage of “God the Mother,” in addition to the traditional usage of “God the Father,” is inappropriate for Christian God-talk. Some positive reasons for referring to God as “Mother” are also offered, not the least of which is its helpfulness in overcoming overly restrictive conceptions of God.
One of the significant factors in the recent rehabilitation of medieval philosophy has been a renewed interest in virtue ethics, so-called, for which the credit must, in large part, go to Alasdair MacIntyre. However, some now working in the field of virtue ethics appear to be embarrassed by the metaphysical or theological context in which virtue ethics had its original expression, and attempts have been made to detach the ethics from the metaphysics and the theology. Two questions frame the structure (...) of AndrewDell’Olio’s book: first, the historical and exegetical question of how St. Thomas manages to link up the secular and the religious orders of virtue without fragmenting the unity of the moral self; the second, the thematic question of the significance of St. Thomas’s account of the virtues to contemporary discussion. The early chapters of the book attempt to show that a de-theologized presentation of St. Thomas’s ethics fails to do justice to the rich vision of the good he presents in the Summa Theologiae. Dell’Olio, convincingly in my opinion, shows that Thomas succeeds in reconciling both a natural and a supernatural orientation of the will to the good, and thus that his ethics is more than a mere representation of Aristotle’s. The central chapters discuss the issues of God and the human good, and the connection of the virtues. (shrink)
One motivation for the recent interest in virtue ethics in contemporary moral thought is the view that deontological or duty-based ethics requires the notion of God as absolute law giver. It has been claimed by Elizabeth Anscombe, for example, that there could be no coherent moral obligation, no moral ought, independent of divine command, and that, in the absence of belief in God, moral philosophy best pursue an ethic of character or virtue over an ethic of obligation or duty. The (...) underlying assumption here is that an ethics of virtue, unlike an ethics of duty, is best developed independently of a conception of God. In this paper I argue that this view is misleading and obscures the need of virtue ethics for the concept of God. In making my philosophical point, I look to the work of Charles Taylor and suggest that any contemporary ethics of virtue, in order to meet its own desired aim of retrieving a viable moral self, requires a “deep” conception of the good, and that the most viable source for this conception is the theistic notion of God. On this account, the ethics of virtue turns out to be no more independent of the concept of God than an ethics of duty or obligation. (shrink)
The twelfth-century Neo-Confucian philosopher, Zhu Xi, has often been compared to the thirteenth-century Christian philosopher, Thomas Aquinas. In this essay, I explore the similarities between these two thinkers, focusing on their respective accounts of the metaphysical foundations of moral self-cultivation. I suggestthat both philosophers play similar roles within their respective traditions and share similar aims. In general, both philosophers seek to appropriate ideas of rivalintellectual traditions in order to extend the moral vision of their home traditions, and both hope to (...) achieve their goals without denying the primary orientationsof those traditions. Zhu Xi and Aquinas are shown to employ similar strategies, and to make use of similar metaphysical principles, to unite the humanistic andspiritual dimensions of moral self-cultivation into one synthetic vision. I will conclude by offering some reflections on the following questions: (1) what can the Neo-Confucian and the Thomist ethical traditions learn from one another? And (2) what can those of us engaged in inter-cultural philosophical and religiousdialogue learn from the masters of these traditions? (shrink)
During the Late Roman Empire Terence was the most revered and the most quoted classical Latin poet after Virgil. Among authors both pagan and Christian, none made as frequent or as creative literary use of his comedies as Jerome, one of the most accomplished polymaths in all of Latin antiquity. In his estimation Terence ranked, alongside Homer, Menander and Virgil, as one of the greatest of all poets. Jerome had an encyclopedic knowledge of Terence's dramatic corpus and quoted (...) or appropriated phraseology from all six of his comedies. A significant number of these reminiscences have already been identified, but others await discovery. The purpose of the present study is to make a further contribution to this particular branch of HieronymianQuellenforschungby adducing and analysing two hitherto unrecognized allusions in Jerome's correspondence to Terence'sEunuchus, apparently one of the biggest blockbusters in the history of the Roman stage. (shrink)
This book's thirty essays explore philosophically the nature and morality of sexual perversion, cybersex, masturbation, homosexuality, contraception, same-sex marriage, promiscuity, pedophilia, date rape, sexual objectification, teacher-student relationships, pornography, and prostitution. Authors include Martha Nussbaum, Thomas Nagel, Alan Goldman, John Finnis, Sallie Tisdale, Robin West, Alan Wertheimer, John Corvino, Cheshire Calhoun, Jerome Neu, and Alan Soble, among others. A valuable resource for sex researchers as well as undergraduate courses in the philosophy of sex.
In face of the multiple controversies surrounding the DSM process in general and the development of DSM-5 in particular, we have organized a discussion around what we consider six essential questions in further work on the DSM. The six questions involve: 1) the nature of a mental disorder; 2) the definition of mental disorder; 3) the issue of whether, in the current state of psychiatric science, DSM-5 should assume a cautious, conservative posture or an assertive, transformative posture; 4) the role (...) of pragmatic considerations in the construction of DSM-5; 5) the issue of utility of the DSM – whether DSM-III and IV have been designed more for clinicians or researchers, and how this conflict should be dealt with in the new manual; and 6) the possibility and advisability, given all the problems with DSM-III and IV, of designing a different diagnostic system. Part 1 of this article took up the first two questions. Part 2 took up the second two questions. Part 3 now deals with Questions 5 & 6. Question 5 confronts the issue of utility, whether the manual design of DSM-III and IV favors clinicians or researchers, and what that means for DSM-5. Our final question, Question 6, takes up a concluding issue, whether the acknowledged problems with the earlier DSMs warrants a significant overhaul of DSM-5 and future manuals. As in Parts 1 & 2 of this article, the general introduction, as well as the introductions and conclusions for the specific questions, are written by James Phillips, and the responses to commentaries are written by Allen Frances. (shrink)
In face of the multiple controversies surrounding the DSM process in general and the development of DSM-5 in particular, we have organized a discussion around what we consider six essential questions in further work on the DSM. The six questions involve: 1) the nature of a mental disorder; 2) the definition of mental disorder; 3) the issue of whether, in the current state of psychiatric science, DSM-5 should assume a cautious, conservative posture or an assertive, transformative posture; 4) the role (...) of pragmatic considerations in the construction of DSM-5; 5) the issue of utility of the DSM - whether DSM-III and IV have been designed more for clinicians or researchers, and how this conflict should be dealt with in the new manual; and 6) the possibility and advisability, given all the problems with DSM-III and IV, of designing a different diagnostic system. Part I of this article will take up the first two questions. With the first question, invited commentators express a range of opinion regarding the nature of psychiatric disorders, loosely divided into a realist position that the diagnostic categories represent real diseases that we can accurately name and know with our perceptual abilities, a middle, nominalist position that psychiatric disorders do exist in the real world but that our diagnostic categories are constructs that may or may not accurately represent the disorders out there, and finally a purely constructivist position that the diagnostic categories are simply constructs with no evidence of psychiatric disorders in the real world. The second question again offers a range of opinion as to how we should define a mental or psychiatric disorder, including the possibility that we should not try to formulate a definition. The general introduction, as well as the introductions and conclusions for the specific questions, are written by James Phillips, and the responses to commentaries are written by Allen Frances. (shrink)
In face of the multiple controversies surrounding the DSM process in general and the development of DSM-5 in particular, we have organized a discussion around what we consider six essential questions in further work on the DSM. The six questions involve: 1) the nature of a mental disorder; 2) the definition of mental disorder; 3) the issue of whether, in the current state of psychiatric science, DSM-5 should assume a cautious, conservative posture or an assertive, transformative posture; 4) the role (...) of pragmatic considerations in the construction of DSM-5; 5) the issue of utility of the DSM - whether DSM-III and IV have been designed more for clinicians or researchers, and how this conflict should be dealt with in the new manual; and 6) the possibility and advisability, given all the problems with DSM-III and IV, of designing a different diagnostic system. Part I of this article took up the first two questions. Part II will take up the second two questions. Question 3 deals with the question as to whether DSM-V should assume a conservative or assertive posture in making changes from DSM-IV. That question in turn breaks down into discussion of diagnoses that depend on, and aim toward, empirical, scientific validation, and diagnoses that are more value-laden and less amenable to scientific validation. Question 4 takes up the role of pragmatic consideration in a psychiatric nosology, whether the purely empirical considerations need to be tempered by considerations of practical consequence. As in Part 1 of this article, the general introduction, as well as the introductions and conclusions for the specific questions, are written by James Phillips, and the responses to commentaries are written by Allen Frances. (shrink)
Over the last few decades there has been a strong narrative turn within the humanities and social sciences in general and educational studies in particular. Especially Jerome Bruner’s theory of narrative as a specific ‘mode of knowing’ was very important for this growing body of work. To understand how the narrative mode works Bruner proposes to study narratives ‘at their far reach’—as an art form—and on several occasions he refers to the dramatistic pentad as an important method for ‘unpacking’ (...) narratives. The pentad proposed by Bruner to study narratives was developed by the American philosopher and rhetorician Kenneth Burke and is embedded in his general linguistic theory of dramatism. From an educational perspective Bruner’s reference to the work of Burke has not been elaborated upon thus far. In this paper we aim to take Bruner’s suggestion at hand and explore how his educational theory of narrative as a mode of knowing can indeed be enriched by Kenneth Burke’s theory and method of dramatism. We claim that specifically the rhetorical framework that is developed by dramatism offers an important perspective about perspectives for education in a context that is increasingly confronted with a plurality of interpretive frameworks. (shrink)
Religious naturalism is distinct from supernatural religion largely because of metaphysical minimalism. Certain varieties of religious naturalism are more minimalist than others, however, and some even eschew metaphysics altogether. But is anything lost in that process? To determine metaphysics’ degree of relevance to religious function, I compare the soteriology of the “ontologically reticent” Minimalist Vision of Jerome Stone to that of the ontologically rich Religion of Nature of Donald Crosby. I demonstrate that for these varieties of religious naturalism: (1) (...) metaphysics influences soteriology; (2) metaphysical minimalism limits soteriological potential; and (3) metaphysics enhances soteriological potential. These conclusions lead me to assert the relevance of metaphysics to religious function, specifically for these varieties of religious naturalism, as well as to urge investigation into religious experience and quality as they may relate to metaphysics. (shrink)
In the conclusion to this multi-part article I first review the discussions carried out around the six essential questions in psychiatric diagnosis – the position taken by Allen Frances on each question, the commentaries on the respective question along with Frances’ responses to the commentaries, and my own view of the multiple discussions. In this review I emphasize that the core question is the first – what is the nature of psychiatric illness – and that in some manner all further (...) questions follow from the first. Following this review I attempt to move the discussion forward, addressing the first question from the perspectives of natural kind analysis and complexity analysis. This reflection leads toward a view of psychiatric disorders – and future nosologies – as far more complex and uncertain than we have imagined. (shrink)
Andrew Tooke's 1691 English translation of Samuel Pufendorf's De officio hominis et civis, published as The Whole Duty of Man According to the Law of Nature, brought Pufendorf's manual fo statist natural law into English politics at a moment of temporary equilibrium in the unfinished contest between Crown and Parliament for the rights and powers of sovereignty. Drawing on the authors' re-edition of The Whole Duty of Man, this article describes and analyses a telling instance of how--by translation--the core (...) political terms and concepts of the German natural jurist's 'absolutist' formulary were reshaped for reception in the different political culture of late seventeenth-century England. (shrink)
Análise da commedia dell’arte a partir de uma perspectiva histórico-crítica, enfatizando-se as várias maneiras de sua apropriação no século XX.Partindo de elementos da commedia dell’arte, serão ressaltados os temas da migração do teatro de praça para o teatro fechado e a ampliação do modelo da commedia dell’arte para outras formas artísticas do século XX, como o cinema mudo, o circo e o carnaval.
Il segreto della commedia dell’arte è stato nel paradosso di Maschera e Improvvisazione, Tipo Fisso e Testo Variabile, Conservazione e Innovazione. Per questo è stato nei secoli esaltata o denigrata: considerata reazionaria dalla Rivoluzione francese e esaltata come rivoluzionaria dai Romantici. Nel Novecento, Copeau, Mejerchol’d, Mnouchkine e Fo hanno dovuto fare i conti con questa ambivalenza. Dunque ciò che oggi si chiama commedia dell’arte è “reazionario” o “rivoluzionario”? “Popolare”o “populista”?
A partire dagli anni '60, György Lukács intraprende una ricerca volta a recuperare e sviluppare l'ontologia sociale racchiusa negli scritti di Marx nel tentativo di rinnovare la riflessione marxista dopo l'effetto inibitorio provocato dallo Stalinismo. Lo scopo di questo articolo è di indagare la concezione lukácsiana dell'ideologia come funzione sociale, mettendola in relazione con il regime di complessità descritto da Lukács nella sua ultima opera, Ontologia dell'essere sociale. Recuperando il riferimento goethiano implicito nell'idea di lavoro come “fenomeno originario” dell'azione sociale, (...) tenteremo di riconcettualizzare la teoria del rispecchiamento adottata nell'Ontologia al fine di mostrare il ruolo che viene ad assumere l'ideologia all'interno di una società volta alla produzione del futuro. (shrink)
In “Performance Philosophy — Staging a New Field,” Laura Cull approaches performance as a source of philosophical insight and philosophy as a species of performance. This calls for a radical transformation of philosophy and its practices. What form might this take? Wittgenstein’s later philosophy provides one example. The language games presented in the opening remarks of the Philosophical Investigations are meant to be played out. They involve improvisation based on general scenes, stock characters, and linguistic play. When enacted, they are (...) slapstick. As such, they offer a method of philosophical investigation in which clarity and insight are inherent in the performance itself. Wittgenstein’s language games were directly influenced by the subversive practices of Austrian commedia dell’arte and slapstick. By their very nature, they challenge the pretensions of philosophical explanation and theory. Unlike attempts to compare Wittgenstein’s philosophy to theatre, enacting language games is a form of philosophical performance. Andrew Lugg notes that recent attempts to compare Wittgenstein’s philosophy to theatre problematize the opening remarks of the Investigations. However, enacting language games as a form of philosophical performance makes what is hidden, in all of its simplicity and familiarity, obvious, striking, and engaging. (shrink)
This important collection of essays by Andrew Feenberg presents his critical theory of technology, an innovative approach to philosophy and sociology of technology based on a synthesis of ideas drawn from STS and Frankfurt School Critical Theory. The volume includes chapters on citizenship, modernity, and Heidegger and Marcuse.
Andrew Collier is the boldest defender of objectivity - in science, knowledge, thought, action, politics, morality and religion. In this tribute and acknowledgement of the influence his work has had on a wide readership, his colleagues show that they have been stimulated by his thinking and offer challenging responses. This wide-ranging book covers key areas with which defenders of objectivity often have to engage. Sections are devoted to the following: 'objectivity of value', 'objectivity and everyday knowledge', 'objectivity in political (...) economy', 'objectivity and reflexivity', 'objectivity, postmodernism and feminism', 'objectivity and nature'. The diverse contributions range from social and political thought to philosophy, reflecting the central themes of Collier's work. (shrink)
Process and Reality’s value is not limited in general ecologically and legally considerations. After almost a century, Alfred Whitehead’s work suggests a change in perspective with definitely practical implications. The purpose of this contribution consists in highlighting, through Whitehead’s Philosophy of Organism, the oxymoronic nature of contemorary environmental law. A possible solution to the problems in the protection of ecosystems is proposed too.
We invited five Cavell scholars to write on this topic. What follows is a vibrant exchange among Paola Marrati, Andrew Norris, Jörg Volbers, Cary Wolfe and Thomas Dumm addressing the question whether, in the contemporary political context, Cavell’s skepticism and his Emersonian perfectionism amount to a politics at all.