Geoengineering as a technological intervention to avert the dangerous climate change has been on the table at least since 2006. The global outreach of the technology exercised in a non-encapsulated system, the concerns with unprecedented levels and scales of impact and the overarching interdisciplinarity of the project make the geoengineering debate ethically quite relevant and complex. This paper explores the ethical desirability of geoengineering from an overall review of the existing literature on the ethics of geoengineering. It identifies the relevant (...) literature on the ethics of geoengineering by employing a standard methodology. Based on various framing of the major ethical arguments and their subsets, the results section presents the opportunities and challenges at stake in geoengineering from an ethical point of view. The discussion section takes a keen interest in identifying the evolving dynamics of the debate, the grey areas of the debate, with underdeveloped arguments being brought to the foreground and in highlighting the arguments that are likely to emerge in the future as key contenders. It observes the semantic diversity and ethical ambiguity, the academic lop-sidedness of the debate, missing contextual setting, need for interdisciplinary approaches, public engagement, and region-specific assessment of ethical issues. Recommendations are made to provide a useful platform for the second generation of geoengineering ethicists to help advance the debate to more decisive domains with the required clarity and caution. (shrink)
The best available introduction to the political thought of Augustine, if not to Christian political thought in general. Included are generous selections from _City of God_, as well as from many lesser-known writings of Augustine.
_A fresh, new translation of Augustine’s inaugural work as a Christian convert_ The first four works written by St. Augustine of Hippo after his conversion to Christianity have influenced prominent thinkers from Boethius to Bernard Lonergan. Usually called the Cassiciacum dialogues, these four works are a “literary triumph,” combining Ciceronian and neo-Platonic philosophy, Roman comedy and Vergilian poetry, and early Christian theology. They are also, arguably, Augustine’s most charming works, exhibiting his whimsical levity and ironic wryness. In (...) this first dialogue, Augustine and his interlocutors have retreated to a quiet country villa north of Milan to explore the history and teachings of Academic Skepticism. Augustine is both sympathetic to and critical of the Skeptics, eventually hypothesizing that they could not possibly have believed everything they taught. The dialogue serves as a fitting launch point for a knowledge of God and the soul, the overall subject of the Cassiciacum tetralogy. Michael Foley’s clear, precise and playful translations are accompanied by his brief, illuminating commentaries. (shrink)
_A fresh, new translation of Augustine’s third work as a Christian convert__ "The 'Cassiciacum dialogues'... are of a high literary and intellectual quality, combining Ciceronian and neo-Platonic philosophy, Roman comedy and Vergilian poetry, and early Christian theology. They are also, arguably, Augustine’s most charming works, exhibiting his whimsical levity and ironic wryness."—_Credo__ The first four works written by St. Augustine of Hippo after his conversion to Christianity are dialogues that have influenced prominent thinkers from Boethius to Bernard (...) Lonergan. Usually called the “Cassiciacum dialogues,” these four works are of a high literary and intellectual quality, combining Ciceronian and neo-Platonic philosophy, Roman comedy and Vergilian poetry, and early Christian theology. They are also, arguably, Augustine’s most charming works, exhibiting his whimsical levity and ironic wryness. _On Order_ is the third work in this tetralogy, and it is Augustine’s only work explicitly devoted to theodicy, the reconciliation of Almighty God’s goodness with evil’s existence. In this dialogue, Augustine argues that a certain kind of self-knowledge is the key to unlocking the answers to theodicy’s vexing questions, and he devotes the latter half of the dialogue to an excursus on the liberal arts as disciplines that will help strengthen the mind to know itself and God. (shrink)
_A fresh, new translation of Augustine’s fourth work as a Christian convert_ The first four works written by St. Augustine of Hippo after his conversion to Christianity are dialogues that have influenced prominent thinkers from Boethius to Bernard Lonergan. Usually called the Cassiciacum dialogues, these four works are of a high literary and intellectual quality, combining Ciceronian and neo-Platonic philosophy, Roman comedy and Vergilian poetry, and early Christian theology. They are also, arguably, Augustine’s most charming works, exhibiting (...) his whimsical levity and ironic wryness. _Soliloquies_ is the fourth work in this tetralogy. Augustine coined the term “soliloquy” to describe this new form of dialogue. _Soliloquies__,_ a conversation between Augustine and his reason, fuses the dialogue genre and Roman theater, opening with a search for intellectual and moral self-knowledge before converging on the nature of truth and the question of the soul’s immortality. Foley’s volume also includes _On the Immortality of the Soul__,_ which consists of notes for the unfinished portion of the work. (shrink)
Like the first Hackett edition of the Augustine's _Confessions_, the second edition features F. J. Sheed's remarkable translation of this classic spiritual autobiography with an Introduction by noted historian of late antiquity Peter Brown. New to this edition are a wealth of notes on literary, philosophical, biblical, historical, and liturgical topics by Michael P. Foley, an Editor's Preface, a map, a timeline, paragraph numbers in the text, a glossary, and a thorough index. The text itself has been completely reset, (...) with textual and explanatory notes placed at the foot of the page for easy reference. (shrink)
_A fresh, new translation of Augustine’s inaugural work as a Christian convert_ The first four works written by St. Augustine of Hippo after his conversion to Christianity are dialogues that have influenced prominent thinkers from Boethius to Bernard Lonergan. Usually called the Cassiciacum dialogues, these four works are a “literary triumph,” combining Ciceronian and neo-Platonic philosophy, Roman comedy and Vergilian poetry, and early Christian theology. They are also, arguably, Augustine’s most charming works, exhibiting his whimsical levity and (...) ironic wryness. In this second, brief dialogue, Augustine and his mother, brother, son, and friends celebrate his thirty-second birthday by having a “feast of words” on the nature of happiness that includes a bittersweet metaphorical birthday cake. Using a process of reasoning that is philosophical as well as theological, Augustine and the group conclude that the truly happy life consists of “having God” through faith, hope, and charity. Michael Foley’s clear, precise and playful translations are accompanied by his brief, illuminating commentaries. (shrink)
This paper examines Augustine’s views on language, learning, and testimony in De Magistro. It is often held that, in De Magistro, Augustine is especially concerned with explanatory understanding (a complex cognitive state characterized by its synoptic nature and awareness of explanatory relations) and that he thinks testimony is deficient in imparting explanatory understanding. I argue against this view and give a clear analysis of the different kinds of cognitive state Augustine is concerned with and a careful examination (...) of his arguments concerning the deficiencies of testimony in producing these cognitive states. (shrink)
Philosophical work on testimony has flourished in recent years. Testimony roughly involves a source affirming or stating something in an attempt to transfer information to one or more persons. It is often said that the topic of testimony has been neglected throughout most of the history of philosophy, aside from contributions by David Hume (1711–1776) and Thomas Reid (1710–1796).1 True as this may be, Hume and Reid aren’t the only ones who deserve a tip of the hat for recognizing the (...) importance of testimony: St. Augustine of Hippo (354–430) affirms the place of testimony in human cognition, at least in his later writings. (shrink)
This is a sequel to Augustine Shutte's previous book Philosophy for Africa. In that book he engages with some concepts central to traditional African thinking about human nature and society. In this book he offers a new interpretation of the chief ethical idea in African thought, Ubuntu. He argues that it complements the central European ethical notion of individual freedom, and shows how the two ideas can be combined to form an ethic based on a richer understanding of our (...) humanity. He then applies this ethic to different spheres of life: gender relations, sex and family life, education, health care, work, politics and religion. In each sphere he tries to show how an ethic of Ubuntu can provide concrete guidance for our continuing struggle to make a multi-cultural South Africa a truly humane society. (shrink)
It is widely thought that Augustine thinks perception is, in some distinctive sense, an active process and that he takes conscious awareness to be constitutive of perception. I argue that conscious awareness is not straightforwardly constitutive of perception and that Augustine is best understood as an indirect realist. I then clarify Augustine’s views concerning the nature and role of diachronically unified conscious awareness and mental representation in perception, the nature of the soul’s intentio, and the precise sense (...) in which perception is an active process. (shrink)
In his Contra Academicos, Augustine offers one of the most detailed responses to scepticism to have come down to us from antiquity. In this paper, I examine Augustine’s defence of the existence of infallible knowledge in Contra Academicos 3. I challenge a number of established views (including those of Myles Burnyeat, Gareth Matthews, and Christopher Kirwan) concerning the nature and merit of Augustine’s defence of knowledge and propose a new understanding of Augustine’s response to scepticism (including (...) his semantic response to external world scepticism) and several important elements of Augustine’s thought concerning signification, cognition, and object-directed thought. I argue that once we properly understand Augustine’s views about these issues, his arguments in defence of knowledge are more interesting and more successful than usually thought. (shrink)
Phillip Cary argues that Augustine invented or created the concept of self as an inner space--as space into which one can enter and in which one can find God. This concept of inwardness, says Cary, has worked its way deeply into the intellectual heritage of the West and many Western individuals have experienced themselves as inner selves. After surveying the idea of inwardness in Augustine's predecessors, Cary offers a re-examination of Augustine's own writings, making the controversial point (...) that in his early writings Augustine appears to hold that the human soul is quite literally divine. Cary goes on to contend that the crucial Book 7 of the Confessions is not a historical report of Augustine's "conversion" experience, but rather an explanation of his intellectual development over time. (shrink)
This major work constitutes a significant attempt to provide a detailed and accurate account of the character and effects of Augustine's thought as a whole. It describes the transformation of Greco-Roman philosophy into the version that was to become the most influential in the history of Western thought. Augustine weighed some of the major themes of classical philosophy and ancient culture against the truth he found in the Bible and Catholic tradition, and reformulated these in Christian dress.
While Michael Walzer's distinction between preemptive and preventive wars offers important categories for current reflection upon the Bush Doctrine and the invasion of Iraq, it is often treated as a modern distinction without antecedent in the classical Christian just war tradition. This paper argues to the contrary that within Augustine's corpus there are passages in which he speaks about the use of violence in situations that we would classify today as preemptive and preventive military action. While I do not (...) claim that Augustine makes an explicit distinction between the two types of war (such would be anachronistic), I will argue that based on examinations of "De libero arbitrio" I.v.11-12 and "De civitate Dei" I.30 Augustine's discussions of hypothetical cases or actual wars in history provide insights helpful for contemporary reflection on preemptive and preventive wars. (shrink)
What does it mean for Christ to be the "image of God"? And, if Christ is the "image of God," can the human person also unequivocally be understood to be the "image of God"? Augustine's Early Theology of Image examines Augustine's conception of the imago dei and makes the case that it represents a significant departure from the Latin pro-Nicene theologies of Hilary of Poitiers, Marius Victorinus, and Ambrose of Milan only a generation earlier. Augustine's predecessors understood (...) the imago dei principally as a Christological term designating the unity of divine substance. But, Gerald P. Boersma argues, Augustine affirms that Christ is an image of equal likeness, while the human person is an image of unequal likeness. Boersma's careful study thus argues that a Platonic and participatory evaluation of the nature of "image" enables Augustine's early theology of the image of God to move beyond that of his Latin predecessors and affirm the imago dei both of Christ and of the human person. (shrink)
I argue for an account of vagueness according to which the root of vagueness lies not in the type of semantic-value that is best associated with an expression, but in the type of linguistic practice that renders the expression meaningful. I suggest, in particular, that conventions about how to use sentences involving attributions of vague predicates to borderline cases prevail to a lesser degree than conventions about how to use sentences involving attributions of vague predicates to clear cases.
A biography of Augustine's thought life, as interpreted by the acclaimed church historian, the late Professor Henry Chadwick. Augustine's intellectual development is recounted with clarity and warmth, providing a characteristically rigorous yet sympathetic narrative of this central figure in the history of Christian thought.
There is little doubt that a second-order axiomatization of Zermelo-Fraenkel set theory plus the axiom of choice (ZFC) is desirable. One advantage of such an axiomatization is that it permits us to express the principles underlying the first-order schemata of separation and replacement. Another is its almost-categoricity: M is a model of second-order ZFC if and only if it is isomorphic to a model of the form Vκ, ∈ ∩ (Vκ × Vκ) , for κ a strongly inaccessible ordinal.
Introduction, by R. A. Markus.--St. Augustine and Christian Platonism, by A. H. Armstrong.--Action and contemplation, by F. R. J. O'Connell.--St. Augustine on signs, by R. A. Markus.--The theory of signs in St. Augustine's De doctrina Christiana, by B. D. Jackson.--Si fallor, sum, by G. B. Matthews.--Augustine on speaking from memory, by G. B. Matthews.--The inner man, by G. B. Matthews.--On Augustine's concept of a person, by A. C. Lloyd.--Augustine on foreknowledge and free will, by (...) W. L. Rowe.--Augustine on free will and predestination, by J. M. Rist.--Time and contingency in St. Augustine, by R. Jordan.--Empiricism and Augustine's problems about time, by H. M. Lacey.--Political society, by P. R. L. Brown.--The development of Augustine's ideas on society before the Donatist controversy, by F. E. Cranz.--De Civitate Dei, XV, 2, and Augustine's idea of the Christian society, by F. E. Cranz.--Chronological table.--Note on further reading (p. -423). (shrink)
I argue that Neo-Fregean accounts of arithmetical language and arithmetical knowledge tacitly rely on a thesis I call [Success by Default]—the thesis that, in the absence of reasons to the contrary, we are justified in thinking that certain stipulations are successful. Since Neo-Fregeans have yet to supply an adequate defense of [Success by Default], I conclude that there is an important gap in Neo-Fregean accounts of arithmetical language and knowledge. I end the paper by offering a naturalistic remedy.
Against the Manichees, Augustine argued that sin must involve a free exercise of will. Otherwise it will not count as the agent's own act for which the agent is morally responsible. In the 390's, however, Augustine became convinced that only the first humans sinned by free exercise of will. This view faced him with the question: how is it that unambiguously good agents come to will the evil? Augustine found no satisfactory solution, and the first evil will (...) appears, on his reckoning, to be either a random outcome or due to a withholding of grace. Despite his best efforts, his account of moral agency in evil remains flawed. (shrink)