This little volume, using a combined approach of phenomenology, history, philosophy, and theology probes deeply into questions of belief and commitment. The book is valuable for scholars who possess the background and sensitivity to appreciate the three essays which constitute it. The first of these, "The Structure of Jewish Experience," takes up the epistemological problem of belief in a God who is present in history and who can consequently be the object of worship by modern man just as he was (...) thousands of years ago. The second essay, "The Challenge of Modern Secularity," deals with current theological issues, including the Subjectivist Reductionism, the "Death" of God, and faith as "immediacy after reflection." The third and most impassioned essay, "The Commanding Voice of Auschwitz," deals with themes which have been the preoccupation of Elie Wiesel, to whom the book is dedicated. There have not been many Jewish writers since the holocaust, who have been willing to write about their faith. Fackenheim speculates that it must be difficult to justify such faith to oneself in light of the fate of the Jews in recent history. In this book, and particularly in the last essay, the author attempts to justify such faith, and he does it intelligently and eloquently.--S. J. B. (shrink)
This is a detailed commentary on Hume's first Inquiry. Flew argues, rightly, that it should not be treated simply as a weakened abridgement of part of the Treatise. He gives a great deal of the historical context in an interesting and helpful way, but he is primarily concerned to lay out and to assess Hume's arguments. Inevitably much of the book covers quite familiar ground, but in discussing Hume's arguments on miracles and on religion generally, Flew has a number of (...) new and suggestive points to make. The book as a whole will be useful for the student beginning the study of Hume, and Flew's criticisms, as well as his frequent review of other criticisms, should prove helpful to the advanced student. --J. B. S. (shrink)
Wood informs the reader that Buber rejected "isms," hard and fast rules and principles, and systems, but he goes on to systematize Buber's thought nonetheless. The result is often enlightening. I and Thou, which Wood considers the central work of the philosopher's thought, is finely broken down and analyzed in its component parts. In this manner it is less formidable to the uninitiated, and the reader who is puzzled by a particular passage can find in Wood's book an authoritative, well-researched (...) explanation. There are also excellent biographical data woven in with glimpses of Buber's voluminous works and the influences on them, and a complete bibliography that is as definitive as any published to date. But Buber's thought does not lend itself to systematization. One cannot substitute Ontology for Metaphysics and then proceed to dissect a philosophy which declares itself to be beyond metaphysics, and which points to the existential meeting of a person here and now with another person and/or with God. Wood provides a diagram showing the structure of I and Thou which may be useful for locating selections in the book as they relate to a certain code, but at the same time it illustrates what Buber describes as objectification, an I-it relationship with a person or his work, which is far from the I-Thou relationship.--S. J. B. (shrink)
This work contains three essays which were delivered at a Symposium in 1966 at the Free University in Brussels, convened to pay homage to Martin Buber. The first essay, by Gabriel Marcel, attempts to edify the reader on Buber's philosophical anthropology, his philosophy of dialogue, political philosophy, and his philosophy of religion. There are frequent comparisons between Marcel's point of view and Buber's. The essay is particularly strong where Marcel analyzes Buber's notion of the "we." His perceptive examination of this (...) subject points up the affinity between his own and the Jewish philosopher's thought. The essay by Emmanuel Levinas, "La Pensée de Martin Buber et le Judaïsme Contemporain," sketches current Jewish thought and finds that it was Buber who gave it direction. Levinas provides also an account of the enormous work which Buber did in establishing Hassidism as an important stage in Hebraic thought. The last essay, by André Lacocque, deals with Protestant theology and the possible application of Buber's ideas to it. There is an extended comparison between the views of Kierkegaard and those of Buber on man's relationship with God and the author concludes that Buber's point of view is more compatible with modern Christianity than was Kierkegaard's.--S. J. B. (shrink)
Adopting a noncognitivist metaethics, Smart presents hedonistic-act utilitarianism as a position which appeals to benevolent and sympathetic men. He renounces any attempt to prove the position, but he does try to show that it is not open to the usual objections. There are some interesting comments on the concept of happiness and a brief attempt to show a way in which game theory can be used in a utilitarian position.--J. B. S.
Fourteen essays are here collected from a number of periodicals. Six deal with the relations between language and the world, two with rules, one with possibility, two with causation, one with time, and two with the "problem of induction." In an appendix, Prof. Black notes various objections that have been made to his views. Though some of the essays are rather slight, a number of valuable points are made, and the volume on the whole is quite useful. --J. B. S.
The first of these massive volumes, edited by Aiken, covers American and English philosophy. Royce, Peirce, James, Santayana, and Dewey are given in varying length; there is a chapter from Bradley; and Moore, Russell, Wittgenstein, Wisdom, Austin, and Whitehead are amply and interestingly represented. Aiken's general introduction is well worth reading, and his special introductions should be helpful to the student. In the second volume Barrett presents a much wider variety of opinion: Positivism, Phenomenology, Existentialism, Marxism, Philosophy of History, and (...) Neo-Orthodoxy. The volumes are well printed.--J. B. S. (shrink)
Passmore examines a number of kinds of argument frequently used by philosophers, in an attempt to find out whether there is any kind of reasoning which is especially appropriate for philosophy. He discusses the ways in which philosophers have used deduction, induction, reminders about obvious facts, infinite regress arguments, paradigm case arguments, claims that certain views are self-refuting, and accusations of meaninglessness. Numerous illustrations of these moves in argument, drawn from philosophers from Plato to Popper, help to make this an (...) interesting essay in the philosophy of philosophy.--J. B. S. (shrink)
After a chapter on the theory of the concrete universal, Milne discusses the moral and political views of Bradley, Bosanquet, Green, and Royce. Milne's view is that the social philosophy of Idealism is permanently valuable, the metaphysics not. The work of Bradley and Bosanquet, he argues, is weakened by unnoticed ambiguities in their conception of the concrete universal; Green's work, though more consistent, involves a fundamental error in the theory of knowledge; and there is doubt as to the consistency of (...) Royce's metaphysics with his ethics. We can develop a humanistic Idealism which will be free of the metaphysics of the Absolute and the conservative tendencies of that view, Milne says, and his expositions and criticisms of earlier views are part of his effort to do this. The theory of a scale of standards of rationality in activity, on which Milne rests his reconstruction, needs to be more clearly developed, but it is useful to have so sympathetic a discussion of this general point of view.--J. B. S. (shrink)
This is a reproduction of a book published before 1923. This book may have occasional imperfections such as missing or blurred pages, poor pictures, errant marks, etc. that were either part of the original artifact, or were introduced by the scanning process. We believe this work is culturally important, and despite the imperfections, have elected to bring it back into print as part of our continuing commitment to the preservation of printed works worldwide. We appreciate your understanding of the imperfections (...) in the preservation process, and hope you enjoy this valuable book. (shrink)
Starting from the early decades of the twentieth century, evolutionary biology began to acquire mathematical overtones. This took place via the development of a set of models in which the Darwinian picture of evolution was shown to be consistent with the laws of heredity discovered by Mendel. The models, which came to be elaborated over the years, define a field of study known as population genetics. Population genetics is generally looked upon as an essential component of modern evolutionary theory. This (...) article deals with a famous dispute between J. B. S. Haldane, one of the founders of population genetics, and Ernst Mayr, a major contributor to the way we understand evolution. The philosophical undercurrents of the dispute remain relevant today. Mayr and Haldane agreed that genetics provided a broad explanatory framework for explaining how evolution took place but differed over the relevance of the mathematical models that sought to underpin that framework. The dispute began with a fundamental issue raised by Mayr in 1959: in terms of understanding evolution, did population genetics contribute anything beyond the obvious? Haldane's response came just before his death in 1964. It contained a spirited defense, not just of population genetics, but also of the motivations that lie behind mathematical modelling in biology. While the difference of opinion persisted and was not glossed over, the two continued to maintain cordial personal relations. (shrink)
An important contribution both to the philosophical literature concerned with the problem of free choice and to the growing field of investigation dealing with self-referential argumentation. The authors have attempted to weave these two areas of interest together, in the hope of advancing philosophical knowledge in both. The book’s approach to the problem of free choice by means of self-referential argumentation will constitute a milestone for future efforts which have this double, or either special, focus.
Viewed in the light of the remarkable performance of ‘Watson’ - IBMs proprietary artificial intelligence computer system capable of answering questions posed in natural language - on the US general knowledge quiz show ‘Jeopardy’, we review two experiments on formal systems - one in the domain of quantum physics, the other involving a pictographic languaging game - whereby behaviour seemingly characteristic of domain understanding is generated by the mere mechanical application of simple rules. By re-examining both experiments in the context (...) of Searle’s Chinese Room Argument, we suggest their results merely endorse Searle’s core intuition: that ‘syntactical manipulation of symbols is not sufficient for semantics’. Although, pace Watson, some artificial intelligence practitioners have suggested that more complex, higher-level operations on formal symbols are required to instantiate understanding in computational systems, we show that even high-level calls to Google translate would not enable a computer qua ‘formal symbol processor’ to understand the language it processes. We thus conclude that even the most recent developments in ‘quantum linguistics’ will not enable computational systems to genuinely understand natural language. (shrink)
This paper seeks to reinterpret the life and work of J. B. S. Haldane by focusing on an illuminating but largely ignored essay he published in 1927, "The Last Judgment" -- the sequel to his better known work, "Daedalus" (1924). This astonishing essay expresses a vision of the human future over the next 40,000,000 years, one that revises and updates Wellsian futurism with the long range implications of the "new biology" for human destiny. That vision served as a kind of (...) lifelong credo, one that infused and informed his diverse scientific work, political activities, and popular writing, and that gave unity and coherence to his remarkable career. (shrink)
Academic resilience is evident in students who are living in vulnerable environments, yet achieve success in academic outcomes. As a result, substantial attention has been devoted to identifying the factors associated with academic resilience and supporting students to be resilient. This study used the Classification and Regression Tree and Multilevel Logistic Regression modeling to identify the potential factors related to students’ academic resilience. Using these tools, the study analyzed the B-S-J-G sample in PISA 2015. The variables that significantly predicted whether (...) a student is disadvantaged and resilient or not resilient were shown to be: Proportion of teachers in school with master’s degrees, Proportion of teachers in school with bachelor’s degrees, Environmental awareness, Science learning time per week, Number of learning domains with additional instruction, and Students’ expected occupational status. These findings may enlighten governments, teachers, and parents on ways to assist students to be resilient. (shrink)
This article by Johannes B. Lotz, S.J., never before translated into English, describes his contacts with Martin Heidegger. First it describes his arrival, along with Karl Rahner, S.J., to pursue doctoral studies in Freiburg im Breisgau and their first experiences with the famous professor. Lotz continues his narrative by mentioning times he met with Heidegger over the subsequent forty years up to the philosopher’s death. With Gustav Siewerth, Max Müller, Bernhard Welte, and Karl Rahner, Lotz belonged to a group of (...) Catholic thinkers influenced—some more, some less—by Martin Heidegger. In Lotz’s view some of Heidegger’s ideas were already found in Aquinas, and a philosophy of Being needed to go beyond existential analysis into religion, revelation, and cultural criticism. (shrink)
This book assesses how Vatican II opened up the Catholic Church to encounter, dialogue, and engagement with other world religions. Opening with a contribution from the President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, it next explores the impact, relevance, and promise of the Declaration Nostra Aetate before turning to consider how Vatican II in general has influenced interfaith dialogue and the intellectual and comparative study of world religions in the postconciliar decades, as well as the contribution (...) of particular past and present thinkers to the formation of current interreligious and comparative theological methods. Additionally, chapters consider interreligious dialogue vis-à-vis theological anthropology in conciliar documents; openness to the spiritual practices of other faith traditions as a way of encouraging positive interreligious encounter; the role of lay and new ecclesial movements in interreligious dialogue; and the development of Monastic Interreligious Dialogue. Finally, it includes a range of perspectives on the fruits and future of Vatican’s II’s opening to particular faiths such as Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism. (shrink)
Early in this century, only a few biologists accepted that natural selection was the chief cause of evolution, until the independent calculations of John Burdon Sanderson Haldane (1892–1964), Sewall Wright and R. A. Fisher demonstrated that ideal populations subject to Mendel's laws could behave as Darwin had said they would. Evolutionary theorist John Maynard Smith, a student of Haldane's, has raised the question of why Haldane, who was no naturalist, took up the subject of evolution, and he suggests that the (...) answer may have to do with Haldane's lively interest in religion. In fact Maynard Smith's answer has much more evidence in its favour than he knew. (shrink)
This book, first published in 1938, is based on the Muirhead Lectures given at Birmingham University in February and March of 1937. The first half of this book is mainly devoted to an exposition of the principles of genetics, whilst the second half deals with more controversial topics, with the text providing an insight into the ideology of the time. This title will be of interest to students of politics and history.