In Kafka's work, Benjamin detects a gesture of shame, which he characterizes as historico-philosophic (geschichtsphilosophisch). He considers Kafka's gesture of shame to be philosophic in its opposition to myth, which is closure concerning history. In its elaboration of Kafka's gesture, moreover, Benjamin's analysis itself becomes a gesture of shame and thus somehow ?literary.? This does not detract from the notion that the gesture?in Kafka's work and in Benjamin's criticism?remains philosophic. Kafka's literary work is philosophic in shaming mythic interpretations of it; (...) Benjamin's philosophic criticism continues this gesture by advancing shame about mythic tendencies either in the work or in its reception. Without pathos, Kafka presents astonished shame at mythic human order and is attentive to exceptions to, deviations from, such order. Benjamin's criticism continues the latter attentiveness, but the attentiveness, the philosophic element in Kafka's literature, is also betrayed by Benjamin in some respects. (shrink)
Philosophy and Kafka is a collection of original essays interrogating the relationship of literature and philosophy. The essays either discuss specific philosophical commentaries on Kafka’s work, consider the possible relevance of certain philosophical outlooks for examining Kafka’s writings, or examine Kafka’s writings in terms of a specific philosophical theme, such as communication and subjectivity, language and meaning, knowledge and truth, the human/animal divide, justice, and freedom.
In 1916, Walter Benjamin reportedly said to Gerhard Scholem that any "philosophy of my own … will somehow be a philosophy of Judaism."1 Scholem never accuses Benjamin of abandoning this desideratum. Benjamin's writings on Franz Kafka take on permutations, however, that very much bother Scholem.2 Benjamin's writings on Kafka undergo significant changes, but Scholem's disagreement constantly accompanies them.The German word "Missetäter," like its English counterpart "miscreant," historically refers to someone who has deviated from the true religious way.3 If there is (...) a miscreant justice of literature for Benjamin's writings on Kafka, it is an attentiveness to—a studying of—what is otherwise denigrated... (shrink)
Introducing Applied Ethics Edited by Brenda Almond, Blackwell, 1995. Pp. 375. ISBN 0-631-19389-8. 45.00 (hbk), 14.99 (pbk). Environmental Ethics Edited by Robert Elliot, Oxford University Press, 1995. Pp. 255. ISBN 9-19-875144-3. 9.95 (pbk) Medicine and Moral Reasoning Edited by K.W.M. Fulford, Grant Gillett and Janet Martin Soskice Cambridge University Press, 1994. Pp. 207. ISBN 0-521-45325-9 37.50 (hbk), 12.95 (pbk). Enlightenment and Religion. Rational Dissent in Eighteenth-century Britain Edited by Knud Haakonssen, Cambridge University Press, 1996. Pp. xii + 348. ISBN 0-521-56060-8. (...) 40.00. Dialettica, Arte e Societ : Saggio su Theodor W. Adorno By Giacomo Rinaldi, Quattroventi, Urbino, 1994. Pp. 205. L. 30,000. Relevance: Communication and Cognition, new revised edition, By Dan Sperber and Deirdre Wilson, Blackwell, 1995. Pp. 326. ISBN 0-631-19878-4. 15.99. Autobiographical Reflections By Eric Voegelin (Edited, with Introduction, by Ellis Sandoz), Louisiana State University Press, 1996. Pp. 131. ISBN 0807120766 $10.95. (shrink)
This paper is a critical reflection and response to the religious fideism of D. Z. Phillips, and especially to recent attempts to defend this fideism. Over the course of his career, Phillips argued for a number of interesting but quite dramatic theses about religious belief, including the claim that what is sometimes called the propositional nature of religious belief is frequently misunderstood by philosophers, and that this misunderstanding involves a distortion of what religious believers are doing when they say they (...) believe in God and engage in various religious practices. This paper explores these and other claims in the light of recent interesting attempts to defend them, especially in the work of Patrick Horn. I elaborate the distinction between the propositional and expressive dimensions of religious belief, and argue that Horn does not succeed in rescuing Phillips’s view from a number of serious philosophical objections, including the objection that theirs is a metaphorical interpretation of religion. I suggest also that Horn’s and Phillips’s fideistic versions of religious belief and religious phenomena may involve an element of self-deception, and would likely lead to people giving up their religious beliefs, or at least to their beliefs playing a decreasing role in their everyday lives. (shrink)
Since Socrates, and through Descartes to the present day, the problems of self-knowledge have been central to philosophy's understanding of itself. Today the idea of ''first-person authority''--the claim of a distinctive relation each person has toward his or her own mental life--has been challenged from a number of directions, to the point where many doubt the person bears any distinctive relation to his or her own mental life, let alone a privileged one. In Authority and Estrangement, Richard Moran argues (...) for a reconception of the first-person and its claims. Indeed, he writes, a more thorough repudiation of the idea of privileged inner observation leads to a deeper appreciation of the systematic differences between self-knowledge and the knowledge of others, differences that are both irreducible and constitutive of the very concept and life of the person.Masterfully blending philosophy of mind and moral psychology, Moran develops a view of self-knowledge that concentrates on the self as agent rather than spectator. He argues that while each person does speak for his own thought and feeling with a distinctive authority, that very authority is tied just as much to the disprivileging of the first-person, to its specific possibilities of alienation. Drawing on certain themes from Wittgenstein, Sartre, and others, the book explores the extent to which what we say about ourselves is a matter of discovery or of creation, the difficulties and limitations in being ''objective'' toward ourselves, and the conflicting demands of realism about oneself and responsibility for oneself. What emerges is a strikingly original and psychologically nuanced exploration of the contrasting ideals of relations to oneself and relations to others. (shrink)
This papers explores the diversity of pilgrim expressions in the Celtic Christian sources, focusing largely upon scriptural and theological images-namely, the image of Jerusalem, the example of Abraham, and journey as a metaphor for the earthly life. Discussion on Celtic interest in Jerusalem will focus on the text, De locis sanctis, by Adomnán of Iona. Central to Abrahamic pilgrimage is the ideal of being a stranger, foreigner, exile and alien in the world. Columbanus and Columba are both described as pilgrims (...) in the tradition of Abraham. The life of Patrick raises the question of the relationship between Abrahamic pilgrimage and the missionary life. The phenomenon of the seafaring monks, most famously St Brendan, will also be discussed through the lens of Abraham, while the corresponding text, The Voyage of St Brendan, will lead to a short discussion of liturgy as a form of pilgrimage. Finally, the lifelong journey of the Christian life-expressed through the metaphors of road and journey in the writings of Columbanus-will be discussed. (shrink)
In what sense can we speak of pluralism regarding the philosophical traditions or styles crudely characterised as ‘Continental’ and ‘Analytic’? Do these traditions address the same philosophical problems in different ways, or pose different problems altogether? What, if anything, do these traditions share?
Introduction to Phenomenology is an outstanding and comprehensive guide to an important but often little-understood movement in European philosophy. Dermot Moran lucidly examines the contributions of phenomenology's nine seminal thinkers: Brentano, Husserl, Heidegger, Gadamer, Arendt, Levinas, Sartre, Merleau-Ponty and Derrida. Written in a clear and engaging style, this volume charts the course of the movement from its origins in Husserl to its transformation by Derrida. It describes the thought of Heidegger and Sartre, phenomenology's most famous thinkers, and introduces and (...) assesses the distinctive use of phenomenology by some of its lesser-known exponents, such as Levinas, Arendt and Gadamer. Throughout, the enormous influence of phenomenology on the course of twentieth-century philosophy is thoroughly explored. Clearly explaining technical terms and avoiding jargon, Introduction to Phenomenology is an indispensable introduction to the history and substance of this vital current in intellectual thought. (shrink)
This is an interesting addition to the history of philosophy generally and an incredible expansion of the history of Idealistic philosophy in particular. The subject is John Scottus Eriugena, a ninth century philosopher and member of The Carolingian intellectual renewal, who, claims Dermot Moran, developed a form of idealism that owed as much, or more, to the Greek neo-platonic tradition as to St. Augustine. Eriugena’s thought anticipated the priority of the subject in the radical way that most scholars believe (...) originated only a thousand years later in German Idealism. Moran, of St. Patrick’s College in Maynooth, Ireland, bases these fascinating claims on an analysis of Eriugena’s most important work, The Periphyseon, or the fourfold division of nature, completed around 867 A.D. (shrink)
Evidence-based medicine (EBM) makes use of explicit procedures for grading evidence for causal claims. Normally, these procedures categorise evidence of correlation produced by statistical trials as better evidence for a causal claim than evidence of mechanisms produced by other methods. We argue, in contrast, that evidence of mechanisms needs to be viewed as complementary to, rather than inferior to, evidence of correlation. In this paper we first set out the case for treating evidence of mechanisms alongside evidence of correlation in (...) explicit protocols for evaluating evidence. Next we provide case studies which exemplify the ways in which evidence of mechanisms complements evidence of correlation in practice. Finally, we put forward some general considerations as to how the two sorts of evidence can be more closely integrated by EBM. (shrink)
Cooper, Austin More than a century ago The Australasian Catholic Record entered the Australasian scene, serving the church and over time quietly but substantially meeting changing circumstances. The journal was first established in 1895 by the then Archbishop of Sydney, Patrick Francis Cardinal Moran. With a typical Moran flourish it announced that this 'tiny barque' now departs the shore with the task of confronting the enemies of the church, 'Irreligion, Immorality and Anarchy'. The manifesto was something of (...) a war cry. In undertaking this objective the journal intended following the example of publications such as The American Catholic Quarterly Review, The Dublin Review and The Irish Ecclesiastical Record. (shrink)
Dermot Moran provides a lucid, engaging, and critical introduction to Edmund Husserl's philosophy, with specific emphasis on his development of phenomenology. This book is a comprehensive guide to Husserl's thought from its origins in nineteenth-century concerns with the nature of scientific knowledge and with psychologism, through his breakthrough discovery of phenomenology and his elucidation of the phenomenological method, to the late analyses of culture and the life-world. Husserl's complex ideas are presented in a clear and expert manner. Individual chapters (...) explore Husserl's key texts including _Philosophy of Arithmetic_, _Logical Investigations_, _Ideas_ I, _Cartesian Meditations_ and _Crisis of the European Sciences_. In addition, Moran offers penetrating criticisms and evaluations of Husserl's achievement, including the contribution of his phenomenology to current philosophical debates concerning consciousness and the mind. _Edmund Husserl_ is an invaluable guide to understanding the thought of one of the seminal thinkers of the twentieth century. It will be helpful to students of contemporary philosophy, and to those interested in scientific, literary and cultural studies on the European continent. (shrink)
The paper argues for the centrality of believing the speaker (as distinct from believing the statement) in the epistemology of testimony, and develops a line of thought from Angus Ross which claims that in telling someone something, the kind of reason for belief that a speaker presents is of an essentially different kind from ordinary evidence. Investigating the nature of the audience's dependence on the speaker's free assurance leads to a discussion of Grice's formulation of non-natural meaning in an epistemological (...) light, concentrating on just how the recognition of the speaker's self-reflexive intention is supposed to count for his audience as a reason to believe P. This is understood as the speaker's explicitly assuming responsibility for the truth of his statement, and thereby constituting his utterance as a reason to believe. (shrink)
One way in which the characteristic gestures of philosophy and criticism differ from each other lies in their involvements with disillusionment, with the undoing of our naivete, especially regarding what we take ourselves to know about the meaning of what we say. Philosophy will often find less than we thought was there, perhaps nothing at all, in what we say about the “external” world, or in our judgments of value, or in our ordinary psychological talk. The work of criticism, on (...) the other hand, frequently disillusions by finding disturbingly more in what is said than we precritically thought was there. In our relation to the meaningfulness of what we say, there is a disillusionment of plentitude as well as of emptiness. And no doubt what is “less” for one discipline may be “more” of what someone else is looking for.In recent years, metaphor has attracted more than its share of both philosophical and critical attention, including philosophical denials of the obvious, as well as critical challenges to the obviousness of the ways we talk about metaphor. In this paper I discuss a problem of each sort and suggest a complex of relations between them. The particular denial of the obvious that I’m interested in is the claim recently made by Donald Davidson that “a metaphor doesn’t say anything beyond its literal meaning ,” nor is it even correct to speak of metaphor as a form of communication.1 There’s disillusionment with a vengeance; and even if not strictly believable, it is still not without its therapeutic value, as we shall see. 1. Donald Davidson, “What Metaphors Mean,” in On Metaphor, ed. Sheldon Sacks , p. 30; hereafter abbreviated “WMM.” Davidson’s view has found supporters among both philosophers and literary theorists. It is, for example, important to the early argument of Richard Rorty’s recent book. See his Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity , p. 18. Richard Moran is an assistant professor of philosophy at Princeton University. He is currently working on a book on subjectivity and contemporary concepts of personhood. (shrink)
Mechanistic philosophy of science views a large part of scientific activity as engaged in modelling mechanisms. While science textbooks tend to offer qualitative models of mechanisms, there is increasing demand for models from which one can draw quantitative predictions and explanations. Casini et al. (Theoria 26(1):5–33, 2011) put forward the Recursive Bayesian Networks (RBN) formalism as well suited to this end. The RBN formalism is an extension of the standard Bayesian net formalism, an extension that allows for modelling the hierarchical (...) nature of mechanisms. Like the standard Bayesian net formalism, it models causal relationships using directed acyclic graphs. Given this appeal to acyclicity, causal cycles pose a prima facie problem for the RBN approach. This paper argues that the problem is a significant one given the ubiquity of causal cycles in mechanisms, but that the problem can be solved by combining two sorts of solution strategy in a judicious way. (shrink)
The Exchange of Words is a philosophical exploration of human testimony, specifically as a form of intersubjective understanding in which speakers communicate by making themselves accountable for the truth of what they say. This account weaves together themes from philosophy of language, moral psychology, action theory, and epistemology, for a new approach to this basic human phenomenon.
From the wide array of phenomena that constitute the elements of mental illness we must of necessity choose a limited segment of the spectrum of pathology. The vehicle for the development of the argument will be the heterogeneous group of disorders known collectively as schizophrenia. Although we will follow current usage of the singular noun, the heterogeneity that led Bleuler to refer to “the group of schizophrenias” must be borne in mind if we are to understand the degrees of variability (...) that are found in the manifest symptoms of schizophrenia. (shrink)
English mass noun phrases & count noun phrases differ only minimally grammatically. The basis for the difference is ascribed to a difference in the features +/-CT. These features serve the morphosyntactic function of determining the available options for the assigment of grammatical number, itself determined by the features +/-PL: +CT places no restriction on the available options, while -CT, in the unmarked case, restricts the available options to -PL. They also serve the semantic function of determining the sort of denotation (...) associated with demonstrative & quantified noun phrases. The feature -CT requires that the associated denotation be the set whose sole member is the greatest aggregate of which the noun phrase or noun is true; the feature +CT requires that the associated denotation be the set whose members are all & only those minimal aggregates of which the noun phrase or noun is true. At the same time, neither mass NPs nor count NPs that are arguments of a predicate have their predicate evaluated with respect to their denotations. Rather, the predicate is evaluated with respect to an aggregation, a set of aggregates constructed from the denotation of the noun phrase that is an argument of the predicate. 3 Tables, 4 Figures, 74 References. AA. (shrink)
Fichte's reputation at the present time is in some respects a curious one. On the one hand, he is by common consent acknowledged to have exercised a dominant influence upon the development of German thought during the opening decades of the nineteenth century. Thus from a specifically philosophical point of view he is regarded as an innovator who played a decisive role in transforming Kant's transcendental idealism into the absolute idealism of his immediate successors, while at a more general level (...) he is customarily seen as having put into currency certain persuasive conceptions which contributed—less directly but no less surely—to the emergence and spread of romanticism in some of its varied and ramifying forms. On the other hand, however, it is noticeable that detailed consideration of his work has not figured prominently in the recent revival of concern with post-Kantian thought as a whole which has been manifested by philosophers of the English-speaking world. Although his name is frequently mentioned in that connection, one suspects that his books may not be so often read. In part this may be due to his particular mode of expounding his views, which at times attains a level of opacity that can make even Hegel's obscurest passages seem comparatively tractable. It is also true that Fichte's principal theoretical works—if not his semipopular writings—are largely devoid of the allusions to scientific, historical, psychological or cultural matters with which his German contemporaries were prone to illustrate their philosophical doctrines and enliven their more abstract discussions: there is a daunting aridity about much of what he wrote which can raise nagging doubts in the modern reader's mind about the actual issues that are in question. Yet the fact remains that by the close of the eighteenth century his ideas had already made a profound impact, capturing the imagination of a host of German thinkers and intellectuals. The problem therefore arises as to what preoccupations, current at the time, they owed their indubitable appeal and to what puzzles they were welcomed as proffering a solution. If these can be identified, it may become at least partially intelligible that Fichte should have been widely regarded as having provided a framework within which certain hitherto intractable difficulties could be satisfactorily reformulated and resolved. Let me accordingly begin by saying something about them. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: Preface; Introduction: Husserl's life and writings; 1. Husserl's Crisis: an unfinished masterpiece; 2. Galileo's revolution and the origins of modern science; 3. The Crisis in psychology; 4. Rethinking tradition: Husserl on history; 5. Husserl's problematical concept of the life-world; 6. Phenomenology as transcendental philosophy; 7. The ongoing influence of Husserl's Crisis.
According to current hierarchies of evidence for EBM, evidence of correlation is always more important than evidence of mechanisms when evaluating and establishing causal claims. We argue that evidence of mechanisms needs to be treated alongside evidence of correlation. This is for three reasons. First, correlation is always a fallible indicator of causation, subject in particular to the problem of confounding; evidence of mechanisms can in some cases be more important than evidence of correlation when assessing a causal claim. Second, (...) evidence of mechanisms is often required in order to obtain evidence of correlation. Third, evidence of mechanisms is often required in order to generalise and apply causal claims. While the EBM movement has been enormously successful in making explicit and critically examining one aspect of our evidential practice, i.e., evidence of correlation, we wish to extend this line of work to make explicit and critically examine a second aspect of our evidential practices: evidence of mechanisms. (shrink)