In Christ Meets Me Everywhere, Michael Cameron argues that Augustine wanted to train readers of Scripture to transpose themselves into the texts in the same way he did, by the same process of figuration that he found at its core. Tracking Augustine's developing practice of self-transposition into the figures of the biblical texts over the course of his entire career, Cameron shows that this practice is the key to Augustine's hermeneutics.
For Emily Dickinson, perhaps no more so than for the rest of us, there was a powerful discrepancy between what was "inner than the Bone"1 and what could be acknowledged. To the extent that her poems are a response to that discrepancy—are, on one hand, a defiant attempt to deny that the discrepancy poses a problem and, on the other, an admission of defeat at the problem's enormity—they have much to teach us about the way in which language articulates our (...) life. There is indeed a sense in which these poems test the limits of what we might reveal if we tried and also of what, despite our exertions, will not give itself over to utterance. The question of the visibility of interior experience is one that will concern me in this essay, for it lies at the heart of what Dickinson makes present to us. In "The Dream of Communication," Geoffrey Hartman writes: "Art represents a self which is either insufficiently present or feels itself as not presentable."2 On both counts one thinks of Dickinson, for her poems disassemble the body in order to penetrate to the places where the feelings lie as if hidden, and they tell us that bodies are not barriers the way we sometimes think they are. Despite the staggering sophistication with which we discuss complex issues, like Dickinson we have few words, if any, for what happens inside us. Perhaps this is because we have been taught to conceive of ourselves as perfectly inexplicable or, if explicable, then requiring the aid of someone else to scrutinize what we are explicating to validate it. We have been taught that we cannot see for ourselves—this despite the current emphasis on our proprioceptive functions. But Dickinson tells us that we can see. More important, she tells us how to name what we see. · 1. The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson, ed. Thomas H. Johnson , n. 321.· 2. Geoffrey Hartman, "The Dream of Communication," in I. A. Richards: Essays in His Honor, ed. Reuben Brower et al. , p. 173. Sharon Cameron, associate professor of English at Johns Hopkins University, is currently preparing a theoretical study of the lyric and is examining the relationship between obsession and lyrical structures. The present essay is part of her Lyric Time: Dickinson and the Limits of Genre. (shrink)
Heidegger’s characterization of Dasein as Being-in-the-world suggests a natural relation to environmental philosophy. Among environmentalists, however, closer inspection must raise alarm, both since Heidegger’s approach is in some senses inescapably anthropocentric and since Dasein discovers its environment through its usability, serviceability, and accessibility. Yet Heidegger does not simply adopt a traditionally modern, instrumental view. The conditions under which the environment appears imply neither that the environment consists only of tools, nor that what is true of the parts is also true (...) of the whole, nor that an orientation to use—where appropriate—precludes any other orientation. Heidegger’s anthropocentric commitments thus do not rule out the possibility of a non-instrumental perspective on the natural world. (shrink)
In two shocking articles that appeared in 1968 and 1974, Garrett Hardin argued that the population explosion was producing a “tragedy of the commons.” Since we lack an effective method of sharing common resources, the strong incentive for individuals to appropriate them selfishly would soon lead to their collapse. To mitigate this danger, Hardin proposed a “lifeboat ethic”: less populated and -polluted Western countries should deny food aid to developing nations, where it would save lives only to increase population pressure, (...) and they should close their borders to immigration to prevent their lifeboats from becoming overcrowded and going down with the rest. This paper challenges and complicates Hardin’s account of the tragedy. While there is something right about his view, its vulnerability to a series of empirical challenges reflects its conceptual limitations. I argue that we need to develop a broadly ethical and arguably religious solution to the twin challenges of population growth and pollution. If the liberal commitment to negative freedom is, ironically, largely responsible for our current ecological bind, our only hope of escape is to build bridges between traditions in search of a thicker sense of ethicopolitical obligation. (shrink)
Paul Sheehy has argued that the modal realist cannot satisfactorily allow for the necessity of God's existence. In this short paper I show that she can, and that Sheehy only sees a problem because he has failed to appreciate all the resources available to the modal realist. God may be an abstract existent outside spacetime or He may not be: but either way, there is no problem for the modal realist to admit that He exists at every concrete possible world.
Modern philosophy is, for what appear to be good reasons, uniformly hostile to sui generis final causes. And motivated to develop philosophically and scientifically plausible interpretations, scholars have increasingly offered reductivist and eliminitivist accounts of Aristotle's teleological commitment. This trend in contemporary scholarship is misguided. We have strong grounds to believe Aristotle accepted unreduced sui generis teleology, and reductivist and eliminitivist accounts face insurmountable textual and philosophical difficulties. We offer Aristotelians cold comfort by replacing his apparent view with failed accounts. (...) And so we ought to admit Aristotle’s prima facie commitments and deal with — if not accept — the consequences. (shrink)
Some argue that Lewisian realism fails as a reduction of modality because in order to meet some criterion of success the account needs to invoke primitive modality. I defend Lewisian realism against this charge; in the process, I hope to shed some light on the conditions of success for a reduction. In §1 I detail the resources the Lewisian modal realist needs. In §2 I argue against Lycan and Shalkowski’s charge that Lewis needs a modal notion of ‘world’ to ensure (...) that worlds correspond to possibilities. In §3 I respond to Divers and Melia’s objection that Lewis needs to invoke primitive modality to give a complete account of what worlds there are. In §4 I ask what it is for a notion to ‘involve’ modality. I conclude that the question is either in bad standing or at best offers little traction on the debate, and propose a different way of assessing when materials are appropriately included in a reductive base. (shrink)
I argue that Agustín Rayo’s symmetric ‘just is’ statements cannot be defined in terms of notions like essence, grounding or metaphysical truth-conditions. I go on to argue that one of these latter notions, which allow us to express an asymmetric relationship between facts, is needed to do some of the work that Rayo intends ‘just is’ statements to do, such as stating reductionist claims.
Teleology is the study of ends and goals, things whose existence or occurrence is purposive. Aristotle’s views on teleology are of seminal importance, particularly his views regarding biological functions or purposes. This article surveys core examples of Aristotle’s invocations of teleology; explores philosophically puzzling aspects of teleology ; articulates two of Aristotle’s arguments defending commitment to teleology against critics who attempt to explain nature solely through appeal to nonteleological efficient and material causes; and argues that Aristotle was an ontological realist (...) when it came to teleology: he conceived of ends as an irreducible and ineliminable aspect of the causal structure of reality. Other interpretive controversies are addressed more briefly. (shrink)
In footnote 56 of his Naming and Necessity, Kripke offers a ‘proof’ of the essentiality of origin. On its most literal reading the argument is clearly ﬂawed, as was made clear by Nathan Salmon. Salmon attempts to save the literal reading of the argument, but I argue that the new argument is ﬂawed as well, and that it can’t be what Kripke intended. I offer an alternative reconstruction of Kripke’s argument, but I show that this suffers from a more subtle (...) fault. (shrink)
In his Truth and Ontology,1 Trenton Merricks argues against the truthmaker principle: Truthmaker: ∀p( p → ∃xxᮀ(Exx → p)). Truthmaker says that for any true proposition, there are some things whose existence guarantees the truth of that proposition: that is, some things which couldn’t all exist and the proposition fail to be true. His main arguments against Truthmaker are that there cannot be satisfactory truthmakers for (i) negative existentials, (ii) modal truths, (iii) truths about the past (given that presentism is (...) true) and (iv) certain subjunctive conditionals, in particular so-called ‘counterfactuals of freedom’ and dispositional conditionals. I’m going to concentrate on the ﬁrst three of these. But ﬁrst I’ll say a bit about why we should care about Truthmaker. Merricks says that “No one gives much of an argument for Truthmaker. Instead, Truthmaker’s main support comes from something like the brute intuition that what is true depends in a non-trivial way on what there is” ( p. 2). He is, unfortunately, correct that truthmaker theorists have in general not been very good at motivating their theory. Too often is Truthmaker taken to be obvious, or an obvious consequence of realism, when really it is neither. But I think we can do better. (shrink)
How did John’s Gospel draw and compel Augustine before and during the composition of Confessiones? Analyzing references to John in Augustine’s works from his embrace of Nicene Christianity to the writing of Confessiones, this paper finds a growing emphasis on the importance of Christ’s humanity. Augustine strategically invokes two texts in Confessiones’ crucial seventh book: John 1:14, “the Word was made flesh,” and John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” This paper considers three features: First, how (...) the rhetorical device of anticipation allows Augustine simultaneously to unify his developing Christological perspective and to build drama into his conversion narrative. Second, how the structure of Confessiones, which first works to understand divine transcendence and then seeks to relate that divine transcendence back to time, emphasizes the central role played by the Gospel of John in advancing Augustine’s conversion story. Third and finally, how invocations of John’s Gospel typify the way that, for the Augustine of Confessiones, reading scripture had become the means of achieving new spiritual self-comprehension. Texts from John were not mere receptors or reflectors of spiritual forces that moved Augustine toward conversion, but, rather, powerful agents of conversion in their own right. (shrink)
Metaphysicians eager to engage with substantive, thoughtful, and provocative issues will be happy with John Heil’s From an Ontological Point of View. The book represents not only a sustained defence of a specific metaphysical theory, but also of a specific way of doing metaphysics. Put ontology first, Heil urges us, in order to remember that the original fascination of metaphysics wasn’t the question ‘what must the world be like in order to correspond neatly to our use of language?’, but rather (...) the altogether more fundamental ‘what must the world be like?’. (shrink)
William of Champeaux is best known as Peter Abelard’s teacher and the proponent of realism of universals. In recent years, many works on the linguistic liberal arts – grammar, dialectic and rhetoric – have been attributed to him. However, at least in the case of the dialectical commentaries, these attributions have been hastily made and are probably incorrect. The commentaries themselves, correctly situated in the time and place when Abelard and William worked at Notre Dame, nonetheless deserve close attention. The (...) commentaries on Aristotle’s De interpretatione are examined here: in them we find a new theory of signification which developed as a critical response to William of Champeaux’s view of the vox significativa, as well as an important clue to the origins of the doctrine of the proprietates terminorum. (shrink)
It has long been known that Jean-Baptiste Du Bos exercised a considerable influence on Hume’s essays and, in particular, on the ‘Of the Standard of Taste’ and ‘Of Tragedy’. It has also been noted that some passages in the Treatise bear marks of Du Bos’ influence. In this essay, we identify many more passages in the Treatise that bear unmistakable signs of Du Bos’ influence. We demonstrate that Du Bos certainly had a significant impact on Hume as he wrote the (...) Treatise. We go on to argue that Hume’s views on morality are an extension to the moral realm of Du Bos’ views on beauty and criticism. Du Bos may also have influenced Hume’s distinction between ideas and impressions. (shrink)
In C.Q. N.S. xv , 293 f., in a discussion of the popularity of theyounger Pliny's Letters in the late fourth century, I adduced three passages of St. Jerome which reveal acquaintance with the Letters. The list may be extended.
Research suggests that the reaching hand automatically deviates toward a target that changes location during the reach. In the current study, we investigated whether movement intention can influence the target jump’s impact on the hand. We compared the degree of trajectory deviation to a jumped target under three instruction conditions: GO, in which participants were told to go to the target if it jumped, STOP, in which participants were told to immediately stop their movement if the target jumped, and IGNORE, (...) in which participants were told to ignore the target if it jumped and to continue to its initial location. We observed a reduced response to the jump in the IGNORE condition relative to the other conditions, suggesting that the response to the jump is contingent on the jump being a task-relevant event. (shrink)
The only evidence we have concerning the date of Porphyry's is that it was written during his stay in Sicily, which lasted from 268 until his return to Rome after Plotinus’ death in 270. How soon after is unknown. Castricius’ lapse from the vegetarianism of the Plotinian school and Porphyry's attempt to recall him to the fold with De Abstinentia should presumably be placed after Plotinus’ death, and Porphyry was still in Sicily at the time. Cassius Longinus’ letter from Phoenicia, (...) apparently written after Plotinus’ death, seems to have found Porphyry still in Sicily. Thus he may still have been there in 271, or possibly even later. There is nothing to support the common view that he returned to Rome immediately or even soon after Plotinus’ death. (shrink)
In C.Q. N.S. xv, 293 f., in a discussion of the popularity of theyounger Pliny's Letters in the late fourth century, I adduced three passages of St. Jerome which reveal acquaintance with the Letters. The list may be extended.
I begin by contrasting three approaches one can take to the distinction between the essential and accidental properties: an ontological, a deflationary, and a mind-dependent approach. I then go on to apply that distinction to the necessary a posteriori, and defend the deflationist view. Finally I apply the distinction to modal truth in general and argue that the deflationist position lets us avoid an otherwise pressing problem for the actualist: the problem of accounting for the source of modal truth.
Le glissement de l’attention du langage parlé vers le langage intérieur dans la philosophie médiévale est bien connu. Ce qui n’a jamais été remarqué est le rôle joué par la reconnaissance des paradoxes et problèmes de signification posés par les caractéristiques physiques du langage parlé. Cet essai examine ces paradoxes et les solutions apportées dans les écrits de Pierre Abélard, de ses contemporains, et de quelques auteurs du début du xiiie siècle.
This cross-cultural study of the moral judgements of Mainland Han-Chinese, Chinese-Canadian, and Euro-Canadian children aged seven to 11 examined the evaluations of narrative protagonists? modest lies and self-promoting truthful statements in situations where they had done a good deed. The story characters had thus either lied or told the truth about a prosocial act that they had committed. Chinese children judged modest lies more positively and boastful truths less positively than Euro-Canadian children. Chinese and Chinese-Canadian children rated immodest statements more (...) negatively than did Euro-Canadian children. The cultural differences were greatest with the oldest children. Chinese children rated modest lies significantly more positively than either Canadian group who did not differ from each other but an interaction between age and culture revealed the three groups to be significantly different at age 11 with Chinese children most positive, followed by Chinese-Canadian children, and with Euro-Canadian children evaluating modest lies least positively. Cultural strictures and acculturation factors respecting modesty and self-enhancement are reflected in these differences. (shrink)
Whatever fond hopes their author may have entertained when he published them, the Letters of the younger Pliny did not meet with an appreciative public. The first, indeed almost the only, writer before modern times to have read them with care and to have signalled his admiration by imitation is Sidonius Apollinaris, bishop of Auvergne in the late fifth century.
As is well known, the Amores of Ovid appeared in two different editions, of which only the second survives. Hence, scholars being what they are, it is hardly surprising that almost as much has been written about the first as the second. If I have ventured to add yet another contribution to the already over-long bibliography of the subject.
The text of Claudian has received little serious attention since the great edition of Theodor Birt in 1892 . The Teubner edition of the following year is by a pupil of Birt, J. Koch, and, though it is a handy text with a useful preface, it cannot really be used independently of Birt. After that, apart from two not very substantial contributions by J. P. Postgate.
I attempt to accommodate the phenomenon of vagueness with classical logic and bivalence. I hold that for any vague predicate there is a sharp cut-off between the things that satisfy it and the things that don’t; I claim that this is due to the greater naturalness of one of the candidate meanings of that predicate. I extend the view to give an account of arbitrary reference and a solution to Benacerraf problems. I end by exploring the idea that it is (...) ontically indeterminate what the most natural meanings are, and hence ontically indeterminate where the sharp cut-off in a sorites series is. (shrink)
Freud may never have set foot in Cambridge - that hub for the twentieth century's most influential thinkers and scientists - but his intellectual impact there in the years between the two World Wars was immense. This is a story that has long languished untold, buried under different accounts of the dissemination of psychoanalysis. John Forrester and Laura Cameron present a fascinating and deeply textured history of the ways in which a set of Freudian ideas about the workings of (...) the human mind, sexuality and the unconscious affected Cambridge men and women - from A. G. Tansley and W. H. R. Rivers to Bertrand Russell, Bernal, Strachey and Wittgenstein - shaping their thinking across a range of disciplines, from biology to anthropology, and from philosophy to psychology, education and literature. Freud in Cambridge will be welcomed as a major intervention by literary scholars, historians and all readers interested in twentieth-century intellectual and scientific life. (shrink)
Logical and moral arguments have been made for the organizational importance of ethos or virtuousness, in addition to ethics and responsibility. Research evidence is beginning to provide, empirical support for such normative claims. This paper considers the relationship between ethics and ethos in contemporary organizations by summarizing emerging findings that link virtuousness and performance. The effect of virtue in organizations derives from its buffering and amplifying effects, both of which are described.