Despite there being deep lines of convergence between the philosophies of Alfred North Whitehead, C. S. Peirce, William James, John Dewey, and other classical American philosophers, it remains an open question whether Whitehead is a pragmatist, and conversation between pragmatists and Whitehead scholars have been limited. Indeed, it is difficult to find an anthology of classical American philosophy that includes Whitehead’s writings. These camps began separately, and so they remain. This volume questions the wisdom of that separation, exploring their (...) connections, both historical and in application. The essays in this volume embody original and creative work by leading scholars that not only furthers the understanding of American philosophy, but seeks to advance it by working at the intersection of experience and reality to incite novel and creative thought. This exploration is long overdue. Specific questions that are addressed are: Is Whitehead a pragmatist? What contrasts and affinities exist between American pragmatism and Whitehead’s thought? What new questions, strategies, and critiques emerge by juxtaposing their distinct perspectives? -/- . (shrink)
For most of the history of prejudice research, negativity has been treated as its emotional and cognitive signature, a conception that continues to dominate work on the topic. By this definition, prejudice occurs when we dislike or derogate members of other groups. Recent research, however, has highlighted the need for a more nuanced and (Eagly 2004) perspective on the role of intergroup emotions and beliefs in sustaining discrimination. On the one hand, several independent lines of research have shown that unequal (...) intergroup relations are often marked by attitudinal complexity, with positive responses such as affection and admiration mingling with negative responses such as contempt and resentment. Simple antipathy is the exception rather than the rule. On the other hand, there is mounting evidence that nurturing bonds of affection between the advantaged and the disadvantaged sometimes entrenches rather than disrupts wider patterns of discrimination. Notably, prejudice reduction interventions may have ironic effects on the political attitudes of the historically disadvantaged, decreasing their perceptions of injustice and willingness to engage in collective action to transform social inequalities. (shrink)
Charles Taylor and John Gray offer competing liberal responses to the contemporary challenge of pluralism. Gray's morally minimal 'modus vivendi liberalism' aims at peaceful coexistence between plural ways of life. It is, in Judith Shklar's phrase, a 'liberalism of fear' that is skeptical of attempts to harmonize clashing values. In contrast, Taylor's 'hermeneutic liberalism' is based on dialogical engagement with difference and holds out the possibility that incompatible values and traditions can be reconciled without oppression or distortion. Although (...) Taylor's theory is superior to Gray's because it recognizes that dialogue is crucial for respecting pluralism, both theories fail to fully articulate the ethical ideal of citizenship that they imply. Citizens who are able to dialogically engage with pluralism must be cultivated through liberal education to possess certain ethical traits, and this requirement inevitably limits the range of pluralism liberal societies can accommodate. The theoretical overemphasis on pluralism in recent liberal theory serves to obscure this point. (shrink)
Reviews : John Rawls, Political Liberalism, ; Jürgen Habermas, Faktizität und Geltung: Beiträge zur Diskurstheorie des Rechts und des deomkratischen Rechtstaats, ; Axel Honneth, Kampf um Anerkennung: Zur moraliscben Grammatik sozialer Konflikte, ; Philosophy of Mind: Theory and Practice, ; Gunnar Skirbekk, Rationality and Modernity: Essays in Pbilosopbical Pragmatics, ; Charles Taylor, Multiculturalism and "The Politics of Recognition".
There are a bewildering variety of claims connecting Darwin to nineteenth-century philosophy of science—including to Herschel, Whewell, Lyell, German Romanticism, Comte, and others. I argue here that Herschel’s influence on Darwin is undeniable. The form of this influence, however, is often misunderstood. Darwin was not merely taking the concept of “analogy” from Herschel, nor was he combining such an analogy with a consilience as argued for by Whewell. On the contrary, Darwin’s Origin is written in precisely the manner that one (...) would expect were Darwin attempting to model his work on the precepts found in Herschel’s Preliminary Discourse on Natural Science. While Hodge has worked out a careful interpretation of both Darwin and Herschel, drawing similar conclusions, his interpretation misreads Herschel’s use of the vera causa principle and the verification of hypotheses. The new reading that I present here resolves this trouble, combining Hodge’s careful treatment of the structure of the Origin with a more cautious understanding of Herschel’s philosophy of science. This interpretation lets us understand why Darwin laid out the Origin in the way that he did and also why Herschel so strongly disagreed, including in Herschel’s heretofore unanalyzed marginalia in his copy of Darwin’s book. (shrink)
THE PREVALENCE TODAY of "semiotics" as the preferred linguistic form for designating the study of signs in its various aspects already conceals a history, a story of the ways in which, layer by layer, the temporal achievement we call human understanding builds, through public discourse, ever new levels of common acceptance each of which presents itself as, if not self-evident, at least the common wisdom. Overcoming such present-mindedness is not the least of the tasks faced by the awakening of semiotic (...) consciousness. (shrink)
While it is almost always difficult to identify firm relationships between imaginative works of literature and contemporary philosophy, it seems sure that at any particular time literature and philosophy do not float free of each other. There was a particularly solid basis for the connection in the fourteenth century, when philosophical studies were basic in advanced education and major philosopher-theologians like Walter Burley and John Wycliffe were prominent public figures. Yet significant scholarship that relates Chaucer's poetry to the philosophy (...) of the age is quite limited. A major deterrent to scholars has been a misunderstanding of the philosophical temper of England at the time, especially the influence of nominalism. While it is true that William of Ockham , who is generally thought of as the most typical and influential nominalist, taught at Oxford in the early fourteenth century, it is equally a fact that the great Scholastic realist, John Duns Scotus , also lectured at Oxford shortly after 1300, and that it was mainly realism, not nominalism, that held sway in the English schools in the late fourteenth century. The important philosophers whom we associate with the court of Edward III and with Chaucer's sphere of activity were Scholastic realists: Burley, Thomas Bradwardine, Wycliffe, Ralph Strode. Especially in light of the central position of British philosophers in European Scholastic philosophy during the century, and of Chaucer's learning and wide experience, we may assume that he was exposed to current philosophical thought through his training, personal relationships, and the general cultural climate. In all probability the realist position was dominant in what he heard and learned. (shrink)
Contemporary conversations about religion and culture are framed by two reductive definitions of secularity. In one, multiple faiths and nonfaiths coexist free from a dominant belief in God. In the other, we deny the sacred altogether and exclude religion from rational thought and behavior. But is there a third way for those who wish to rediscover the sacred in a skeptical society? What kind of faith, if any, can be proclaimed after the ravages of the Holocaust and the many religion-based (...) terrors since? Richard Kearney explores these questions with a host of philosophers known for their inclusive, forward-thinking work on the intersection of secularism, politics, and religion. An interreligious dialogue that refuses to paper over religious difference, these conversations locate the sacred within secular society and affirm a positive role for religion in human reflection and action. Drawing on his own philosophical formulations, literary analysis, and personal interreligious experiences, Kearney develops through these engagements a basic gesture of hospitality for approaching the question of God. His work facilitates a fresh encounter with our best-known voices in continental philosophy and their views on issues of importance to all spiritually minded individuals and skeptics: how to reconcile God's goodness with human evil, how to believe in both God and natural science, how to talk about God without indulging in fundamentalist rhetoric, and how to balance God's sovereignty with God's love. (shrink)