This review essay discusses six key works on deliberative democracy published 1996-2000. It deals with issues such as constraints on, intrinsic value of, and fora of deliberation, as well as the place of rhetoric in deliberative democracy and the charge of rationalism. The author is critical of "the Rawlsian turn" in theories of deliberation and argues for a more radically democratic version of the ideal.
An intellectual defense of Christianity which argues that contemporary apologetics are much too defensive intellectually. Cleobury contends that the insights of the Christian faith are most compatible with an idealistic world view. This he presents and defends with subtlety.--F. E. B.
The argument of this book is that there is a form of Christian philosophy congruent with the contemporary philosophical climate. According to the author, a philosophy is Christian to the extent that it is elaborated within a Christian Weltanschauung, that is, insofar as its spirit and fundamental contents are guided by Christian revelation and bear the impress of Christian redemption. Christian philosophy is not a single system, but rather a tradition which approaches philosophical problems (...) from a Christian perspective. Within this tradition there can exist a considerable variety of philosophical opinion, since Christian revelation leaves many questions undecided. To show that such a Christian philosophy is possible today the author spends the major part of the book surveying a number of currents in recent philosophy. One purpose of this survey is to examine the resources and weaknesses of various philosophical methodologies. More importantly, the survey is used as the basis for arguing that existentialism, phenomenology, and analytic philosophy have recently developed in directions which suggest the possibility of formulating a new metaphysics which is at once contemporary and compatible with Christian philosophy as the author understands it. This new metaphysics is one which steers a middle ground between dogmatism and relativism. It is at once synoptic, in that it seeks a coherent understanding of the whole of reality by filling in the gaps in individual and collective experience; categorial, in that it forges categories which "picture the pervasive and formative characteristics of the world which are indicated by the large-scale structural aspects of experience and language rather than by particular observations or individual terms"; perspectival, in the sense that such a metaphysics elaborates a view of the world judged adapted to the philosopher's basic human commitments, to the empirical facts, and to formal laws of coherence and consistency, but in such a way that it remains open to changing attitudes and insights. Though its basic argument is not hard to grasp, this book is not easy to read. Partially this is due to a rather plodding style, but primarily it is the result of the structure of the book, which is such that the author discourses at a level of considerable generality on the doctrines of a great many different philosophers. He does this partially in order to illustrate his understanding of the dialogical character of philosophy. Nevertheless, the author's aims might well have been better served by a briefer, more sharply honed argument.--H. F. (shrink)
McIntyre defines history as "meaningful occurrence, and more particularly occurrence the meaning of which is a construct out of certain categories, namely, Necessity, Providence, Incarnation, Freedom and Memory."--F. E. B.
This book undertakes a twofold task: a theoretical examination of the foundations of human rights and an attempt to draw the practical implications of the resultant theory for contemporary society. There are, the author contends, three main traditions regarding human rights: The radical—humanistic tradition deduces rights from an uncritical veneration of man; its ground is a romantic view of man, its end, freedom, its regulatory principle, equality. The utilitarian tradition regards rights as pragmatic fictions; its ground is a hedonistic view (...) of man, its end, quantitative happiness, its regulatory principle, expediency. The metaphysical tradition derives rights from man’s place in a purposive order; its ground is a view of man related to something higher than himself, its end, a cosmic purpose, its regulatory principle, function. The first two traditions ultimately lack coherence. The metaphysical tradition has two subtypes: self-realization and theonomy. The author argues for a Calvinist version of the latter. Such a theory affirms man’s utter depravity, but affirms at the same time God’s righteous will as maintaining the destiny and, therefore, the rights of the elect. The ultimate ground of value and right is the gracious will of God. God owes nothing to man, but he does demand of man justice toward himself and toward other men. This is the foundation of values and of rights, which are claims that value be respected. Worth is the capacity of an entity to fulfill its proper end. The vocation of man has four dimensions: the unity of his moral will with God, creative perception, personal integration, and social communion. Empirically man is free, but totally depraved, and therefore unable to fulfill his function. By the atonement, God imputes to sinful man a value not inherent in him and makes man capable of fulfilling in principle the end for which he was created. This makes possible active love of neighbor, which, however, is a duty owed not to neighbors, but toward neighbor and to God. The practical conclusions drawn from this theory rest upon the fact that love of neighbor requires a universal context of impersonal justice and of freedom under law. Freedom is not an end in itself, but the political body has no higher purpose than assuring negative freedom—"reciprocal freedom from external constraint." From this basis the author proceeds to spell out in considerable detail "the implications of reciprocal freedom for particular areas of human conduct,... guided only by the evidence of social data and the rules of logical consistency." The general tenor of his conclusions is a fairly severe restriction on the scope of governmental action.—H. F. (shrink)
The editor has been quite successful in selecting experts to write the three-to-four-page articles in this handbook, and in most cases he has chosen advocates rather than critics to expound particular concepts: e.g., Nygren on Eros and Agape, Tillich on Kairos, Dinkler on demythologizing. Each article lists one or two important books on its subject.--L. S. F.
An examination of the place and importance accorded to love in the systems representative of the Platonic-Christian, the utilitarian, and humanist world views. By a formal, literary analysis of parts of a major work of each of nine moralists, the author brings out their views on man and love. Despite a rather weak conclusion, and a few somewhat strained interpretations, her argument is clear and her analyses penetrating.--F. E. B.
The essence оf the Christian dogma by Erich Fromm. In the article is widely considered the dynamics of religious beliefs Erich Fromm. For the first time a comparative analysis of all Fromm’s work relating to the theme of religion. Fromm devoted to the search itself and society in faith quite a lot of time because such research is very important and requires a recess in the nature of some of the world’s religions, including Christianity. Questions and countermeasures manifestations of (...) humanism and authoritarian Christianity, its historical evolution and ideals throw a kind of challenge to the outstanding philosopher, and forced him to work on this complex issue almost all his life. Dogma Erich Fromm developed so that initially there was an idea of the man who became God, and turned on the idea of God became man. The concept of the Old Testament prophets world extend beyond relationships between people, harmony should prevail between man and nature. Peace between man and nature is harmony between them. Erich Fromm permanently broke with Judaism in ‘26 and has since considered himself a Christian. But Christianity Fromm, his understanding of God, the role of Christ in history, the interpretation of the evolution of ideas and Savior is surprising for its boldness. (shrink)
Handlungen sind einerseits eingebettet in das Continuum einer individuellen Lebenspraxis, andererseits in das eines Interaktionsgefüges. Im Unterschied zum organischen Verhältnis von Ganzem und Teil bilden Handlungen jedoch diskrete Einheiten, in denen die Person jeweils als Ganze präsent ist und die deshalb auch, zumindest negativ, kontextunabhängig beurteilbar sind. Für die Identifikation von Einzelhandlungen gilt, was auch für die Identifikation von singulären Dingen gilt: sie setzt Universalien voraus, in diesem Fall also Handlungstypen, die hinsichtlich ihrer sittlichen Qualität zumindest prima-facie beurteilt werden können. (...) Die Lebenspraxis ist deshalb sprachanalog. Auch die Sprache besteht aus Einzelsätzen, deren Sinn zwar kontextabhängig ist, nicht aber deren Wahrheitswert. Der Aufsatz erörtert das Problem der Basishandlungen als atomarer Handlungseinheiten sowie die verschiedenen Formen der Integration von Einzelhandlungen in übergreifende Kontexte: Komplexität der Bedeutung, Handlungssequenzen und durch Handlungen initiierte Ereignisreihen. (shrink)