John Henry Newman was an English priest and theologian, whose highly publicised and controversial conversion to Catholicism helped to dispel prejudice towards Catholics in Victorian society. After graduating from Trinity College, Oxford, Newman was ordained as an Anglican deacon in 1824. He gradually became more conservative in his beliefs, becoming a member of the Oxford Movement before converting to Catholicism and being received into the Roman Catholic Church in 1845; he was made a cardinal in 1879. This volume, (...) first published in 1864, contains Newman's classic religious autobiography. Writing in response to a perceived attack on Catholicism by historian and novelist Charles Kingsley, Newman describes his changing religious beliefs between 1833 and 1845 and discusses his spiritual motivations for converting. Newman's emotional sensitivity and clear style ensured the popularity of this volume, which was extremely influential in establishing him as the leading exponent of Catholicism in Victorian England. (shrink)
Raymond Van Arragon considers my my suggestion that most of those who never have the opportunity to accept Christ during their earthly lives suffer from transworld damnation, and he offers four different interpretations of that notion. He argues that at least three of these interpretations are such that on them the suggestion becomes implausible. I maintain that once my suggestion is properly understood, then, despite Van Arragon’s misgivings, it ought not to be thought implausible even on the first two, boldest (...) interpretations he offers. (shrink)
While one of John Henry Newman's principal aims in the Grammar of Assent is to explain how men can give a ‘real assent’ to the existence of God, the major part of the actual phenomenology of religious belief in the work is concentrated in the fifth of its ten chapters. Unfortunately, this section of the essay has been overshadowed by the preliminary distinction between real and notional apprehension and by the later invocation of the illative sense; but perhaps the (...) time is now ripe for a closer examination of this central part of Newman's philosophy of religion, which is in many ways the key to the successes and failures of Newman's new method in philosophical theology. (shrink)
In this discussion with Craig Browne, Luc Boltanski comments on how his recent work reconsiders the questions of agency and the nature of social explanation. Boltanski reflects on the connections between his investigations of grammars of justifications and his later work with Eve Chiapello on the historical transition to a new spirit of capitalism. The significance of politics, conflict and critique to Boltanski’s sociology are highlighted. Bolanski explains why he regards May 1968 as a major disruption of the capitalist (...) social order and how the conservative response to this contestation subsequently prevailed in France. The reorganisation of capitalism in recent decades has increased social division, yet Boltanski believes that the recent recession and existing discontent could lead to unexpected outcomes. (shrink)
People who approach philosophy, as it figures in the activities of mostEnglish-speaking universities, often find their expectations curiously wideof the mark. They have expectations, of course, because the word ‘philosophy’ is not a technical term; there is no need to have taken any exams to use it happily enough in general conversation.
Catastrophic climate change overshadows the present and the future. Wrenching economic transformations have devastated workers and hollowed out communities. However, those fighting for jobs and those fighting for the planet have often been at odds. Does the world face two separate crises, environmental and economic? The promise of the Green New Deal is to tackle the threat of climate change through the empowerment of working people and the strengthening of democracy. In this view, the crisis of nature and the crisis (...) of work must be addressed together-or they will not be addressed at all. This book brings together leading experts to explore the possibilities of the Green New Deal, emphasizing the future of work. Together, they examine transformations that are already underway and put forth bold new proposals that can provide jobs while reducing carbon consumption-building a world that is sustainable both economically and ecologically. Contributors also debate urgent questions: What is the value of a federal jobs program, or even a jobs guarantee? How do we alleviate the miseries and precarity of work? In key economic sectors, including energy, transportation, housing, agriculture, and care work, what kind of work is needed today? How does the New Deal provide guidance in addressing these questions, and how can a Green New Deal revive democracy? Above all, this book shows, the Green New Deal offers hope for a better tomorrow-but only if it accounts for work's past transformations and shapes its future. (shrink)
During the last several years, philosophers of religion have witnessed a long-drawn debate between Nelson Pike and John Fischer on the problems of theological fatalism, Fischer claiming in his most recent contribution to have proved that even if God's past beliefs are ‘nice soft facts’, still theological fatalism cannot be averted. Unfortunately, this debate has not – at least it seems to this observer – served substantially either to clarify the issues involved or to move toward a resolution of the (...) question, but has instead confused matters by its use of misleading terminology and diverted the discussion into unpromising side roads. (shrink)
I. Two topics given prominence in the early sections of Hume's Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding are those of thought and belief. Of each Hume asks two questions. One, which we might call the constitutive question: what exactly is it to have a thought, or to hold a belief?—and another, which we may call the genetic question: how do we come by our thoughts, or our capacity to think them, and how do we come to believe that certain of these thoughts (...) are true? In this lecture I shall be considering the detail of Hume's answers to these questions; but first I want to say a little about why they should have loomed large for him at all. (shrink)
This paper focuses on Newman’s approach to what we might call “the problem of the partiality and unity of the sciences.” The problem can be expressed in the form of a question: “If all human knowing is finite and partial, then on what grounds can one know of the unity and wholeness of all the sciences?” Newman’s solution to the problem is openly theistic, since it appeals to one’s knowledge of God. For Newman, even if I exclusively (...) pursue my own partial science as a physicist, or psychologist, or historian, and even if I do not understand much about the content of the other sciences, nevertheless it is still possible for me to grasp the comprehensive ground of the unity of all the sciences, by virtue of my knowledge of God. The problem, however, is that this solution seems to rely on the sort of intellectual imperialism that Newman criticizes throughout much of his work. For this solution seems to assert the unity of the sciences only by placing one science—theology—above all the others as a supervening Über-science. The aim of this paper is to defend Newman against this charge of imperialism, and to show that his thought is not only more plausible, but also more nuanced, than might appear at first sight. (shrink)
This article analyzes the origins of the “responsible corporate officer” doctrine: the trial of Joseph Dotterweich. That doctrine holds that an officer may be personally liable for the criminal act of a subordinate if the officer was, in some indefinite way, able to prevent the violation. Applying this doctrine, the prosecution of Dotterweich entailed strict liability for a strict liability offense. The underlying offenses—the interstate sale of one misbranded and adulterated drug and one misbranded drug—were said to be strict liability (...) offenses. And then, with respect to Dotterweich as the corporation’s general manager, the government argued that he was strictly liable because he stood in “responsible relation” to the company’s acts. The government never tried to prove that the company, Buffalo Pharmacal, was negligent, nor did it try to prove that Dotterweich was negligent in his supervision of the employees of Buffalo Pharmacal. The prosecutor and judge were candid about this theory throughout the trial, although the judge conceded that it seemed bizarre and unfair. The defense lawyer repeatedly sought to inject what became known throughout the trial as the “question of good faith,” but was circumvented at almost every turn. What would thus seem to be the crux of any criminal trial—the personal fault of the defendant—was carefully shorn from the jury’s consideration. The government’s theory was so at odds with intuitive notions of liability and blame that, as one probes into the case, and looks at the language used in the government’s appellate briefs, imputations of moral fault inevitably crept in. Yet the government was not entitled to make such accusations, as it had pruned moral considerations from the trial. The article argues that the responsible corporate officer doctrine can never enjoy a secure place in our legal system. First, the doctrine is at a minimum in tension with, and often in direct opposition to, basic principles of the criminal law; and second, the doctrine fails, when followed to its logical conclusions, to accord with basic notions of fair play. The article concludes that the responsible corporate officer doctrine is either unnecessary, in cases in which the evidence establishes personal fault, or unjust, in cases in which it creates liability in the absence of personal fault through the unspecified notion of “responsibility.” The Dotterweich case illustrates what is contemplated by the latter possibility, and why it is problematic in any judicial system that purports, in the words of the Model Penal Code, “to safeguard conduct that is without fault from condemnation as criminal.”. (shrink)
This book argues that the moral quality of an act comes from the agent's inner states. By arguing for the indispensable relevance of intention in the moral evaluation of acts, the book moves against a mainstream, 'objective' approach in normative ethics. It is commonly held that the intentions, knowledge, and volition of agents are irrelevant to the moral permissibility of their acts. This book stresses that the capacities of agency, rather than simply the label 'agent', must be engaged during an (...) act if its moral evaluation is to be coherent. The author begins with an ontological argument that an act is a motion or a causing of change in something else. He argues that the source of an act's moral meaning is in the agent: specifically, what the agent, if aware of relevant facts around her, aims to accomplish. He then moves to a series of critical chapters that consider arguments for mainstream approaches to act evaluation, including Thomson's dismissal of the agent knowledge and volition requirements, Scanlon's arguments for a derivative relevance of intentions to permissibility, Frowe's "causal roles" of agents in the moral evaluation of acts, and Bennett's explicit defense of the objective approach. The book concludes by offering the author's preferred replacement for the objective approach, an Aristotelian-Thomist view of acts. Acts, Intentions, and Moral Evaluation will be of interest to scholars and advanced students working in ethics, just war theory, the ethics of self-defense, and philosophy of action. (shrink)
There are two ways of reading Newman’s objection to Russell’s structuralism. One assumes that according to Russell, our knowledge of a theory about the external world is captured by an existential generalization on all non-logical symbols of the theory. Under this reading, our knowledge amounts to a cardinality claim. Another reading assumes that our knowledge singles out a structure in Russell’s (and Newman’s) sense: a model theoretic structure that is determined up to isomorphism. Under this reading, our knowledge (...) is far from trivial, for it amounts to knowledge of the structure of the relations between objects, but not their identity. Newman’s objection is then but an expression of structural realism. Since therefore the content of theories is described by classes of structures closed under isomorphism, the most natural description of a theory in structural realism is syntactic. (shrink)
In mathematical logic, Craig’s Theorem states that any recursively enumerable theory is recursively axiomatizable. Its epistemological interest concerns its possible use as a method of eliminating “theoretical content” from scientific theories.
For many philosophers, bad-history wrongdoers are primarily interesting because of what their cases might tell us about the interaction of moral responsibility and history. However, philosophers focusing on blameworthiness have overlooked important questions about blame itself. These bad-history cases are complicated because blame and sympathy are both fitting. When we are careful to consider the rich natures of those two reactions, we see that they conflict in several important ways. We should see bad-history cases as cases about whether and how (...) we should blame, rather than as cases giving us ready insight into the nature of moral responsibility. (shrink)
In deciding whether to forgive, we often focus on the wrongdoer, looking for an apology or a change of ways. However, to fully consider whether to forgive, we need to expand our focus from the wrongdoer and their wrongdoing, and we need to consider who we are, what we care about, and what we want to care about. The difference between blame and forgiveness is, at bottom, a difference in priorities. When we blame, we prioritize the wrong, and when we (...) forgive, we shift our priorities away from the wrong. Recognizing this essential role for priorities in forgiveness allows us to address a thorny puzzle in thinking about forgiveness: how is it that forgiveness can be both principled and elective? If there is sufficient reason to forgive, as will sometimes be the case because forgiveness is principled, how can it be reasonable to withhold forgiveness? Recognizing that forgiveness is a shift in our priorities dissolves this apparent tension between forgiveness being principled and forgiveness being elective. (shrink)
Hypotheses about the shape of causal reality admit of both theistic and non-theistic interpretations. I argue that, on the simplest hypotheses about the causal shape of reality—infinite regress, contingent initial boundary, necessary initial boundary—there is good reason to suppose that non-theism is always either preferable to, or at least the equal of, theism, at least insofar as we restrict our attention merely to the domain of explanation of existence. Moreover, I suggest that it is perfectly proper for naturalists to be (...) undecided between these simple hypotheses about the causal shape of reality: contrary to the proponents of cosmological arguments, there are no decisive objections to any of these simple hypotheses. (shrink)
Although Newman felt that the conferral of the cardinalate lifted the cloud of suspicion forever, soon after his death his reputation came under another cloud: Modernism. This essay shows how Modernist concerns about the philosophical grounding of faith, Biblical interpretation, and the nature of dogmatic statements as presented by Pierre Batiffol and Marcel Hébert counter-pointed Newman’s idea of the development of doctrine.
Structural realists claim that we should endorse only what our scientific theories say about the structure of the unobservable world. But according to Newman’s Objection, the structural realist’s claims about unobservables are trivially true. In recent years, several theorists have offered responses to Newman’s Objection. But a common complaint is that these responses “give up the spirit” of the structural realist position. In this paper, I will argue that the simplest way to respond to Newman’s Objection is (...) to return to one of the standard motivations for adopting structural realism in the first place: the No Miracles Argument. Far from betraying the spirit of structural realism, the solution I present is available to any theorist who endorses this argument. (shrink)
Taking account of crucial differences between the social environments of universities in Newman 's time and in ours, this paper considers two key concepts in the "The Idea of the University", the 'philosophical' and the 'liberal'. It argues that, despite their merits, both concepts are beset by problems. And it suggests some lines of analysis, partly inspired by an Aristotelian influence both in Newman 's own work and in some recent philosophy, that may help to address these problems (...) and to support claims for the continuing power of Newman 's thinking about university education. (shrink)