The linguistic expression of religious experience is problematic for both the experiencer and the philospher. For instance: is the religious experience nonverbal, i.e. does it utterly transcend all words, concepts, and thought? Or is it ineffable – not amenable to verbal expression? In either case, what can one make of all the talk and writings of those who do report religious experiences? The frequent references to ineffability, transcendence of thought and the like, lead one to wonder if the experiencers themselves (...) are not dis-satisfied with these expressions. If this is indeed the case, what is it about these expressions that produces this dissatisfaction? Are some expressions better suited to the experience than others? (shrink)
A four-factor model of spiritual intelligence is first proposed. Supportive evidence is reviewed for the capacities of critical existential thinking, personal meaning production, transcendental awareness, and conscious state expansion. Based on this model, a 24-item self-report measure was developed and modified across two consecutive studies . The final version of the scale, the Spiritual Intelligence Self-Report Inventory , displayed excellent internal reliability and good fit to the proposed model. Correlational analyses with additional measures of meaning, metapersonal self-construal, mysticism, religiosity, and (...) social desirability offer support for construct and criterion-related validity. According to both intelligence criteria and current psychometric standards, findings validate the proposed model and measure of spiritual intelligence. Future directions are discussed. (shrink)
If stem cell-based therapies are developed, we will likely confront a difficult problem of justice: for biological reasons alone, the new therapies might benefit only a limited range of patients. In fact, they might benefit primarily white Americans, thereby exacerbating long-standing differences in health and health care.
Ida B. Wells (1862?1931) was a considerable figure in her day. But she has not been accorded posthumous acclaim in parallel. This oversight is either just, or an unprecedented historical falsification ? enabled largely through unhappy, gendered misperception. African?American thought for long turned round dispute between accommodation (Washington) and protest (Du Bois) as forms of leadership. Yet this contrast may mislead. First, Washington was more white placeman than black leader. Second, Du Bois, more than anyone, helped diminish, even extinguish, the (...) Wellsian intellectual legacy. If Wells?s arguments (on violence) have critical significance, and Washington?s are insubstantial and time?serving, then the important struggle within African?American leadership may come to be relocated within the protest tradition ? as between Du Bois (romantic Pan?Africanist) and Wells (universal defender of human rights), both recovered by the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s and 1970s, Wells possibly more fittingly. (shrink)
In 1941 Norman Kemp Smith argued that Hume was not a sceptic but a proponent of a doctrine of natural belief. He supported this thesis by saying that Hume embraced Hutcheson's doctrine of the the subordination of reason to passion in the area of morals and extended it to all matters of belief. Against this unified interpretation Norton contends that there are in effect two Humes: a sceptic in matters of belief but not a sceptic in moral matters. Norton develops (...) his interpretation through historical research on the problems to which Hume was responding in his philosophical writings. The first Hume opposed the Hobbesian negation of real moral standards with his positive, commonsense based moral theory; the second Hume opposed the dogmatisms of his day with a thoroughgoing philosophical scepticism. (shrink)
In the field of computability and algorithmicity, there have recently been two essays that are of great interest: Peter Slezak's "Descartes's Diagonal Deduction," and David Deutsch's "Quantum Theory, the Church-Turing Principle and the Universal Quantum Computer." In brief, the former shows that Descartes' Cogito argument is structurally similar to Godel's proof that there are statements true but cannot be proven within a formal system such as Principia Mathematica, while Deutsch provides strong arguments for believing that the universe can be (...) represented as a Turing machine. King contends that the conjoining of Slezak's analysis with Deutsch's provides a perspective from which it is possible to argue that a scientific theology can be taken a little more seriously at present than in the past. , , , , In the field of computability and algorithmicity, there have recently been two essays that are of great interest: Peter Slezak's "Descartes's Diagonal Deduction," and David Deutsch's "Quantum Theory, the Church-Turing Principle and the Universal Quantum Computer." In brief, the former shows that Descartes' Cogito argument is structurally similar to Godel's proof that there are statements true but cannot be proven within a formal system such as Principia Mathematica, while Deutsch provides strong arguments for believing that the universe can be represented as a Turing machine. King contends that the conjoining of Slezak's analysis with Deutsch's provides a perspective from which it is possible to argue that a scientific theology can be taken a little more seriously at present than in the past. (shrink)
Astrolabes serving all latitudes are very rare. This recently rediscovered sixteenth-century Spanish example raises a host of questions which can only be addressed by considering all other such instruments and the few available textual sources. The instruments can all be traced back, not always directly, to an invention of the eleventh-century Andalusian astronomer Ali ibn Khalaf, preserved in the Old Castillian Libros del Saber de Astronomía of King Alfonso X. The design of this particular astrolabe and the engraving on (...) it are investigated in detail, and the as yet unidentified maker is associated with the circle around Juan de Herrera, architect of the palace-monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial. (shrink)
Marsh borrows Richard McKeon's methodological notion of the "problematic" approach to intellectual history. Concentrating on their dialectical character, English criticism from 1650-1800 is explored in the writings of the third Earl of Shaftesbury, Mark Akenside, David Hartley, and James Harris.—D. J. B.
"Margaret L. King has put together a highly representative selection of readings from most of the more significant—but by no means the most obvious—texts by the authors who made up the movement we have come to call the 'Enlightenment.' They range across much of Europe and the Americas, and from the early seventeenth century until the end of the eighteenth. In the originality of the choice of texts, in its range and depth, this collection offers both wide coverage and (...) striking insights into the intellectual transformation which has done more than any other to shape the world in which we live today. It is _simply the best introduction to the subject now available_."_ —Anthony Pagden, UCLA, and author of _The Enlightenment and Why It Still Matters_ Contents:_ Chronology, Introduction _Chapter One - Casting Out Idols: 1620–1697_ _Idols, or false notions: _Francis Bacon, _The New Instrument_ _I think, therefore I am: _René Descartes, Discourse on Method _God, or Nature: _Baruch Spinoza, _Ethics_ _The system of the world: _Isaac Newton, _Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy_ _He searched for truth throughout his life: _Pierre Bayle, _Historical and Critical Dictionary_ _Chapter Two - _The Learned Maid: 1638–1740 _A face raised toward heaven:_ Anna Maria van Schurman, _Whether the Study of Letters Befits a Christian Woman_ _The worlds I have made:_ Margaret Cavendish, _The Blazing World_ _A finer sort of cattle:_ Bathsua Makin, _An Essay to Revive the Ancient Education of Gentlewomen_ _I warn you of the world:_ Madame de Maintenon, _Letter: On the Education of the Demoiselles of Saint-Cyr_, and _Instruction: On the World_ _The daybreak of your reason:_ Émilie Du Châtelet, _Fundamentals of Physics_ _Chapter Three - _A State of Perfect Freedom: 1689–1695 _The chief criterion of the True Church:_ John Locke, _Letter on Toleration_ _Freedom from any superior power on earth:_ John Locke, _Second Treatise on Civil Government_ _A white paper, with nothing written on it:_ John Locke, _Essay Concerning Human Understanding_ _Let your rules be as few as possible:_ John Locke, _Some Thoughts Concerning Education_ _From death, Jesus Christ restores all to life:_ John Locke, _The Reasonableness of Christianity, as Delivered in the Scriptures_ _Chapter Four - All Things Made New: 1725–1784_ _In the wilderness, they are reborn:_ Giambattista Vico, _The New Science_ _Without these Names, nothing can be known,_ Carl Linnaeus, _System of Nature_ _All the clouds at last are lifted:_ Anne Robert Jacques Turgot, _The Successive Advancement of the Human Mind_ _A genealogical or encyclopedic tree of knowledge:_ Jean le Rond d’Alembert, _Preliminary Discourse_ _Dare to know! :_ Immanuel Kant, _What Is Enlightenment?_ _Chapter Five - Mind, Soul, and God: 1740–1779_ _The narrow limits of human understanding:_ David Hume, _Anof a Book Lately Published_ _The soul is but an empty word:_ Julien Offray de La Mettrie, _Man a Machine_ _All is reduced to sensation:_ Claude Adrien Helvétius, _On the Mind_ _An endless web of fantasies and falsehoods:_ Paul-Henri Thiry, baron d’Holbach, _Common Sense_ _Let each believe that his own ring is real:_ Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, _Nathan the Wise_ _Chapter Six - Crush That Infamous Thing: 1733–1764_ _This is the country of sects:_ Voltaire, _Philosophical Letters_ _Disfigured by myth, until enlightenment comes:_ Voltaire, _The Culture and Spirit of Nations_ _The best of all possible worlds:_ Voltaire, _Candide_ _Are we not all children of the same God?:_ Voltaire, _Treatise on Tolerance_ _If a book displeases you, refute it! :_ Voltaire, _Philosophical Dictionary_ _Chapter Seven - Toward the Greater Good: 1748–1776_ _Things must be so ordered that power checks power,_ Charles de Secondat, baron de Montesquieu, _The Spirit of the Laws_ _Complete freedom of trade must be ensured:_ François Quesnay, _General Maxims for the Economic Management of an Agricultural Kingdom_ _The nation's war against the citizen: Cesare_ Beccaria, _On Crimes and Punishments_ _There is no peace in the absence of justice:_ Adam Ferguson, _An Essay on the History of Civil Society_ _Led by an invisible hand:_ Adam Smith, _An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations_ _Chapter Eight - Encountering Others: 1688–1785_ _Thus died this great man:_ Aphra Behn, _Oroonoko: or The Royal Slave_ _Not one sins the less for not being Christian: _Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, _Embassy Letters_ _Do you not restore to them their liberty?:_ Guillaume-Thomas Raynal, _Philosophical and Political History of European Colonies and Commerce in the Two Indies_ _Some things which are rather interesting:_ Captain James Cook, _Voyage towards the South Pole, and Round the World_ _The inner genius of my being:_ Johann Gottfried von Herder, _Ideas for a Philosophy of the History of Humankind_ _Chapter - Nine Citizen of Geneva: 1755–1782_ _The most cunning project ever to enter the human mind: _Jean-Jacques Rousseau, _Discourse on the Origin and Foundations of Human Inequality_ _The supreme direction of the General Will:_ Jean-Jacques Rousseau, The Social Contract _Two lovers from a small town at the foot of the Alps,_ Jean-Jacques Rousseau, _Julie, or the New Heloise_ _Build a fence around your child’s soul:_ Jean-Jacques Rousseau, _Emile, or On Education_ _This man will be myself:_ Jean-Jacques Rousseau, _Confessions_ _Chapter Ten - Vindications of Women: 1685–1792_ _No higher design than to get her a husband:_ Mary Astell, _Reflections on Marriage_ _The days of my bondage begin:_ Anna Stanisławska, _Orphan Girl_ _A dying victim dragged to the altar:_ Denis Diderot, _The Nun_ _Created to be the toy of man:_ Mary Wollstonecraft, _Vindication of the Rights of Woman_ _Man, are you capable of being just?:_ Olympe de Gouges, _Declaration of the Rights of Woman as Citizen_ _Chapter Eleven - American Reverberations: 1771–1792_ _I took upon me to assert my freedom:_ Benjamin Franklin, _Autobiography_ _Freedom has been hunted round the globe:_ Thomas Paine, _Common Sense_ _Endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights:_ Thomas Jefferson and Others, _Declaration of Independence_ _A safeguard against faction and insurrection:_ James Madison, _Federalist No. 10_ _An end to government by force and fraud:_ Thomas Paine, _The Rights of Man_ _Chapter Twelve - Enlightenment's End: 1790–1794_ _A partnership of the living, the dead, and those unborn:_ Edmund Burke, _Reflections on the Revolution in France_ _The future destiny of the human species:_ Nicolas de Condorcet, _A Sketch of a Historical Portrait of the Progress of the Human Mind_ Texts and Studies, Index. 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Drawing on the theory-of-mind in B. Lonergan's Insight: A Study of Human Understanding, King forges the much-needed critical-experimental link between the reader's own written or spoken expressions and the structure of the human mind. A philosophy of education emerges that the reader-experimenter can both verify and identify with personally.
This essay explains the inescapability of moral demands. I deny that the individual has genuine reason to comply with these demands only if she has desires that would be served by doing so. Rather, the learning of moral reasons helps to shape and channel self- and other-interested motivations so as to facilitate and promote social cooperation. This shaping happens through the “embedding” of reasons in the intentional objects of motivational propensities. The dominance of the instrumental conception of reason, according to (...) which reasons must be based in desires of the individual, has made it harder to recognize that reasons shape desires. I attempt to undermine this dominance by arguing that the concept of a self that extends over time is constructed to meet the demands of social cooperation. Prudential reasons to act on behalf of the persisting self's desires are often taken to constitute the paradigm of reasons based on desires of the individual. But such reasons, along with the very concept of the persisting self, are constructed to promote human cooperation and to shape the individual's desires. (shrink)
The main lines of this exploration are quite simply drawn. That the God whom Jews, Christians, and Muslims worship outstrips our capacities for characterization, and hence must be unknowable, will be presumed as uncontested. The reason that God is unknowable stems from our shared confession that ‘the Holy One, blessed be He’, and ‘the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth’, and certainly ‘Allah, the merciful One’ is one ; and just why God's oneness entails God's being unknowable deserves discussion, (...) though that will occur as we move along. The issue facing us is the one which preoccupied al-Ghazali: how does a seeker respond to that unknowability? The root meaning of the Arabic word for ‘student’ means ‘seeker’, and that attitude of ‘seeking the face of God’, along with the indescribability of the face, will be presumed throughout our discussion. That's why we are struck with the clumsy term ‘unknowable’ rather than its more euphonious Greek form ‘agnostic’. For Western agnostics are such largely because they cannot find God sufficiently compelling, while they ‘would not have the impudence to claim to be atheists’ – as one contemporary seeker puts it. So theologians feel it necessary to enclose the term in quotation marks when discussing, say, Aquinas' ‘agnosticism’ regarding divinity. Yet a genuine unknowing does lie at the heart of the inquiry of the Jew, Christian or Muslim seeking after God; indeed, it is the unknowing which distinguishes a search for God from lusting after idols. So let us follow al-Ghazali in an effort to discover the lineaments of both search and seeker after an unknowable God. (shrink)