Here I examine Bernard Suits?s definition of games and explain why that definition is in need of reference to representation or, put more generally, to semiosis. And, once admitting the necessity of the representational in games, Suits?s definition must also then admit the essential paradoxy of games.
According to orthodox Christianity, salvation depends on faith in Christ. If, however, God eternally punishes those who die ignorant of Christ, it appears that we have special instance of the problem of evil: the punishment of the religiously innocent. This is called the soteriological problem of evil. Using Molina's concept of middle knowledge, William Lane Craig develops a solution to this problem which he considers a theodicy. As developed by Craig, the Molinist theodicy rests on the problematic assumption that all (...) informed persons who would freely reject Christ are culpable. Using an informed Muslim as a counter-example, I try to show that Craig's Molinist solution begs the question. (shrink)
The earth cannot support humanity's increasing population and consumption. Concerned scientists and citizens are therefore wondering how we might work toward a sustainable, survivable human future. Sustainability involves increased technological efficiency and agricultural productivity, but also incentives and attitudes that moderate consumption. Social psychology contributes to changing attitudes and behavior with evidence that a) materialism exacts psychic as well as environmental costs, and b) economic growth has failed to improve human morale. Two principles-the adaptation level phenomenon and social comparison-help explain (...) why materialism and increasing affluence fail to satisfy. (shrink)
During 2013–2014, the Task Force on the Undergraduate Music Major of the USA’s College Music Society prepared a report entitled Transforming Music Study from its Foundations: A Manifesto for Progressive Change in the Undergraduate Preparation of Music Majors. The report is a call for increased relevance in undergraduate music studies that prepare students for leadership, adaptability, and initiative in advancing the values of music and musicians in a techno-global society. Specifically, the task force recommends that curricula derive from the three (...) pillars of creativity, diversity, and integration, arguing that composition, improvisation, performance, and theoretical-cultural-historic music studies be taught holistically and in ways authentic to the art and practice of music itself. In addition, the report calls for greater participation by students in planning degree programs that provide trajectories in keeping with their goals and interests, and for greater nimbleness that enhances curricular adaptations on an ongoing basis. (shrink)
Prima facie there is confusion in that part of Marx's theory which deals with religion and revolution. On the basis of Marx's scattered statements on religion one can construct two views of the relationship between revolutionary action and the abolition of the religious mentality. One view is that the exploited class can come to atheism prior to the creation of communist society, and, indeed, must attain a secular consciousness if it is to be the agency of revolution. The other view (...) is that the power of religion cannot be broken until after the communist revolution because only a new economic order can remove the material conditions which sustain religion as a mass phenomenon.In the face of these conflicting views we are left with two alternatives. Either we can take one of the constructions as the authentic one, or, we can conclude that Marx's position is incoherent. Seeking the best in both worlds, my approach involves showing why the charge of incoherence appears plausible while arguing for a resolution in the direction of the first construction. (shrink)
Presents a comparison of Marx's and Nietzsche's philosophies through innovative fictional dialogue. These fictional exchanges are prefaced by background commentary by the narrator, a 19th-century liberated female foreign correspondent for the New York Daily Tribune. Compares the philosophers' views on such topics as religion, the state, the ideal society, women's rights, equality, human nature, history, science, and the role of philosophy.
THE PAPER IS AN ATTEMPT TO ANSWER STANLEY ROSEN'S CHARGE\nTHAT MARX'S VIEW OF MAN IS EITHER NIHILISTIC OR INCOHERENT.\nIT IS ALLEGED THAT MARX'S NOTION THAT MAN MAKES HIMSELF\nLEADS TO THE NIHILISTIC CONCLUSION THAT EVERYTHING IS\nPERMISSIBLE. THUS, MARX'S CONCEPT OF HUMAN ALIENATION IS\nEMPTY BECAUSE HE CANNOT MAKE GOOD ON THE NORMATIVE CONCEPT\nOF UNALIENATED EXISTENCE. I ATTEMPT TO EXTRICATE MARX FROM\nROSEN'S DILEMMA BY SHOWING THAT MARX'S NOTION OF HUMAN\nSELF-CREATION IS NOT ONLY CONSISTENT WITH BUT REQUIRES THE\nAFFIRMATION OF A SOCIALIST FRAMEWORK. MARX'S CONCEPT (...) OF\nUNIQUE HUMAN NEEDS TURNS OUT TO BE CRUCIAL. (shrink)
It would be misleading to make any reference to Marx's “theory” of truth-for nowhere in the corpus of Marx's writings will one find an essay dealing with truth in a thematic way. Marx's scattered remarks on truth occur within the context of discussions of social questions. What one can pull together on the topic of truth amounts at most to the sketch of a concept which applies to social knowledge and not knowledge in general. My aim will be to reconstruct (...) Marx's concept of social truth on the basis of his writings on society and social theory.Those who want a systematic essay developing a general Marxist theory of knowledge have, of course, Lenin's classical formulation of Marxist epistemology in Materialism and Empiriocriticism. We also have Leszek Kolakowski's bold and heretical attack on Lenin's interpretation in “Marx and the Classical Definition of Truth” where we find the astounding claim that Marx's view of truth is closer to that of William James than to that of Lenin.Kolakowski's essay has been the subject of numerous attacks both by predictably indignant true believers and by independent, creative Marxists. (shrink)
An increasing number of natural scientists are doubling as natural theologians. I critically examine two recent defences of the design argument by biologists: "Darwin's Black Box" by Michael Behe and "Nature's Destiny" by Michael Denton. Each claims that recent findings in biology provide new evidence for belief in a supernatural designer. For the sake of argument, I grant both the validity and soundness of their arguments. What I then try to show is that even if we grant that the new (...) biology supports a supernatural designer, J. S. Mill's objections, based on ordinary observation, still make it reasonable to doubt that the designer is the God of traditional theism -- a being infinite in power, knowledge, and goodness. (shrink)
Nineteenth-century European thought, especially in Germany, was increasingly dominated by a new historicist impulse to situate every event, person, or text in its particular context. At odds with the transcendent claims of philosophy and--more significantly--theology, historicism came to be attacked by its critics for reducing human experience to a series of disconnected moments, each of which was the product of decidedly mundane, rather than sacred, origins. By the late nineteenth century and into the Weimar period, historicism was seen by many (...) as a grinding force that corroded social values and was emblematic of modern society's gravest ills. Resisting History examines the backlash against historicism, focusing on four major Jewish thinkers. David Myers situates these thinkers in proximity to leading Protestant thinkers of the time, but argues that German Jews and Christians shared a complex cultural and discursive world best understood in terms of exchange and adaptation rather than influence.After examining the growing dominance of the new historicist thinking in the nineteenth century, the book analyzes the critical responses of Hermann Cohen, Franz Rosenzweig, Leo Strauss, and Isaac Breuer. For this fascinating and diverse quartet of thinkers, historicism posed a stark challenge to the ongoing vitality of Judaism in the modern world. And yet, as they set out to dilute or eliminate its destructive tendencies, these thinkers often made recourse to the very tools and methods of historicism. In doing so, they demonstrated the utter inescapability of historicism in modern culture, whether approached from a Christian or Jewish perspective. (shrink)
While I may have misunderstood certain points in Craig's Molinist theodicy, a careful reading of my article will show that Craig is incorrect in his claim that I have failed to evaluate his proposal on the basis of its asserted standard: plausibility. The heart of my argument is that Craig's theodicy is implausible because it fails to provide a credible explanation of the culpability of all non-believers. In this rejoinder I try to show (1) why an evidentialist exoneration of reflective (...) disbelievers (in Christ) also applies, contra Craig, to the unevangelized; and (2) that an evidentialist account of reflective disbelief is more plausible than Craig's sinful-resistance account. (shrink)
In summary, the question of how to construe the procedure called reversibility cannot be given an absolute answer. No one moral interpretation of the principle is universally applicable, that is, applicable to all moral issues. The decision concerning which to apply cannot be made a priori, but only in context - that is, only when we are faced with a particular moral problem. Moreover, there appears to be no rule which would enable us to choose which version is correct in (...) a particular case. It is a matter of judgment.That the various versions represent a moral progression from lower to higher constructions is debatable. We have seen that the altruism of reversibility3 - the ethic of care - may recommend itself in some personal relations to the point of making either version of reversibility4 irrelevant. Similarly, it is not clear that reversibility3 is always higher than reversibility2. For example, parents in trying to decide what is morally best for a young child should often - in the spirit of the second construction - substitute the judgment of their mature selves for the judgment of the immature self of the child. Moreover, this substitution may not be justifiable in terms of either utility or autonomy.If I seem to have ignored reversibility1 in this discussion that is because I consider it outside morality: it is, if anything, a principle of self-interested calculation. If Baier is correct in holding that we teach children to think morally when we get them to take the standpoint of others, that requires, I believe, getting them beyond the stage of crude reciprocity. If Piaget and Kohlberg are correct in their developmental claims, we cannot immediately teach children reversibility4 but must help them progress through the other two versions. There is some basis for thinking that children can transcend egoism and sympathize with others much earlier than Kohlberg allows - an important consideration in the development of a system of moral education. That point has been pursued by Michael Pritchard in his critique of Kohlberg. Pritchard, p 44. My point is a different one: even granting Kohlberg's theory of development (which asserts, for example, that a particular cognitive ability is required to think like a Kantian), it does not follow that the moral thinking which accompanies the highest cognitive stage is morally superior to the moral thinking which accompanies the lesser cognitive stages. That it is cognitively easier to master reversibility3 than reversibility4 does not settle the question of which is morally superior. Rather than arguing about which moral version of reversibility is morally best- a pointless debate if the desirability of a version is understood as contingent upon appropriateness with respect to context - we should instead celebrate the richness of the concept of reversibility. In teaching students the moral point of view by getting them to put themselves in another's place, we would not be asking them to master a rigid formula, but rather to be sensitive to the decisional context and to make a thoughtful judgment about which version of reversibility is most appropriate to that context. We would not be teaching them either moral relativism or moral absolutism, but the complexity of trying to make a moral decision by applying an ancient and philosophically rich ethical principle. (shrink)