Philosophy of religion comprises philosophical reflection on a wide range of religious and religiously significant phenomena: religious belief, doctrine and practice in general; the phenomenology and cognitive significance of religious experience; the authority and reliability of religious testimony; the significance of religious diversity and disagreement; the relationship between religion (or God, or the gods) and morality; the doctrines, practices and modes of cognition distinctive to particular religious traditions; and so on. It is as old as philosophy itself and has been (...) a standard part of Western philosophy in every period (see Religion, history of philosophy of). Since the latter half of the twentieth century, there has been a great growth of interest in it, and the range of topics that philosophers of religion have considered has expanded considerably. (shrink)
Wandering in Darkness reconciles the existence of an omniscient, omnipotent, perfectly good God with suffering in the world. EleanoreStump presents the moral psychology and value theory within which the theodicy of Thomas Aquinas is embedded. She explicates Aquinas's account of the good for human beings, including the nature of love and union among persons, and then argues that some philosophical problems are best considered in the context of narratives. In the context of famous biblical stories and against (...) the backdrop of Aquinas's other views, Stump argues that Aquinas's theodicy gives a powerful explanation for God's allowing suffering. This explanation constitutes a consistent and cogent defense for the problem of suffering. (shrink)
The Ockham Quodlibetal Questions are the first translation in this new series edited by Norman Kretzmann, EleanoreStump, and John Wippel. It includes a brief introduction by Freddoso which summarizes the growing scholarly consensus that despite the novel character of Ockham's thought and the uses to which it was later put, it is fundamentally Aristotelian and medieval-Christian in inspiration. Freddoso is also convinced of Ockham's usefulness for contemporary philosophical questions which thus turn out to be not merely contemporary (...) but perennial. The collection fills a heretofore unmet need for fully representative selections from Ockham in English translation. Footnotes are kept to a minimum, but the index at the end of volume 2 runs twenty-seven pages. As the name implies, each quodlibet can include questions on any philosophical or theological topic whatever; for the benefit of those wishing to study Ockham's thinking systematically and according to standard philosophical convention, Freddoso provides an outline of topics with references to the scattered questions where they are considered. The paucity of explanatory footnotes is supplemented by bibliographic reference to editions of works cited by Ockham and to secondary literature. (shrink)
This paper looks at the relationship between spacetime functionalism and Harvey Brown’s dynamical relativity. One popular way of reading and extending Brown’s programme in the literature rests on viewing his position as a version of relationism. But a kind of spacetime functionalism extends the project in a different way, by focussing on the account Brown gives of the role of spacetime in relativistic theories. It is then possible to see this as giving a functional account of the concept of spacetime (...) which may be applied to theories that go beyond relativity. This paper explores the way in which both the relationist project and the functionalist project relate to Brown’s work, despite being incompatible. Ultimately, these should not be seen as two conflicting readings of Brown, but two different directions in which to take his project. (shrink)
The problems with grace and free will have prompted long-standing theological conflicts, chiefly revolving around certain disagreements over the nature of divine causality in respect to the free will's of creatures and His foreknowledge of free acts. Eleonore Stump offers a new interpretation of divine action on the will that holds God only acts by way of formal causality and that human cooperation with grace is only by way of "quiescence." I argue that this account lacks coherence in certain (...) important respects, especially in how human beings freely decide upon conversion - a process impossible on this model. I also argue that any model of divine causality cannot escape the dichotomy of holding a Molinist or a Banezian model of efficacious grace. In response, I offer a new interpretation of classical Thomist models of grace that preserves human freedom and divine sovereignty in grace. (shrink)
Miranda Fricker’s influential concept of epistemic injustice has recently seen application to many areas of interest, with an increasing body of healthcare research using the concept of epistemic injustice in order to develop both general frameworks and accounts of specific medical conditions and patient groups. This paper illuminates tensions that arise between taking steps to protect against committing epistemic injustice in healthcare, and taking steps to understand the complexity of one’s predicament and treat it accordingly. Work on epistemic injustice is (...) therefore at risk of obfuscating legitimate and potentially fruitful inquiry. This paper uses Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis as a case study, but I suggest that the key problems identified could apply to other cases within healthcare, such as those classed as Medically Unexplained Illnesses, Functional Neurological Disorders and Psychiatric Disorders. Future work on epistemic injustice in healthcare must recognise and attend to this tension to protect against unsatisfactory attempts to correct epistemic injustice. (shrink)
I argue that the best spacetime setting for Newtonian gravitation (NG) is the curved spacetime setting associated with geometrized Newtonian gravitation (GNG). Appreciation of the ‘Newtonian equivalence principle’ leads us to conclude that the gravitational field in NG itself is a gauge quantity, and that the freely falling frames are naturally identified with inertial frames. In this context, the spacetime structure of NG is represented not by the flat neo-Newtonian connection usually made explicit in formulations, but by the sum of (...) the flat connection and the gravitational field. 1 Introduction2 Newtonian Gravity: The Orthodox Approach3 Newtonian Gravity: Additional Symmetries4 Cosmological Considerations5 A Newtonian Equivalence Principle: Inertial Frames in Newtonian Gravitation6 Theory Equivalence?7 Conclusion. (shrink)
Is science unified or disunified? This collection brings together contributions from prominent scholars in a variety of scientific disciplines to examine this important theoretical question. They examine whether the sciences are, or ever were, unified by a single theoretical view of nature or a methodological foundation and the implications this has for the relationship between scientific disciplines and between science and society.
David Widerker has forcefully argued that a libertarian is on firm ground in believing that the principle of alternative possibilities (PAP) is true. Eleonore Stump has argued that not all libertarians need accept PAP, and that its acceptance is not required for a rejection of compatibilism.This paper is a defense of Widerker against Stump. I argue that it is not at all clear that Stump’s view of freedom is libertarian in nature, and that she has not provided (...) a good reason for thinking that a libertarian can abandon PAP. (shrink)
Stump, Aquinas, and Dawkins & Company seem to think that objectual faith--"faith in"--is identical with propositional belief. I argue that they are wrong. More plausibly, objectual faith requires belief of the relevant proposition(s). There are other forms of faith: propositional faith, allegiant faith, and affective or global faith. We might conjecture that each of these forms of faith likewise require belief of the relevant propositions. More weakly, we might conjecture that at least one of them does. This latter thesis (...) I call the Stump-Aquinas-Dawkins Thesis (SAD). In this essay, I develop one reason against SAD and critique seven reasons for it. (shrink)
Eleonore Stump develops and defends a theodicy of redemptive suffering. In particular, God's permission of suffering (at least some classes, if not instances, of serious undeserved, involuntary suffering due to natural or free causes) is justified just in case it benefits those who suffer, it is the best possible means in the circumstances for their benefit, and God knows this is the case. The main aim of this paper is to show that for Stump's theodicy to have a (...) good chance of working, it is reasonable to think that it requires the Molinist claim that God has middle knowledge. (shrink)
I argue that the need to understand spacetime structure as emergent in quantum gravity is less radical and surprising it might appear. A clear understanding of the link between general relativity's geometrical structures and empirical geometry reveals that this empirical geometry is exactly the kind of thing that could be an effective and emergent matter. Furthermore, any theory with torsion will involve an effective geometry, even though these theories look, at first glance, like theories with straightforward spacetime geometry. As it's (...) highly likely that there will be a role for torsion in quantum gravity, it's also highly likely that any theory of quantum gravity will require us to get to grips with emergent spacetime structure. (shrink)
Eleonore Stump has argued that a proponent of libertarian freedom must maintain that an agent is sometimes morally responsible for his mental action and that such moral responsibility is incompatible with that mental action’s being causally determined. Nevertheless, she maintains that this moral responsibility does not require that the agent be free to perform another mental action (act otherwise). In this paper, I argue that Stump fails to make a good case against the view that moral responsibility requires (...) the freedom to act otherwise. (shrink)
To love someone, Eleonore Stump tells us, is to have two desires: a desire her objective good and a desire for union with her. In Atonement, Stump claims that loving someone—understood as having these desires—is necessary and sufficient for morally appropriate forgiveness. I offer several arguments against this claim.
Few philosophers or theologians exerted as much influence on the shape of medieval thought as Thomas Aquinas. He ranks amongst the most famous of the Western philosophers and was responsible for almost single-handedly bringing the philosophy of Aristotle into harmony with Christianity. He was also one of the first philosophers to argue that philosophy and theology could support each other. The shape of metaphysics, theology, and Aristotelian thought today still bears the imprint of Aquinas' work. In this extensive and deeply (...) researched study, Eleonore Stump examines Aquinas' major works, _Summa Theologiae _and _Summa Contra Gentiles, _and clearly assesses the vast range of Aquinas' thought. Philosophers, theologians, and students of the medieval period alike will find this unrivalled study an indispensable resource in researching and teaching Aquinas. (shrink)
For centuries in the UK and elsewhere, charities have been widely regarded as admirable and virtuous organisations. Business corporations, by contrast, have been characterised in the popular imagination as entities that lack a capacity for moral judgement. Drawing on the philosophical literature on the moral agency of organisations, we examine how the law shapes the ability of charities and business corporations headquartered in England to exercise moral agency. Paradoxically, we find that charities are legally constrained in exercising moral agency in (...) ways in which business corporations are not. Implications for charities and business corporations are then explored. (shrink)
Several modern accounts of explanation acknowledge the importance of abstraction and idealization for our explanatory practice. However, once we allow a role for abstraction, questions remain. I ask whether the relation between explanations at different theoretical levels should be thought of wholly in terms of abstraction, and argue that changes of the quantities in terms of which we describe a system can lead to novel explanations that are not merely abstractions of some more detailed picture. I use the example of (...) phase transitions as described by statistical mechanics and thermodynamics to illustrate this, and to demonstrate some details of the relationship between abstraction, idealization, and novel explanation. (shrink)
It has been over a decade since the first edition of The Cambridge Companion to Augustine was published. In that time, reflection on Augustine's life and labors has continued to bear much fruit: significant new studies into major aspects of his thinking have appeared, as well as studies of his life and times and new translations of his work. This new edition of the Companion, which replaces the earlier volume, has eleven new chapters, revised versions of others, and a comprehensive (...) updated bibliography. It will furnish students and scholars of Augustine with a rich resource on a philosopher whose work continues to inspire discussion and debate. (shrink)
In this book, David Stump traces alternative conceptions of the a priori in the philosophy of science and defends a unique position in the current debates over conceptual change and the constitutive elements in science. Stump emphasizes the unique epistemological status of the constitutive elements of scientific theories, constitutive elements being the necessary preconditions that must be assumed in order to conduct a particular scientific inquiry. These constitutive elements, such as logic, mathematics, and even some fundamental laws of (...) nature, were once taken to be a priori knowledge but can change, thus leading to a dynamic or relative a priori. Stump critically examines developments in thinking about constitutive elements in science as a priori knowledge, from Kant’s fixed and absolute a priori to Quine’s holistic empiricism. By examining the relationship between conceptual change and the epistemological status of constitutive elements in science, Stump puts forward an argument that scientific revolutions can be explained and relativism can be avoided without resorting to universals or absolutes. (shrink)
Prelinguistic infants must find a way to isolate meaningful chunks from the continuous streams of speech that they hear. BootLex, a new model which uses distributional cues to build a lexicon, demonstrates how much can be accomplished using this single source of information. This conceptually simple probabilistic algorithm achieves significant segmentation results on various kinds of language corpora - English, Japanese, and Spanish; child- and adult-directed speech, and written texts; and several variations in coding structure - and reveals which statistical (...) characteristics of the input have an influence on segmentation performance. BootLex is then compared, quantitatively and qualitatively, with three other groups of computational models of the same infant segmentation process, paying particular attention to functional characteristics of the models and their similarity to human cognition. Commonalities and contrasts among the models are discussed, as well as their implications both for theories of the cognitive problem of segmentation itself, and for the general enterprise of computational cognitive modeling. (shrink)
In Simone de Beauvoir's Philosophy of Lived Experience, Eleanore Holveck presents Simone de Beauvoir's theory of literature and metaphysics, including its relationship to the philosophers Edmund Husserl, Martin Heidegger, Immanuel Kant, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, and Jean-Paul Sartre, with references to the literary tradition of Goethe, Maurice Barr_s, Arthur Rimbaud, AndrZ Breton, and Paul Nizan. The book provides a detailed philosophical analysis of Beauvoir's early short stories and several major novels, including The Mandarins and L'invitZe.
Religious faith may manifest itself, among other things, as a mode of seeing the ordinary world, which invests that world imaginatively with an unseen depth of divine intention and spiritual significance. While such seeing may well be truthful, it is also unavoidably constructive, involving the imagination in its philosophical sense of the capacity to organize underdetermined or ambiguous sense date into a whole or gestalt. One of the characteristic ways in which biblical narratives inspire and teach is by renewing their (...) characters’ and readers’ imagination. The texts do so not inexorably but in a similar way as works of art. This paper therefore investigates the ways in which works of art engage and develop the imagination, and thereby enable renewed perceptual and cognitive engagement with the world. The paper introduces predictive processing as a helpful psychological theory for analyzing this dynamic, and outlines questions for further research. (shrink)