The definition of mysticism has shifted, in modern thinking, from a patristic emphasis on the objective content of experience to the modern emphasis on the subjective psychological states or feelings of the individual. Post Kantian Idealism and Romanticism was involved in this shift to a far larger extent than is usually recognized. An important conductor of the subjectivist view of mysticism to modern philosophers of religion was William James, even though in other respects he repudiated Romantic and especially Idealist categories (...) of thought. In this article I wish first to explore William James' understanding of mysticism and religious experience, and then to measure that understanding against the accounts of two actual mystics, Bernard of Clairvaux and Julian of Norwich, who, for all their differences, may be taken as paradigms of the Christian mystical tradition. I shall argue that judging from these two cases, James' position is misguided and inadequate. Since James' account has been of enormous influence in subsequent thinking about mysticism, it follows that if his understanding of mysticism is inadequate, so is much of the work that rests upon it. (shrink)
Newcomers and more experienced feminist theorists will welcome this even-handed survey of the care/justice debate within feminist ethics. Grace Clement clarifies the key terms, examines the arguments and assumptions of all sides to the debate, and explores the broader implications for both practical and applied ethics. Readers will appreciate her generous treatment of the feminine, feminist, and justice-based perspectives that have dominated the debate.Clement also goes well beyond description and criticism, advancing the discussion through the incorporation of a broad (...) range of insights into a new integration of the values of care and justice. Care, Autonomy, and Justice marks a major step forward in our understanding of feminist ethics. It is both direct and helpful enough to work as an introduction for students and insightful and original enough to make it necessary reading for scholars. (shrink)
In The Grace and the Severity of the Ideal, Victor Kestenbaum swims against the current of Dewey scholarship. He declares for and gives close articulation to the importance of transcendence in the philosophy of John Dewey. The guiding thread of the book is "the proposal that Dewey never outgrew his idealistic period. His philosophical achievement is not to be located in his naturalism but in the frontiers along which the natural and the transcendental touch" (137). Kestenbaum does not argue (...) that Dewey defends a supernatural sense of transcendence; instead, he documents the modes of transcendence that, for Dewey, reveal themselves within the flow of experience. This is a learned and carefully developed book, one that will provoke pragmatists to think carefully about how growth, self-revision, and... (shrink)
Donna Haraway, in her ‘Manifesto for Cyborgs’, issues a warning that in the postmodern world where grand narratives increasingly fail and subjects are seen to be irremediably fragmented, ‘we risk lapsing into boundless difference and giving up on the confusing task of making a partial, real connection. Some differences are playful; some are poles of world historical systems of domination. Epistemology is about knowing the difference’. Such an account of epistemology, which sees its central task to be a knowledge of (...) the significance of difference and a capacity to discern between innocent and oppressive forms of difference, is perhaps not one that would most readily occur to British philosophers of religion. It is, however, an account which has resonances both with many contemporary continental thinkers and with feminist epistemologists. Notwithstanding the many areas of divergence between and among these groups, on two points at least they converge: that the recognition and discernment of difference has become inescapable for epistemology, and that of the differences which must be dealt with, gender difference has a paradigmatic status. (shrink)
The great increase of interest in the study of spirituality and mysticism is reflected in the large number of articles that the Encyclopedia of Religion devotes to various aspects of this topic. As one would expect, there are long entries for ‘Mysticism’ and ‘Christian Spirituality’ and ‘Religious Experience’. In addition to these broad categories, attention is given to more specific aspects of spirituality such as ‘Asceticism’, ‘Silence’, ‘Prayer’, ‘Meditation’, and so on. This is complemented by entries on many of the (...) spiritual giants of the Christian tradition, both ancient and modern. I shall begin by discussing these articles on individuals, and go on to examine the more general articles later in the review. I shall suggest that, despite many merits, both sorts of entry display an editorial policy about which serious questions must be raised. (shrink)
What must I do to be saved? And is what I must do the same as what you must do? The Philippian jailor in the book of Acts received a most peculiar answer to the question: ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ’, said St Paul, ‘and you will be saved.’ In the context, this hardly seems appropriate. The jailor was not asking how he could be assured of a place in the next world, or how he could be reconciled to (...) God or have his sins forgiven. His was a cry of quite unreligious desperation: was there any alternative to suicide, now that his prison was no longer secure and he had failed in his duty? The curious thing about the story is that it is recorded, not as an example of over–zealous bad manners, but as ultimately the right answer for even the jailor's situation. When Paul instructed him further, he and his household were baptized: the writer clearly intended the story to show that Paul's initial response was exactly right, and that belief in Christ brought salvation to the jailor and his family. (shrink)
An identical consciousness of close communion with God is obtained by the non-sacramental Quaker in his silence and by the sacramental Catholic in the Eucharist. The Christian contemplative's sense of personal intercourse with the divine as manifest in the incarnate Christ is hard to distinguish from that of the Hindu Vaishnavite, when we have allowed for the different constituents of his apperceiving mass.
Combining literary and philosophical analysis, this study defends an utterly innovative reading of the early history of poetics. It is the first to argue that there is a distinctively Socratic view of poetry and the first to connect the Socratic view of poetry with earlier literary tradition. Literary theory is usually said to begin with Plato's famous critique of poetry in the Republic. Grace Ledbetter challenges this entrenched assumption by arguing that Plato's earlier dialogues Ion, Protagoras, and Apology introduce (...) a distinctively Socratic theory of poetry that responds polemically to traditional poets as rival theorists. Ledbetter tracks the sources of this Socratic response by introducing separate readings of the poetics implicit in the poetry of Homer, Hesiod, and Pindar. Examining these poets' theories from a new angle that uncovers their literary, rhetorical, and political aims, she demonstrates their decisive influence on Socratic thinking about poetry. The Socratic poetics Ledbetter elucidates focuses not on censorship, but on the interpretation of poetry as a source of moral wisdom. This philosophical approach to interpreting poetry stands at odds with the poets' own theories--and with the Sophists' treatment of poetry. Unlike the Republic's focus on exposing and banishing poetry's irrational and unavoidably corrupting influence, Socrates' theory includes poetry as subject matter for philosophical inquiry within an examined life. Reaching back into what has too long been considered literary theory's prehistory, Ledbetter advances arguments that will redefine how classicists, philosophers, and literary theorists think about Plato's poetics. (shrink)
Kant’s concept of grace in Religion within the Bounds of Mere Reason is a difficult topic, exegetically speaking. Obviously enough, Kant subscribes positively to a notion of divine assistance. This appears awkward given his rationalist ethics rooted in personal autonomy. This has given cause to interpreters of Kant’s philosophy of religion – both early commentators and today – to read Kant’s account of grace is uniquely rationalist. This would make grace a rational expectation given personal commitment to (...) good works. The argument of this paper is that grace is a hyperrationalist element in Kant’s practical philosophy because of the potentially problematic consequences of Kant’s views of human nature. Human nature is namely not particularly prone to be responsive to the rational moral law and therefore requires a number of pedagogical tools that facilitate moral agency. (shrink)
According to an attractive conception of love as attention, discussed by Iris Murdoch, one strives to see one’s beloved accurately and justly. A puzzle for understanding how to love another in this way emerges in cases where more accurate and just perception of the beloved only reveals his flaws and vices, and where the beloved, in awareness of this, strives to escape the gaze of others - including, or perhaps especially, of his loved ones. Though less attentive forms of love (...) may be able to render one’s continued love coherent and justifiable in these cases, they risk further alienating the beloved precisely because they are less attentive and because of the operations of the beloved’s shame. I argue that attentive love is well-suited to alleviate this problem of alienation, but that in order to do so, it must be supplemented with grace. I propose a conception of gracious love as an affectionate love for the qualities of human nature, distinguishing this from a love of humanity, and show how this complex emotion, in being responsive to the complexities of shame, is able to alleviate the problem of alienation. (shrink)
"The book’s contribution to feminist philosophy of religion is substantial and original.... It brings the continental and Anglo-American traditions into substantive and productive conversation with each other." —Ellen Armour To what extent has the emergence of the study of religion in Western culture been gendered? In this exciting book, Grace Jantzen proposes a new philosophy of religion from a feminist perspective. Hers is a vital and significant contribution which will be essential reading in the study of religion.
Stump and Timpe have recently proposed Thomistic based solutions to the traditional problem in Christian theology of how to relate grace and free will. By taking a closer look at the notion of control, I subject Timpe’s account – itself an extension of Stump’s account – to extended critique. I argue that the centrepiece of Timpe’s solution, his reliance on Dowe’s notion of quasi-causation, is misguided and irrelevant to the problem. As a result, Timpe’s account fails to avoid Semi-Pelagianism. (...) I canvass two alternatives, each of which adheres to the broad theological assumptions made by Stump and Timpe, including the positing of only one “unique” grace. I conclude that each of these proposals fails, although I argue that one comes as close as it is possible to get to a solution given the assumptions made. -/- . (shrink)
I develop and defend the view that subjects are necessarily psychologically able to revise their beliefs in response to relevant counter-evidence. Specifically, subjects can revise their beliefs in response to relevant counter-evidence, given their current psychological mechanisms and skills. If a subject lacks this ability, then the mental state in question is not a belief, though it may be some other kind of cognitive attitude, such as a supposi-tion, an entertained thought, or a pretense. The result is a moderately revisionary (...) view of belief: while most mental states we thought were beliefs are beliefs, some mental states which we thought were beliefs are not beliefs. The argument for this view draws on two key claims: First, subjects are rationally obligated to revise their beliefs in response to relevant counter-evidence. Second, if some subject is rationally obligated to revise one of her mental states, then that subject can revise that mental state, given her current psychological mechanisms and skills. Along the way to defending these claims, I argue that rational obligations can govern activities which reflect on one’s rational character, whether or not those activities are under one’s voluntary control. I also show how the relevant version of epistemic ‘ought’ implies ‘can’ survives an objection which plagues other variants of the principle. (shrink)
Recently, several theorists have proposed that we can perceive a range of high-level features, including natural kind features (e.g., being a lemur), artifactual features (e.g., being a mandolin), and the emotional features of others (e.g., being surprised). I clarify the claim that we perceive high-level features and suggest one overlooked reason this claim matters: it would dramatically expand the range of actions perception-based theories of action might explain. I then describe the influential phenomenal contrast method of arguing for high-level perception (...) and discuss some of the objections that have been raised against this strategy. Finally, I describe two emerging defenses of high-level perception, one of which appeals to a certain class of perceptual deficits and one of which appeals to adaptation effects. I sketch a challenge for the latter approach. (shrink)
_Gravity and Grace_ shows Weil's religious thoughts and ideas, drawn from many sources - Christian, Jewish, Indian, Greek and Hindu - and focusing on suffering and redemption. It brings the reader face to face with the profoundest levels of existence as Weil explores the relationship of the human condition to the realm of the transcendent.
I argue that we sometimes visually perceive the intentions of others. Just as we can see something as blue or as moving to the left, so too can we see someone as intending to evade detection or as aiming to traverse a physical obstacle. I consider the typical subject presented with the Heider and Simmel movie, a widely studied ‘animacy’ stimulus, and I argue that this subject mentally attributes proximal intentions to some of the objects in the movie. I further (...) argue that these attributions are unrevisable in a certain sense and that this result can be used to as part of an argument that these attributions are not post-perceptual thoughts. Finally, I suggest that if these attributions are visual experiences, and more particularly visual illusions, their unrevisability can be satisfyingly explained, by appealing to the mechanisms which underlie visual illusions more generally. (shrink)
Amodal completion is the representation of occluded parts of perceived objects. We argue for the following three claims: First, at least some amodal completion-involved experiences can ground knowledge about the occluded portions of perceived objects. Second, at least some instances of amodal completion-grounded knowledge are not sensitive, that is, it is not the case that in the nearest worlds in which the relevant claim is false, that claim is not believed true. Third, at least some instances of amodal completion-grounded knowledge (...) are not safe, that is, it is not the case that in all or nearly all near worlds where the relevant claim is believed true, that claim is in fact true. Thus, certain instances of amodal completion-grounded knowledge refute both the view that knowledge is necessarily sensitive and the view that knowledge is necessarily safe. (shrink)
Philosophy has traditionally engaged the problem of why there is something rather than nothing as a normal causal question. Such an approach, Hunter Brown proposes in Grace and Philosophy, does not do justice to the deep wonder and astonishment that the existence of the world elicits so widely among human beings. Such wonder has often been expressed in artistic and literary ways, including especially the language of grace, which captures the striking gratuity of existence and the spontaneous, grateful (...) response so often evoked by it. Since the modern period, however, Brown argues, there has been a questionable narrowing of philosophy that privileges formal reasoning and theory over an engagement of immediate experience. Detached expertise, impersonal scholarship, and preoccupation with data have swept aside simple wonderment about the extraordinary gratuity of existence, and the remarkable ways in which such wonderment has been expressed. Against the grain of such widespread developments Grace and Philosophy proposes a perspective that maintains a place of importance in philosophy for such wonder and for the many forms in which it has manifested itself. (shrink)
Sophie Grace Chappell develops a picture of what philosophical ethics can be like, once set aside from the idealising and reductive pressures of conventional moral theory. Her question is 'How are we to know what to do?', and the answer she defends is 'By developing our moral imaginations'.
Against those who dismiss Kant's project in the "Religion" because it provides a Pelagian understanding of salvation, this paper offers an analysis of the deep structure of Kant's views on divine justice and grace showing them not to conflict with an authentically Christian understanding of these concepts. The first part of the paper argues that Kant's analysis of these concepts helps us to understand the necessary conditions of the Christian understanding of grace: unfolding them uncovers intrinsic relations holding (...) between God's justice and grace. Parts two and three provide an analysis of two concepts of grace used by Kant. Getting clear on their differences is the key to understanding why Kant's account is not Pelagian. (shrink)
In this ground-breaking book, Gerald Grace addresses the dilemmas facing Catholic education in an increasingly secular and consumer-driven culture. The book combines an original theoretical framework with research drawn from interviews with sixty Catholic secondary head teachers from deprived urban areas. Issues discussed include: *Catholic meanings of academic success *tensions between market values and Catholic values *threats to the mission integrity of Catholic schools *the spiritual, moral and social justice commitments of contemporary Catholic schools This book will be equally (...) useful to leaders of Catholic and other schools and to all those interested in values and leadership in schooling. (shrink)
Eleonore Stump has recently articulated an account of grace which is neither deterministic nor Pelagian. Drawing on resources from Aquinas’s moral psychology, Stump’s account of grace affords the quiescence of the will a significant role in an individual’s coming to saving faith. In the present paper, I firstoutline Stump’s account and then raise a worry for that account. I conclude by suggesting a metaphysic that provides a way of resolving this worry. The resulting view allows one to maintain (...) both (i) that divine grace is the efficient cause of saving faith and (ii) that humans control whether or not they come to saving faith. (shrink)
This book explores the essence of sandplay therapy. Drawing on Grace Hong’s extensive work in the field the book discusses this unique, creative and nonverbal approach to therapy. The book focuses on her experiences in practice, research and teaching from both the US and Taiwan.
This paper discusses Kant’s assessment of the religious idea of grace in relation to autonomous ethical practice. Following Kant’s own explanation of his methods and goals in interpreting religious ideas, my focus is on the ethical import of inherited religious concepts for human beings, rather than on literal theological dogmas concerning supernatural matters. I focus on how Kant’s inquiry into the ethical significance of the idea of grace is intertwined with another less recognized concept, that of favor. The (...) latter concept plays a crucial role in understanding Kant’s analyses, because it establishes a criterion by which to adjudicate historically-formed ideas of grace. Insofar as grace is understood in ways that assimilate it to endeavors to win favor, it works against our capacity to follow the moral law. On the constructive side, insofar as the concept of grace is understood to support ethical practice based on the moral law, it can be a vehicle for what Kant calls rational religion. This two-sided analysis of grace is a key component of the project of the Religion and other related writings, wherein Kant offers both critical and constructive investigations of historically-formed religious ideas found in scripture, ecclesiastical institutions and other sources. (shrink)
This book is, along with Outward Signs, a sequel to Phillip Cary's Augustine and the Invention of the Inner Self. In this work, Cary traces the development of Augustine's epochal doctrine of grace, arguing that it does not represent a rejection of Platonism in favor of a more purely Christian point of view DL a turning from Plato to Paul, as it is often portrayed. Instead, Augustine reads Paul and other Biblical texts in light of his Christian Platonist inwardness, (...) producing a new concept of grace as an essentially inward gift. For Augustine, grace is needed first of all to heal the mind so it may see God, but then also to help the will turn away from lower goods to love God as its eternal Good. Eventually, over the course of Augustine's career, the scope of the soul's need for grace expands outward to include not only the inner vision of the intellect and the power of love but even the initial gift of faith. At every stage, Augustine insists that divine grace does not compromise or coerce the human will but frees, heals, and helps it, precisely because grace is not an external force but an inner gift of delight leading to true happiness. As his polemic against the Pelagians develops, however, he does attribute more to grace and less to the power of free will. In the end, it is God's choice which makes the ultimate difference between the saved and the damned, and we cannot know why he chooses to save one person and not another. From this Augustinian doctrine of divine choice or election stem the characteristic pastoral problems of predestination, especially in Protestantism. A more external, indeed Jewish, doctrine of election would be more Biblical, Cary suggests, and would result in a less anxious experience of grace. Along with its companion work, Outward Signs, this careful and insightful book breaks new ground in the study of Augustine's theology of grace and sacraments. (shrink)
What can we know? How should we live? What is there? Philosophers famously diverge in the answers they give to these and other philosophical questions. It is widely presumed that a lack of convergence on these questions suggests that philosophy is not progressing at all, is not progressing fast enough, or is not progressing as fast as other disciplines, such as the natural sciences. Call the view that ideal philosophical progress is marked by at least some degree of convergence on (...) the core philosophical questions the pro-convergence thesis. I will argue that there is reason to reject the pro-convergence thesis in favor of the anti-convergence thesis, the view that significant viewpoint convergence is at odds with the aims of a philosophically ideal community. The argument centers on a thought experiment about two different philosophical communities. (shrink)
This paper reports on a research project on "the status and understanding of business ethics in contemporary China". The project was funded by The British Council and conducted by means of visits to Chinese companies, Ministries and Universities, in preparation for a seminar which was held in Beijing.
SummaryI offer reflections on the doctrine of justification by faith alone in the light of the many challenges of globalization. I briefly characterize globalization as the new context of contemporary theology in the first part, and go on in the second part to defend its relevance as a radical and total critique of life today in its nihilistic pursuit of creaturely arrogance, greed, and pleasure, and argue for the particular urgency of promoting the love and solidarity of Others beyond the (...) conventional boundaries of identity in a world increasingly suffering from unreconciled pluralism of all sorts, ethnic, religious, cultural, and economic. In the third, longest part I offer a new perspective on the soterioriological significance of „good works“ on the basis of a new relationship between creator and creature, a concrete anthropology of action as mediation between subjectivity and objectivity, and the irreducible involvement of the free and responsible subject in the very believing relationship to God. I try to reinstate „good works“ as the human way, as a free and responsible being, of „participating“ in God’s own redemptive work, not as „cooperating with“ divine grace or as „contributing to“ God’s redeeming work, or as „causing“ one’s own redemption. (shrink)
Jean- Jacques Rousseau is a major figure in Western Philosophy and is one of the most widely read and studied political philosophers of all time. His writings range from abstract works such as On the Social Contract to literary masterpieces such as The Reveries of the Solitary Walker as well as immensely popular novels and operas. The Rousseauian Mind provides a comprehensive survey of his work, not only placing it in its historical context but also exploring its contemporary significance. Comprising (...) over forty chapters by a team of international contributors the Handbook covers: The predecessors and contemporaries to Rousseau's work The major texts of the "system" Autobiographical texts including Confessions, Reveries of the Solitary Walker and Dialogues Rousseau's political science The successors to Rousseau's work Rousseau applied today. Essential reading for students and researchers in philosophy, Rousseau's work is central to the study of political philosophy, the Enlightenment, French studies, the history of philosophy and political theory. (shrink)
How should business deal with society's increasing demands for ethical and social responsibility? In plain language this book considers these and other ethical questions of direct relevance to business in the 1990s. It discusses the nature of ethics, ethical reasoning, the use of stakeholder analysis, and other central concepts used in business ethics. Using mainly, but not exclusively, Australian cases and specific examples, the book covers issues such as fairness in business dealings, advertising ethics, discrimination, and codes of ethics.
Gravity and Grace was the first ever publication by the remarkable thinker and activist, Simone Weil. In it Gustave Thibon, the priest to whom she had entrusted her notebooks before her untimely death, compiled in one remarkable volume a compendium of her writings that have become a source of spiritual guidance and wisdom for countless individuals.
This book, originally published in 1987, considers how the science of linguistics creates its own objects of study. It argues that language is the one essential tool in the ‘social construction of reality’ – the way in which our environment as we perceive and respond to it is actually created by the cultural constructs we bring to bear on it – and that it is also the means by which this reality, once constructed, is preserved and transmitted from person to (...) person and from generation to generation. Hence it is entirely appropriate to refer to the _linguistic _construction of reality. (shrink)