This essay examines Aquinas's discussions of hatred in Summa Theologica I-II, Q. 29 and II-II, Q. 34, in order to retrieve an account of what contemporary theorists of the emotions call its cognitive contents. In Aquinas's view, hatred is constituted as a passion by a narrative pattern that includes its intentional object, beliefs, perceptions of changes in bodily states, and motivated desires. This essay endorses Aquinas's broadly "cognitivist" account of passional hatred, in line with his way of treating passions in (...) general. I suggest that Aquinas's account of hatred's arising out of attachment is compelling. However, I also argue that if Aquinas's treatment of hatred is to help us understand the phenomenon of hate, where classes of people are abominated for an identity they bear, and to avoid equating an oppressor's hatred with that of the oppressed for the oppressor, the cognitive pathway to hatred must be broader than through envy. (shrink)
Aquinas's argument against the possibility of genuine self-hatred runs counter to modern intuitions about self-hatred as an explanatorily central notion in psychology, and as an effect of alienation. Aquinas's argument does not deny that persons experience hatred for themselves. It can be read either as the claim that the self-hater mistakes what she feels toward herself as hatred, or that, though she hates what she believes is her "self," she actually hates only traits of herself. I argue that the argument (...) fails on both readings. The first reading entails that all passions are really self-love, and so is incompatible with Aquinas's own "cognitivist" view of what it is that distinguishes specific passions in experience. The second reading entails that persons have no phenomenal access to "self," rendering self-reference--how it is that the self can be an intentional object of conscious mental states---a mystery. Augustine's claim, which Aquinas accepts on authority, that all sin originates in inordinate self-love seems to entail the impossibility of genuine self-hatred because both thinkers fail to distinguish between two distinct forms of self-love: amor concupiscentiae and amor benevolentiae. (shrink)
HATRED IS A PHENOMENON OF TREMENDOUS ETHICAL SIGNIFICANCE, YET it is poorly understood today. This essay explores some of the ways in which hatred is conceptualized and evaluated within different philosophical and religious traditions. Attention is focused on the Hebrew Bible and on the writings of Aristotle, Cicero, Seneca, Aquinas, and Buddhaghosa. Subtle differences mark various tradition-rooted accounts of the nature, causes, and effects of hatred. These differences yield different judgments about hatred's value and imply different methods for addressing the (...) problem of hatred. (shrink)
This essay explores the phenomenological features of the passional response to evil that Aquinas calls ‘hatred of sin’ in Summa Thelogiae II-II Q34 A3 and I-II Q23 A1, among other places. Social justice concerns and philosophical objections, however, challenge the notion that one can feel hatred toward an agent’s vice or sin without it being the agent who is hated. I argue that a careful, contextual reading of these texts shows that Aquinas cannot be read as commending ‘hate’ in any (...) form. The texts under consideration offer no comfort to those who appeal to hatred of sin or vice to legitimate sentiments or actions that can be reasonably taken to express hatred of persons. (shrink)
In this paper we reach back to an earlier generation of discussions about both linguistic meaning and moral language to answer the still-current question as to whether and in what way some special non-descriptive feature comprises part of the semantics of identifiably ethical terms. Taking off from the failure of familiar meta-ethical theories, restricted as they are to the Fregean categories of Sense and Force , we propose that one particular variety belonging to Frege’s humble semantic category of Farbung –– (...) what Dummett calls Tone –– holds the key. Specifically, the kinds of expressions that Dummett dubs “expressives”, when properly understood as representing a speaker’s sentiment, solve the mystery not only of moral discourse, but of evaluative language, broadly construed. On this basis we account for moral language’s special relation to action motivation in ways that avoid Moore’s paradox and honor, in unasserted contexts, what Geach calls ‘the Frege point’. Commitments to the public and social character of natural language are also respected. (shrink)
Spinoza shares with almost all apologists for forgiveness the idea that laying down one’s resentment of a wrong, contempt for a wrongdoer, and overcoming “bondage” to hatred, must be a primary ethical aim. Yet he denies that doing so authorizes pardoning a penitent wrongdoer. He argues that in civil society, it is actually a matter of charity and piety to collude in punishing a wrongdoer—dragging the wrongdoer before a judge, but not “judging” him oneself. I argue that Spinoza offers no (...) warrant to pardon whatever for those not authorized under civil law to punish. But I argue that the response to others’ hatred and deceit that Spinoza urges his reader to cultivate in Ethics 5p10, along with his argument that one may ‘turn the other cheek’ under conditions of oppression, where no sovereign power prosecutes claims of justice, mandates a broader emergent and reparative view of forgiveness. (shrink)
While "scientism" is typically regarded as a position about the exclusive epistemic authority of science held by a certain class of "cultured despisers" of "religion", we show that only on the assumption of this sort of view do purportedly "scientific" claims made by proponents of "intelligent design" appear to lend epistemic or apologetic support to claims affirmed about God and God's action in "creation" by Christians in confessing their "faith". On the other hand, the hermeneutical strategy that better describes the (...) practice and method of Christian theologians, from the inception of theological reflection in the Christian tradition, acknowledges the epistemic authority of the best available tests for truth in areas of human inquiry such as science and history. But this strategy does not assume that such tests, whose authority must be regarded as provisional, provides authority for the warrant of affirming claims constituting the confessed "faith". By attributing theological import to claims advanced by appeal to the best available tests for truth in the practice of science, supporters of ID not only confuse the epistemic authority of these tests with the normative authority of a faith community's confessional identity, but impute to scientific tests for truth a sort of authority that even goes beyond the "methodological naturalism" against which they counterpose their claims. (shrink)
The Christian intellectual tradition consistently affirms that God is present in and continues to speak through Scripture. These functions of the Christian Scriptures have been underexamined in contemporary philosophy of religion and philosophical theology. Careful attention to the phenomenon of shared attention is instructive for providing an account of these matters, and the shared attention account developed here provides a useful conceptual framework within which to situate recent work on Scripture by scholars such as Kevin Vanhoozer, Nicholas Wolterstorff, and Michael (...) Rea. (shrink)
This article comprises a dialogue between two historians who have attempted, individually, to narrate the life of Lord George Gordon (1751 – 93), the Scottish prophet, revolutionary, and convert to Judaism. For modern cultural historians, Gordon's peregrinations between identities offer a kaleidoscopic view of Britain in the overlooked but crucial interstice between the upheavals of 1776 and 1789. Yet the partial nature of the evidence, the long omission of Gordon from the historiography of eighteenth-century Britain, and the complex, often furtive (...) nature of Gordon's activism create multiple ambiguities in his story. These ambiguities are compounded here by the authors' differing approaches. Marsha Keith Schuchard argues for a Gordon shaped by Scottish origins; Dominic Green, for a Gordon responding to English opportunities. They disagree over the likely date of Gordon's conversion to Judaism and, crucially, over whether he was a religious atavist or a Romantic pioneer. This dialogue is meant to illustrate the utility of a scholarship that acknowledges fuzziness rather than attempting to overclarify it. The article is also meant to show, however, that on the public stage fuzziness can be less benign: Gordon was a religious politician, who reworked his complexities and confusions into a violent, uncompromising critique of eighteenth-century British social order. (shrink)
In an analysis of 47 U.S. journalism ethics codes, we found that although most consider images, only 9 address a gripping issue: how to treat images of tragedy and violence, such as those produced on the battlefields of Iraq, during the 2005 London bombings, and after Hurricane Katrina. Among codes that consider violent and tragic images, there is agreement on what images are problematic and a move toward green-light considerations of ethical responsibilities. However, the special problems of violence and (...) truth telling in wartime and issues of how to handle graphic images across media platforms receive virtually no attention. (shrink)
The Anglican Thirty Nine Articles join catholic Christendom in affirming that: There is but one living and true God…and in unity of this Godhead there be three Persons of one substance, power, and eternity; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.
The relationship of consciousness to brain, which Schopenhauer grandly referred to as the "world knot," remains an unsolved problem within both philosophy and science. The central focus in what follows is the relevance of science---from psychoanalysis to neurophysiology and quantum physics-to the mind-brain puzzle. Many would argue that we have advanced little since the age of the Greek philosophers, and that the extraordinary accumulation of neuroscientific knowledge in this century has helped not at all. Increas- ingly, philosophers and scientists have (...) tended to go their separate ways in considering the issues, since they tend to differ in the questions that they ask, the data and ideas which are provided for consideration, their methods for answering these questions, and criteria for judging the acceptability of an answer. But it is our conviction that philosophers and scientists can usefully interchange, at least to the extent that they provide co~straints upon each other’s preferred strategies, and it may prove possible for more substantive progress to be made. Philosophers have said some rather naive things by ignoring the extraordinary advances in the neurosciences in the twentieth century. The skull is not filled with green cheese! On the other hand, the arrogance of many scientists toward philosophy and their faith in the scientific method is equally naive. Scientists clearly have much to learn from philosophy as an intellectual discipline. Manifestations of Mind: Some Conceptual and Empirical Issues Walter B. Weimer Pages 5-31 The Mysterious “Split‘: A Clinical Inquiry into Problems of Consciousness and Brain Peter H. Knapp Pages 37-69 Mind, Brain, and the Symbolic Consciousness Irwin Savodnik Pages 73-98 Brain and Free Will John C. Eccles Pages 101-121 An Old Ghost in a New Body C. Wade Savage Pages 125-153 How Dogmatic Can Materialism Be? John C. Eccles Pages 155-160 Mental Phenomena as Causal Determinants in Brain Function R. W. Sperry Pages 163-177 Consciousness as an Emergent Causal Agent in the Context of Control System Theory E. M. Dewan Pages 181-198 Reductionism, Levels of Organization, and the Mind-Body Problem William C. Wimsatt Pages 205-267 Mind, Structure, and Contradiction Gordon G. Globus Pages 271-293 Problems Concerning the Structure of Consciousness Karl H. Pribram Pages 297-313 The Role of Scientific Results in Theories of Mind and Brain: A Conversation among Philosophers and Scientists E. M. Dewan, John C. Eccles, Gordon G. Globus, Keith Gunderson, Peter H. Knapp, Grover Maxwell et al. Pages 317-328 Scientific Results and the Mind-Brain Issue: Some Afterthoughts Grover Maxwell Pages 329-358. (shrink)
My discussion in this paper is divided into three parts. In section I, I discuss some fairly familiar lines of approach to the question how moral considerations may be shown to have rational appeal. In section II, I suggest how our existence as constituents in collective entities might also influence our practical thinking. In section III, I entertain the idea that identification with collectives might displace moral thinking to some degree, and I offer Marx's class theory as a sample of (...) collective identification for the purposes of practical deliberation. (shrink)
The doctrine of hell, stated with a little care, entails that some persons never achieve their greatest good, fail to really flourish and never reach the end for which they were created. If that doctrine is true, and it is tragic that persons never achieve their greatest good, then there are tragic states of affairs whose tragedy is never overcome.
Alston's perceptual account of mystical experience fails to show how it is that the sort of predicates that are used to describe God in these experiences could be derived from perception, even though the ascription of matched predicates in the natural order are not derived in the manner Alston has in mind. In contrast, if one looks to research on shared attention between individuals as mediated by mirror neurons, then one can give a perceptual account of mystical experience which draws (...) a tighter connection between what is reported in mystical reports and the most similar reports in the natural order. (shrink)
Appeal to experience for rational justification of religious belief is probably as old as the question whether religious belief has any rational support. The issues relevant to such appeal range widely, and I will have to be content to deal with only a few of them.
In an incisive critique of Professor Hick's Evil and the God of Love , Professor Puccetti claims to ‘carry the campaign as well as the battle’—i.e. to show that, with respect to evil, theists ‘are either “explaining it away” or saying it cannot be explained at all. And in both cases they are in effect admitting they have no rational defence to offer. Which means that despite appearances they really are abandoning the battlefield.’.
We would like to thank Ian Carter and Matthew Kramer for their challenging reply to our recent article. Dowding and van Hees is one of a series of articles in which we try to address measurement issues with regard to individual freedom. Our aim is to provide a conception of freedom that will eventually yield a way of measuring the relative freedom of groups of people within a society and a relative measure of freedom across societies. In doing so, we (...) draw upon the important work of Carter and Kramer, but as should be clear, we also depart from it in several respects. (shrink)
John Stuart Mill's crisis of 1826 has received a great deal of attention from scholars. This attention results from reflection on the importance of the crisis to Mill's mature thought. Did the crisis signal rejection or revision of Benthamism? Or did it have little or no effect on Mill's view of his intellectual inheritance? Ultimately, an interpretation of the cause and resolution of the crisis is integral to an understanding of the nature of Mill's moral and social philosophy. Scholars, in (...) their zeal to understand Mill's crisis, have suggested various reasons for both the onset of the crisis and the recovery. Yet Mill's own perception of his crisis has often been overlooked or rejected. (shrink)
This is the editorial introduction to the four papers on consciousness comprising the July 2014 issue of Essays in Philosophy (vol. 15, issue 2). The four authors are Keith E. Turausky, John K. Grandy, Adam Green, and Ben Gubran.
Contextualism has been hotly debated in recent epistemology and philosophy of language. The Case for Contextualism is a state-of-the-art exposition and defense of the contextualist position, presenting and advancing the most powerful arguments in favor of the view and responding to the most pressing objections facing it.
In his recent paper ‘Gratuitous Evil and Divine Existence’. Keith Yandell declares the deductive argument from evil solved. He notes, however, that what persists is a probabilistic version of the argument from evil, one concluding from the evidence of evil that it is ‘highly improbable’ that God exists. Yandell attempts to refute this probabilistic argument from gratuitous evil; as shown below, however, he fails.
This paper uses the knowledge account of assertion (KAA) in defense of epistemological contextualism. Part 1 explores the main problem afflicting contextualism, what I call the "Generality Objection." Part 2 presents and defends both KAA and a powerful new positive argument that it provides for contextualism. Part 3 uses KAA to answer the Generality Objection, and also casts other shadows over the prospects for anti-contextualism.
It has long been recognized that Soren Kierkegaard's Fear and Trembling is a cryptogram. Encoded within a series of reflections and commentaries on Genesis 22 is a deeper message directed at a reader or readers presumably capable of deciphering the hidden meaning. That this is true is suggested by the book's epigraph: ‘What Tarquinius Superbus said in the garden by means of the poppies, the son understood but the messenger did not.’.
In this paper, we review Keith Lehrer’s account of the basing relation, with particular attention to the two cases he offered in support of his theory, Raco (Lehrer, Theory of knowledge, 1990; Theory of knowledge, (2nd ed.), 2000) and the earlier case of the superstitious lawyer (Lehrer, The Journal of Philosophy, 68, 311–313, 1971). We show that Lehrer’s examples succeed in making his case that beliefs need not be based on the evidence, in order to be justified. These cases (...) show that it is the justification (rather than the belief) that must be based in the evidence. We compare Lehrer’s account of basing with some alternative accounts that have been offered, and show why Lehrer’s own account is more plausible. (shrink)
G. E. Moore observed that to assert, 'I went to the pictures last Tuesday but I don't believe that I did' would be 'absurd'. Over half a century later, such sayings continue to perplex philosophers. In the definitive treatment of the famous paradox, Green and Williams explain its history and relevance and present new essays by leading thinkers in the area.