This is a collection of the most important writings of Oxford philosopher H.H. Price on the topics of psychical research and survival of death, collected from a wide variety of sources unavailable to most interested readers. Included are discussions of telepathy, clairvoyance, telekinesis, precognition, hauntings and apparitions, the impact of psychical research on western philosophy and science, and what afterlife is probably like. Few twentieth century English-speaking philosophers have written much on these topics. Of those who did so and whose (...) writings have not been collected and published in a single source, H.H. Price was the most important. (shrink)
Umerez’s analysis made me aware of the fundamental differences in the culture of physics and molecular biology and the culture of semiotics from which the new field of biosemiotics arose. These cultures also view histories differently. Considering the evolutionary span and the many hierarchical levels of organization that their models must cover, models at different levels will require different observables and different meanings for common words, like symbol, interpretation, and language. These models as well as their histories should be viewed (...) as complementary rather than competitive. The relation of genetic language and human language is the central issue. They are separated by 4 billion years and require entirely different models. Nevertheless, these languages have in common a unique unlimited expressive power that allows open-ended evolution and creative thought. Understanding the nature of this expressive power and how it arises remains a basic unsolved problem of biosemiotics. (shrink)
Epistemologists have not usually had much to say about believing ‘in’, though ever since Plato's time they have been interested in believing ‘that’. Students of religion, on the other hand, have been greatly concerned with belief ‘in’, and many of them, I think, would maintain that it is something quite different from belief ‘that’. Surely belief ‘in’ is an attitude to a person, whether human or divine, while belief ‘that’ is just an attitude to a proposition? Could any difference be (...) more obvious than this? And if we over-look it, shall we not be led into a quite mistaken analysis of religious belief, at any rate if it is religious belief of the theistic sort? On this view belief ‘in’ is not a propositional attitude at all. (shrink)
In two recent essays, 1 H. H. Price has offered an interesting approach to the ‘reducibility theory’ which yields several important distinctions that should be drawn between various meanings of ‘ belief-in ’ and ‘belief-that’ These distinctions go far towards illuminating the uniqueness or—depending upon your point of view—oddness of religious faith. 2 It may be useful to examine Price's ‘reducibility theory’ and the basic distinctions he has drawn in order to point the way toward a related analysis of usage (...) which he neither undertakes nor considers explicitly—that of the distinctly different function of a similar if not equally commonplace expression: ‘in-faith’. This latter analysis is called for, it seems to me, for several reasons. In the first place, Price himself vaguely suggestsmdaash;but does not discuss— the possibility that talking about being ‘in the faith attitude’ is not necessarily the same as talking about believing or having faith-in ‘Someone’. Secondly, it may be argued that the use of the expression ‘in-faith’ conveys, in certain instances, much more of the uniqueness of the theist's position than do the expressions ‘belief-in’or ‘faith-in’. Thirdly, the claim—sometimes made—that the faith ‘situation’ transcends the grasp of reason is perhaps more readily pointed to by using the expression ‘in-faith’. (shrink)
I am very grateful to Professor R. W. Sleeper for his critical comments on my article, as also for the kind way in which he has expressed them. I should now like to make a few comments on his comments. May I first say that I have no objection to being metaphysical? I do not like the word ‘metaphysics’ very much, and wish that we could find a less provocative one. But still, I do think that the difference between the (...) reducible and the irreducible belief-in is a difference which there really is . Moreover, I fully admit that when we believe in God we are making a factual claim. It is, of course, a factual claim of rather a special kind. If it is a fact that there is a supreme Being, ‘The Lord of All’, this is not just one fact among others. It is not quite like the fact that there is a stormy north-westerly wind this morning. One could not just give a list of facts and add at the end, ‘There is also another fact which I had forgotten to mention: there is a God’. All the same, this factual claim, like others, does need to be justified; and how is it to be justified? I am afraid that the brief hint which I offered elsewhere on this subject is indeed ‘not good enough’ as it stands . To be even half good enough, it needs much more elaboration, and I agree that there is much force in Mr Gunderson's criticisms. (shrink)
May I first say, Mr Chairman, that I regard it as a great honour to have been invited to take part in this Conference? I speak to you as a philosopher who happens to be interested both in religion and in psychical research. But I am afraid I am going to discuss some questions which it is ‘not done’ to talk about.