Henry More (1614–1687), the most influential of the so-called Cambridge Platonists, and arguably the leading philosophically-inclined theologian in late seventeenth-century England, has come in for renewed attention lately. He was the subject of a detailed intellectual biography in 2003 by Robert Crocker, and in 2012 Jasper Reid published a philosophically penetrating and enlightening study of More’s metaphysics (Crocker 2003; Reid 2012). David Leech’s study of More’s idiosyncratic concept of immaterial spirit—and the role that it plays in his philosophy and (...) theology—is as detailed and penetrating as Reid’s study of his metaphysics, but perhaps more far-reaching in its ambitions. As the sub-title of this new book suggests, More’s philosophical theology is presented here as leading to the unintended consequence of promoting the incipient atheism of the early modern period.Leech’s study is clearly and helpfully structured in three parts and ten chapters. The first part, “Atheism and Spir .. (shrink)
If by personal immortality one means that the soul is naturally eternal and passes as a substance through physical death to another life, then the answer to this question is a firm No . Both Alfred North Whitehead and his most famous student Charles Hartshorne disavowed such personal immortality as philosophically incompatible with the basic tenets of process thought. For Whitehead, and all philosophers who claim to follow him, process is the ultimate metaphysical generality describing how actual entities instantiate themselves (...) from the causality of entities in their past to then become objectified as they influence successor actual entities. To claim that there are multiple exceptions to the sway of universal process in the form of eternal souls introduces a radical and unacceptable philosophical incoherence into the Whiteheadian metaphysical system. Hartshorne held that a belief in eternal souls was not only incompatible with process thought but also compromised the philosophy of Berkeley, Descartes and Kant. In addition, he considered such belief bad religion and argued forcibly against it. (shrink)
En el siguiente texto intentaremos, en primer lugar, dar una visión muy general de la tradición republicana, por medio de sus autores más representativos (Cicerón, Maquiavelo, Montesquieu), centrando nuestra atención en la que proviene de la Antigüedad y que se sigue en la época de la Ilustración. Posteriormente intentaremos explorar las principales características del pensamiento político del Libertador Simón Bolívar que lo impulsan a idear y proponer un gobierno de corte republicano antiguo, pero con pequeñas pinceladas de republicanismo moderno. Palabras (...) clave: Simón Bolívar; republicanismo; pensamiento político Occidental; filosofía política. Bolívar and the republican traditionIn the following text we attempt, in the first place, to provide a very general outlook of the republican tradition, which has dominated Western political thought by means of its most representative authors (Cicero, Machiavelli, and Montesquieu). We will focus especially on the tradition coming from the Ancient times through Enlightenment. We will then attempt to explore the main features of Simon Bolivar’s political thought, which lead him to devise and propose an ancient republican government, which nevertheless bears some traits of modern republicanism. Keywords: Simon Bolívar; Republicanism; Western Political Thought; Political Philosophy. (shrink)
Although Henry Lee is often recognized to be an important early critic of Locke's 'way of ideas', his Anti-Scepticism (1702) has hardly received the scholarly attention it deserves. This paper seeks to fill that lacuna. It argues that Lee's criticism of Locke's alleged representationalism was original, and that it was quite different from the more familiar kind of criticism that was launched against Locke's theory of ideas by such thinkers as John Sergeant and Thomas Reid. In addition, the paper (...) offers an interpretation of Lee’s claim that, pace Locke, attempts to prove the veridicality of our cognitive apparatus are fundamentally misguided. (shrink)
What makes it possible to affect one another, to move and be moved by another person? Why do some of our encounters transform us? The experience of moving one another points to the inter-affective in intersubjectivity. Inter-affection is hard to account for under a cognitivist banner, and has not received much attention in embodied work on intersubjectivity. I propose that understanding inter-affection needs a combination of insights into self-affection, embodiment, and interaction processes. I start from Michel Henry's radically immanent (...) idea of self-affection, and bring it into a contrastive dialogue with the enactive concepts of autonomy and (participatory) sense-making. I suggest that the latter ideas can open up Henry's idea of self-affection to inter-affection (something he aimed to do, but did not quite manage) and that, in turn, Henry's work can provide insights into underexplored elements of intersubjectivity, such as its ineffable and mysterious aspects, and erotic encounters. (shrink)
There are two general routes that Augustine suggests in De Trinitate, XV, 14-16, 23-25, for a psychological account of the Father's intellectual generation of the Word. Thomas Aquinas and Henry of Ghent, in their own ways, follow the first route; John Duns Scotus follows the second. Aquinas, Henry, and Scotus's psychological accounts entail different theological opinions. For example, Aquinas (but neither Henry nor Scotus) thinks that the Father needs the Word to know the divine essence. If we (...) compare the theological views entailed by their psychologies we find a trajectory from Aquinas, through Henry, and ending with Scotus. This theological trajectory falsifies a judgment that every Augustinian psychology of the divine persons amounts to a pre-Nicene functional Trinitarianism. This study makes clear how one's awareness of the theological views entailed by these psychologies enables one to assess more thoroughly psychological accounts of the identity and distinction of the divine persons. (shrink)
I argue that there is a hitherto unrecognized connection between Henry of Ghent’s general theory of real relations and his Trinitarian theology, namely the notion of numerical sameness without identity. A real relation (relatio) is numerically the same thing (res) as its absolute (non-relative) foundation, without being identical to its foundation. This not only holds for creaturely real relations but also for the divine persons’ distinguishing real relations. A divine person who is constituted by a real relation (relatio) and (...) the divine essence is numerically the same thing (res) as the divine essence without being identical to it. Further, I compare Mark Henninger’s and Jos Decorte’s interpretations of Henry’s general theory of real relations and show that Henninger’s is to be preferred and how it is consistent with my interpretation. I argue that the difficulty with Decorte’s interpretation stems, in part, from his misrepresentation of Henry’s Trinitarian theology. Subsequently, I fill in some missing pieces to Decorte’s presentation of Henry’s Trinitarian theology, and this in turn shows why Henninger’s interpretation in conjunction with mine is to be preferred. (shrink)
From 1912, Alejandro Korn and José Ingenieros began to publish articles that then would be part of their historical works, respectively, Influencias filosóficas en la evolución nacional and La evolución de las ideas argentinas. Therefore, they started to generate some discussion in reference to sections that they knew of each other's work. Being the first major works from a developing philosophical field about the history of Argentine thought, their authors sought to create cultural traditions to affirm their own academic, (...) cultural and political positions. Thus, they based their positions about their academic situation through their interventions in the debate on the evaluation of the various features of the intellectual past of the country and national identity during the academic professionalization of historical studies, and actively participated in discussions on the function of culture and philosophy in a national project. Yet, besides, in order to address their history of ideas, the two most important teachers of the philosophical sphere around 1918 tested very different methodological approaches that worked under different conceptions of philosophical and historical practice and two different ways of thinking the reception and circulation of ideas from Europe. (shrink)
Henry Sidgwick's Practical Ethics offers a novel approach to practical moral issues. In this article, I defend Sidgwick's approach against recent objections advanced by Sissela Bok, Karen Hanson, Michael S. Pritchard, and Michael Davis. In the first section, I provide some context within which to situate Sidgwick's view. In the second, I outline the main features of Sidgwick's methodology and the powerful rationale that lies behind it. I emphasize elements of the view that help to defend it, noting some (...) affinities it has with those of the later Rawls. In the third section, I indicate how it promises to help alleviate some difficulties facing modern practical ethics. In the fourth, I respond to Bok's objections. I argue that her own work on practical ethics has some similarities to Sidgwick's which should make them friends, not enemies. In the fifth section, I respond to Hanson, Pritchard and Davis. (shrink)
Although Henry David Thoreau stands outside the Christian canon, his outlook on the relations among spirituality, ecology, and economy highlights how Christian theologians can develop a theological work ethic in our era of economic and ecological precarity. He can furthermore help theologians counter the pro-work bias in much Christian thought. In Walden, Thoreau shows that the best work is an ascetic practice that reveals and reaps the abundance of nature and connects the person to the immanent divine and thereby (...) glimpsing eternity. Thoreau thus offers the outline of a transformed theology of work even as he challenges Protestant vocationalism in the early industrial era. He is therefore a fitting if challenging guide for formulating a theology of the self as agent and product of work, at a moment when the postindustrial ideal of work that is both meaningful and remunerative seems ever more unattainable while the negative impact of our work on nonhuman nature is ever more apparent. (shrink)
Henry Nelson Wieman and Reinhold Niebuhr were theologically poles apart—Wieman a “new naturalist” and Niebuhr a “new super naturalist”—according to Wieman's nomenclature. Wieman devoted more time and attention to Niebuhr than Niebuhr did to him. The reason for this was the result of Wieman's sustained attack on the “new supernaturalism” with which he identified Niebuhr as one of the major American representatives. This article traces the background to Wieman's view of Niebuhr—Wieman's own views on science, on religion, and on (...) Christianity—then proceeds to Wieman's analysis of Niebuhr's theology and his relation to the “new supernaturalism,” concluding with Niebuhr's reply to Wieman. (shrink)
This article offers a critical complement to Diego von Vacano’s differential characterization of Bolívar’s political thought and his understanding of race through a comparative analysis between Bolívar’s views and those of certain philosophers of the Enlightenment. Indeed, von Vacano argues that Bolívar’s contributions to republican theory have been traditionally ignored by the Anglo-American tradition. Though von Vacano is right in underscoring that Bolívar’s political thought deserves more attention since it contains valuable contributions that stand in “contradistinction to prevalent discourses in (...) European and American intellectual history,” this article argues that, if we reconstruct the genealogy of Bolívar’s political thought by tracing it back to Montesquieu and Rousseau, it turns out to be very different in some respects from the views voiced in European discourses, but it also bears the imprint of certain racist assumptions and biases. This article also offers a brief diagnosis of the tensions that are found in Bolívar's political thought. (shrink)
This paper provides an introduction and overview of Michel Henry's work, with particular emphasis on his understanding of auto-affectivity. It concludes by pointing to some objections or questions sympathetic phenomenologists may have for his work.
The purpose of this paper is to analyze some of the thesis developed in the context of the Latin American critical thought in order to address the question of the crisis of modernity. We particularly consider the theories of two contemporary authors: Bolívar Echeverría and Enrique Dussel. Their theoretical positons are clearly different from the critique that had occurred in the postmodern discourse and they intend to account for the meaning of modernity in relation with certain phenomena that characterize it (...) structurally, which are represented by the development of capitalism and the consequent globalization. In this sense, albeit taking into consideration where these critical theories have been enunciated, that is, the particular experience of modernity in Latin America, their reflections have a global scope and try to explain the complex and contradictory characteristics of this civilization process. We analyze Bolívar Echeverría’s original proposal regarding the baroque ethos by which he identifies a particular way of modernity that tends to offer an alternative to the capitalist modernity. As regards Enrique Dussel, we underscore his trans-modernity concept that gives a new response to the Eurocentrism and colonization that marked the historical changes since modernity to the present. (shrink)
This essay explores the practical significance of Michel Henry’s “material phenomenology.” Commencing with an exposition of his most basic philosophical intuition, i.e., his insight that transcendental affectivity is the primordial mode of revelation of our selfhood, the essay then brings to light how this intuition also establishes our relation to both the world and others. Animated by a radical form of the phenomenological reduction, Henry’s material phenomenology brackets the exterior world in a bid to reach the concrete interior (...) transcendental experience at the base of all exteriority. The essay argues that this “counter reduction,” designed as a practical orientation to the world, suspends all traditional parameters of onto(theo)logical individuation in order to rethink subjectivity in terms of its transcendental corporeality, i.e., in terms of the invisible display of “affective flesh.” The development of this “metaphysics of the individual” anchors his “practical philosophy” as he developed it—under shifting accents—throughout his oeuvre. In particular, the essay brings into focus Henry’s reflections on modernity, the industry of mass culture and their “barbaric” movements. The essay briefly puts these cultural and political areas of Henry’s of thinking into contact with his late “theological turn,” i.e., his Christological account of Life and the (inter)subjective self-realization to which it gives rise. (shrink)
A partir de la duplicidad del aparecer, principio básico de la fenomenología radical elaborada por Michel Henry en continuidad y ruptura con el proyecto husserliano, se pueden plantear ciertas notas para una antropología filosófica. Esta fenomenología propone la vida como fenómeno originario y, al definirla como autoafección, postula la necesidad de reconocer en ella, por principio, la presencia de una ipseidad, de modo que no hay vida sin viviente ni viviente sin vida. Determinar cuáles sean las notas que definen (...) la condición de dicho viviente sería la tarea de la antropología fenomenológica correspondiente. En atención a la enunciada duplicidad, dicho viviente —que es el hombre— ha de ser comprendido como pasividad radical respecto de la vida y como actividad constituyente respecto del mundo. (shrink)
A scholarly edition of letters by Anne, Viscountess Conway, Henry More, and their friends. The edition presents an authoritative text, together with an introduction, commentary notes, and scholarly apparatus.
According to a well-known interpretation, Henry of Ghent holds that possible but non-existent essences – items merely with what Henry labels ‘ esse essentiae ’ – have some reality external to the divine mind, but short of actual existence ( esse existentiae ). I argue that this reading of Henry is mistaken. Furthermore, Henry identifies any essence, considered independently of its existence as a universal concept or as instantiated in a particular as an item that has (...) some kind of reality in the divine intellect, and that constitutes an object of thought for that intellect. This object is distinguished from the universal concepts of creaturely cognition. (shrink)
Historically labor has been central to human interactions with the environment, yet environmentalists pay it scant attention. Indeed, they have been critical of those who foreground labor in their politics, socialists in particular. However, environmentalists have found the nineteenth-century socialist William Morris appealing despite the fact that he wrote extensively on labor. This paper considers the place of labor in the relationship between humanity and the natural world in the work of Morris and two of his contemporaries, the eminent scientist (...) Thomas Henry Huxley, and the Fabian socialist Herbert George Wells. I suggest that Morris's conception of labor has much to recommend it to environmentalists who are also interested in issues of social justice. (shrink)
El artículo se propone determinar el límite entre fenomenología y gnosis en la filosofía del cristianismo de M. Henry. Para ello analiza la cuestión del Archi-hijo en Soy yo la verdad, la de Archi-carne en Encarnación y la de la legitimación de las palabras que Cristo pronuncia sobre sí mismo en Palabras de Cristo. El análisis muestra, en primer lugar, en qué medida el tratamiento de estas tres cuestiones supera el límite estrictamente fenomenológico del pensamiento y remite a una (...) gnosis o experiencia de fe particular. En segundo lugar, explicita cómo, independientemente de esta gnosis, la intuición henryana acerca de la esencia de la vida abre un acceso fenomenológico genuino a la relación religiosa. (shrink)
According to Henry of Ghent (d. 1293), it is impossible for the second person of the Trinity to assume into unity of person an irrational nature (e.g., a stone nature), or to assume a rational nature that does not enjoy the beatific vision. He argues that the assumption of a nature to a divine person entails both that the nature has the sort of powers that could exercise supernatural activities and that these powers are exercised. Henry’s Franciscan opponents (...) argue against this. Existent irrational natures (like existent rational natures) are not necessarily subsistent and belonging to a kind does not require the opportunity to exercise the causal powers associated with that kind. (shrink)
Long recognised as a painting ‘about’ painting, Velázquez’s Las Meninas comes to Lacan’s aid as he explicates the object a in Seminar XIII, The Object of Psychoanalysis (1965–1966). The famous seventeenth century painting provides Lacan with a visual mapping of the ‘ghost story’ he discovers in the Cartesian cogito, insofar as it depicts the unravelling of the Cartesian representational project at the moment of its founding gesture. This article traces Lacan’s argument as he turns to art, linear perspective and topology (...) to model how the object a persistently eludes the grasp of scientific knowledge. Following a discussion of distance-point perspective in Renaissance Italy and the role this innovation played in enabling distorted depictions of objects in space, I propose Henry James’s ghost story, “The Jolly Corner,” as the sequel to Lacan’s reading of Las Meninas. In James’s tale, we obtain a narrative account of what the figures in Velasquez’s painting might ‘see’ as they return our gaze towards us. (shrink)
Given the pragmatic tum recently taken by argumentation studies, we owe renewed attention to Henry Johnstone's views on the primacy of process over product. In particular, Johnstone's decidedly non-cooperative model is a refreshing alternative to the current dialogic theories of arguing, one which opens the way for specifically rhetorical lines of inquiry.
Hugh of Novocastro, Landolfo Caracciolo, John Baconthorpe, and some other medieval authors argued that there are real contradictions in nature. The background of this early fourteenth-century theory was the Aristotelian question of how to determine the instant of change between p and ~p. The argument was that these are simultaneously true at the temporal instant of change if it is an instant of changing. The author’s aim is to discuss the background of this view in Henry of Ghent’s theory (...) of instantaneous change from potentiality to actuality at that very instant. (shrink)
In this paper I offer a new approach to Henry of Ghent's argument for divine illumination. Normally, Henry is criticized for adhering to a theory of divine illumination and failing to accept rediscovered Aristotelian approaches to cognition and epistemology. I argue that these critiques are mistaken. On my view, Henry was a proponent of Aristotelianism. But Henry discovered a tension between Aristotle's views on teleology and the nature of knowledge, on the one hand, and various components (...) of the Christian worldview, on the other. I argue that Henry's adherence to a theory of divine illumination was an attempt to preserve various components of the Aristotelian system, not an attempt to reject Aristotelianism. (shrink)
This paper takes its departure from Michel Henry’s criticism of a technological view that “extends its reign to the whole planet, sowing desolation and ruin everywhere” ( I am the Truth , 271). It argues that although Henry’s critique of technology is helpful and important, it does not go far enough, inasmuch as it excludes all non-human beings from the Truth of “Life” he advocates against the destructive truths of technology and therefore cannot fully articulate the way in (...) which technology does in fact cause “desolation and ruin” on the entire planet. At the same time I suggest that this strict division between human and non-human life is not essential to Henry’s project, which may well have resources for a more environmentally friendly proposal. The first part of the paper lays out Henry’s critique of technology in some detail, highlighting the ways in which it contains important insights for our contemporary situation. The second part of the paper explores the stark division Henry draws between human generation from the divine life and the creation of everything else, including his rejection of any identification of humans with “protozoa and honey bees,” which would seem to suggest a complete lack of concern for non-human life. The final part of the paper seeks to find a way beyond this dichotomy by showing how non-human life may be included in Henry’s proposal in a way that extends his critique of technology in environmentally conscious ways without losing his phenomenological insights about the human condition. (shrink)
Cette étude, dans un premier temps, apporte des preuves à la possibilité d’interpréter la pensée politique de Hannah Arendt comme un projet phénoménologique original dont le but est d’élever l’apparence de la personne au rang de mode unique de l’apparaître. Puis elle présente brièvement la phénoménologie matérielle de Michel Henry dans laquelle le Soi individuel joue un rôle tout aussi central, puisqu’il est la condition de l’apparence de la vie et le fondement de tout apparaître. En conclusion, l’étude esquisse (...) les conséquences d’une telle position privilégiée du sujet individuel pour la conception théorique de la réalité effective de l’apparaître, de même que pour les problèmes pratiques de l’action de l’homme dans le monde. (shrink)
John Henry Newman is widely acknowledged to be an important theologian. However Newman commentators suggest that his work has received little recognition by philosophers. The general consensus has been that until the latter part of the twentieth century Newman has been an isolated philosophical figure. This essay offers an historical re-evaluation of Newman's philosophical reception in order to explore whether or not his significance has been underestimated. The historical method is used in the analysis and assessment of this question. (...) The study therefore probes the general philosophical reaction to Newman's work in the nineteenth and early twentieth century. In doing so the essay offers an historical investigation and re-evaluation of the claims of Newman having a negligible philosophical legacy. (shrink)
Aesthetics is a central topic in the works of Jean-Luc Marion and Michel Henry. While Henry focuses on abstract art (especially Kandinsky), Marion’s writings range over the history of art, including analyses of Courbet, Rothko, and Klee. This article examines their strikingly similar aesthetic theories and shows how they are grounded in a phenomenological claim about the relation between invisible and visible, hence about phenomenality itself. The artist becomes a paradigm for phenomenological receptivity in both thinkers, and art (...) is assigned a quasi-salvific function. This raises several important questions about their theories of art. (shrink)
This paper aims to explain Henry of Ghent's views on what kind of language is appropriate in theology, and why. It concentrates on a number of questions of the Summa quaestionum ordinariarum , which are devoted to his take on how theologians should explain their discipline to students, and to the meaningfulness in general of theological language. The paper delves into the technical terms sensus and insinuare , and compares Henry's account with H.P. Grice's views on (speaker-)meaning and (...) his notion of `conversational implicatures', thus showing that Henry emphasises the performative features of linguistic use. (shrink)
Cet article cherche à rendre compte de la signification du concept d'habitus que nous retrouvons chez Michel Henry en tentant de le situer par rapport aux principaux concepts qui sont au fondement de la phénoménologie matérielle.
Henry Johnstone's philosophical development was guided by a persistent need to reform the concept of validity -either by reinterpreting it or by finding a substitute for it. This project lead Johnstone into interesting confrontations with the concept of rhetoric and especiaUy with the work of Chaim Perelman and Olbrechts-Tyteca. The project culminated in a failed attempt to develop a formal ethics of rhetoric and argumentation, but this attempt was itself not consistent with some of Johnstone's other characterizations ofan ethics (...) of argument ation. A virtue ethics would be truer to the Johnstonian philosophical project than a formal ethics of argument. Resume. (shrink)