Although Professor of Philosophy at Calvin College, Alvin Plantinga has developed a theodicy that is fundamentally Arminian rather than Calvinistic. Anthony Flew, although the son of an Arminian Christian minister, regards the Arminian view of ‘free will’ to be both unacceptable on its own terms and incompatible with classical Christian theism. In this paper I hope to disentangle some of the involved controversy regarding theodicy which has developed between Plantinga and Flew, and between Flew and myself. The major portion of (...) this paper is devoted to showing that Plantinga's theodicy contains some serious flaws and undesirable implications. (shrink)
Limits to Action: The Allocation of Individual Behavior presents the ideas and methods in the study of how individual organisms allocate their limited time and energy and the consequences of such allocation. The book is a survey of individual resource allocation, emphasizing the relationships of the concepts of utility, reinforcement, and Darwinian fitness. The chapters are arranged beginning with plants and general evolutionary considerations, through animal behavior in nature and laboratory, and ending with human behavior in suburb and institution. Topics (...) discussed include operant conditioning; the principle of diminishing returns; and issues in relation to mating strategies. Biologists, sociologists, economists, and psychologists will find the book interesting. (shrink)
What are physical quantities, and in particular, what makes them quantitative? This book presents an original answer to this question through the novel position of substantival structuralism, arguing that quantitativeness is an irreducible feature of attributes, and quantitative attributes are best understood as substantival structured spaces.
Analogies must be symmetric. If a is like b, then b is like a. So if a has property R, and if R is within the scope of the analogy, then b (probably) has R. However, analogical arguments generally single out, or depend upon, only one of a or b to serve as the basis for the inference. In this respect, analogical arguments are directed by an asymmetry. I defend the importance of this neglected – even when explicitly mentioned – (...) feature in understanding analogical arguments. (shrink)
Written over the last 18 months of his life and inspired by his interest in G. E. Moore's defence of common sense, this much discussed volume collects Wittgenstein's reflections on knowledge and certainty, on what it is to know a proposition for sure.
Over the past 50 years, Jorge J.E. Gracia has been a seminal figure in Latin American philosophy, philosophy of race and ethnicity, metaphysics and ontology, medieval philosophy, and the theory of interpretation. This book commemorates Gracia’s legacy with a critical investigation of his deep and wide-ranging impact.
George Berkeley's Principles of Human Knowledge is a crucial text in the history of empiricism and in the history of philosophy more generally. Its central and seemingly astonishing claim is that the physical world cannot exist independently of the perceiving mind. The meaning of this claim, the powerful arguments in its favour, and the system in which it is embedded, are explained in a highly lucid and readable fashion and placed in their historical context. Berkeley's philosophy is, in part, a (...) response to the deep tensions and problems in the new philosophy of the early modern period and the reader is offered an account of this intellectual milieu. The book then follows the order and substance of the Principles whilst drawing on materials from Berkeley's other writings. This volume is the ideal introduction to Berkeley's Principles and will be of great interest to historians of philosophy in general. (shrink)
'To think often, and never to retain it so much as one moment, is a very useless sort of thinking' In An Essay concerning Human Understanding, John Locke sets out his theory of knowledge and how we acquire it. Eschewing doctrines of innate principles and ideas, Locke shows how all our ideas, even the most abstract and complex, are grounded in human experience and attained by sensation of external things or reflection upon our own mental activities. A thorough examination of (...) the communication of ideas through language and the conventions of taking words as signs of ideas paves the way for his penetrating critique of the limitations of ideas and the extent of our knowledge of ourselves, the world, God, and morals. Locke's masterpiece laid the foundation of British empiricism and is of enduring interest to anyone exploring the development of philosophical thought. This sensitive abridgement uses P. H. Nidditch's authoritative text, and together with an illuminating introduction and other features, makes Locke's arguments more accessible. (shrink)
The Legacy of Emotivism.J. E. J. Altham - 1986 - In Graham Frank Macdonald & Crispin Wright (eds.), Fact, science and morality: essays on A.J. Ayer's Language, Truth and Logic. Oxford: Basil Blackwell. pp. 275-288.details
This book evaluates Moore's contribution to the discussion of a number of epistemological problems, and arrives at the conclusion that Moore's contribution is not considerable. The author maintains that Moore was able to succeed philosophically in the refutation of Idealism, in the establishment of analytical techniques, and in his recognition of the role of common sense; but in those technical areas which were most interesting to Moore, the author finds little accomplishment, and even some confusion. For example, in considering the (...) problem of the relation between perception and an external world, Moore defends the common sense notions, but only on common sense grounds. The external world, which we know to exist with a high degree of certainty according to our common sense, we do not know to exist with any certainty at all when we approach the problem through an analysis of sense perception; and Moore will only say that we do not know that we do not know that external objects exist. Concerning the problem of truth and falsity the author finds Moore constructive but in need of revision and reconstruction, which the author obligingly attempts where necessary. Moore's position with respect to meaning and analysis is also evaluated with the same critical eye. Finally, the author shows the relative positions of common sense and ordinary language in Moore's thought.--J. J. E. (shrink)
The aim of this study is to describe how hermeneutic photography and one application of hermeneutic photography in particular, namely the photo-instrument, can be used as a health care intervention that fosters meaning (re-)construction of mental illness experiences. Studies into the ways how patients construct meaning in illness narratives indicate that aesthetic expressions of experiences may play an important role in meaning making and sharing. The study is part of a larger research project devoted to understanding the photostories that result (...) from groups of psychiatric patients using the photo-instrument. Within a focused ethnography approach we employed a qualitative design of a single case study. Text analysis of photostories was combined with observational data. Data were analyzed using hermeneutic theory. Participant observations were used for triangulation and complementarity. The interaction and collaboration between health care professionals and patients in the context of a photo group emerged as core concept that underlies the photo-instrument. The interaction triggered a reframing of meaning in the patient’s illness narrative that offered new perspectives on positive identity growth. The role of visualizing meaning in images was found to lend a dynamic power to the process and triggered a dialectic between real life circumstances and imagination played out in the context of situated action. The findings suggest that a positive reframing of meaning in illness narratives is facilitated by the photo-instrument. (shrink)
Bernard Williams is one of the most influential figures in ethical theory, where he has set a considerable part of the current agenda. In this collection a distinguished international team of philosophers who have been stimulated by Williams's work give responses to it. The topics covered include equality; consistency; comparisons between science and ethics; integrity; moral reasons; the moral system; and moral knowledge. Williams himself provides a substantial reply, which shows both the directions of his own thought and also his (...) present view of earlier work of his which has been extensively discussed for twenty years. This volume will be indispensable reading for all those interested in ethical theory. (shrink)