In this paper, I will argue that the Twelfth Century spiritually -oriented texts present an important, but often neglected instance of natural theology. My analysis will show that in the texts of Hugh of St. Victor and his student Richard of St. Victor we find a Christian Neo-Platonist variant of natural theology. The elements of natural theology form a central part of their larger spiritual programmes, which in turn are meant to guide the human being in her ascent (...) into divine realities and thereby offer immediate experience of the presence of God. I will give special attention to Hugh’s treatise _De Tribus Diebus_, as it explores both the manifestations of the Trinity in the created world as well as the beauty of all created objects. Hugh’s account will be supplemented by an exposition of Richard’s idea of experience as a vital means for all knowing. (shrink)
Demonstrating Richard Rorty’s breadth of scholarship and his influence on diverse issues across the social sciences and humanities, this comprehensive bibliography contains 1,165 citations. A unique reference work on neo-pragmatism, this bibliography is essential for anyone researching Rorty’s work and its impact on philosophy, literature, the arts, religion, the social sciences, politics, and education.
The present paper argues that the Venezuelan-Chilean philosopher Andrés Bello constitutes an important but heretofore neglected prefiguration of Richard Rorty. I argue for this thesis by articulating first an Inter-American philosophical narrative (based on previous work by Alex Stehn and Carlos Sanchez) that enables me to highlight certain common characteristics in philosophical projects that flourished across the Americas. Having done this, I show that Rorty’s anti-representationalism and anti-foundationalism are prefigured in Bello’s most important philosophical treatise, Filosofía del Entendimiento, to (...) the extent that Bello recognizes the problems posed by the ocular metaphors that are systematically used by Early modern philosophers such as Descartes or Locke, and suggests their elimination and replacement by other metaphors. Finally, I conclude that, if my arguments are correct, the intellectual geography of neo-pragmatism needs to be expanded beyond traditional geographies such as Europe and the US. (shrink)
Richard Wright gave a series of lectures in Europe from 1950 to 1956, collected in the following year in the volume, White Man, Listen! One dominant theme in all four essays is that expanding the moral imagination is centrally important in repairing our racism-benighted globe. What makes Wright’s version of this claim unique is his forthright admission that expanding the moral imagination necessarily involves pain and suffering. The best place to hear Wright in regard to the necessary pain of (...) expanding the moral imagination, I would argue, is his poetry collection, This Other World: Projections in the Haiku Manner. To wit, for Wright the necessary pain of expanding one’s moral imagination is the loneliness that results from delegating to others—in the etymological sense of “deputizing or committing”—one’s whiteness qua privilege or social capital. In conclusion, lonely delegation constitutes an imperative template from Wright regarding the painful expansion of our own moral imagination, in the service of social justice for economically oppressed communities of color across the globe. (shrink)
This article engages Richard Rorty’s controversial concept of ethnocentrism with the help of Randolf (Randy) S. David’s writings. The first section defines Rorty’s concept of ethnocentrism and responds to the general criticisms of relativism and divisiveness that have been made against it. The second section suggests a conceptual replacement for Rorty’s notion of a vicious ethnocentrism: egotism. Egotism is a kind of cultural ethnocentrism that is resistant to openness, creativity, and social transformation. Inspired by David’s work, the third and (...) final section suggests how the concepts of ethnocentrism and egotism might be of some use as conceptual tools for articulating contemporary social issues in the Philippines. (shrink)
A descriptive polytheist thinks there are at least two gods. John Hick and Richard Swinburne are descriptive polytheists. In this respect, they are like Thomas Aquinas and many other theists. What sets Swinburne and Hick apart from Aquinas, however, is that unlike him they are normative polytheists. That is, Swinburne and Hick think that it is right that we, or at least some of us, worship more than one god. However, the evidence available to me shows that only Swinburne, (...) and not Hick, is a cultic polytheist: he actually worships more than one god. I conclude that only Swinburne is a polytheist par excellence. (shrink)
Arguably the most influential of all contemporary English-speaking philosophers, Richard Rorty has transformed the way many inside and outside philosophy think about the discipline and the traditional ways of practising it. Drawing on a wide range of thinkers from Darwin and James to Quine, Wittgenstein, Heidegger and Derrida, Rorty has injected a bold anti-foundationalist vision into philosophical debate, into discussions in literary theory, communication studies, political theory and education, and, as public intellectual, into national debates about the responsibilities of (...) America in the modern world. The essays in this volume offer a balanced exposition and critique of Rorty's views on knowledge, language, truth, science, morality and politics. The editorial introduction presents a valuable overview of Rorty's philosophical vision. Written by a distinguished team of philosophers, this volume will have an unusual appeal outside philosophy to students in the social sciences, literary studies, cultural studies and political theory. (shrink)
Abstract: In The Evolution of Morality, Richard Joyce argues there is good reason to think that the “moral sense” is a biological adaptation, and that this provides a genealogy of the moral sense that has a debunking effect, driving us to the conclusion that “our moral beliefs are products of a process that is entirely independent of their truth, … we have no grounds one way or the other for maintaining these beliefs.” I argue that Joyce's skeptical conclusion is (...) not warranted. Even if the moral sense is a biological adaptation, developed moralities (such as Aristotelian eudaimonism) can “co-opt” it into new roles so that the moral judgments it makes possible can come to transcend the evolutionary process that is “entirely independent of their truth.” While evolutionary theory can shed much light on our shared human nature, moral theories must still be vindicated, or debunked, by moral arguments. (shrink)
An overview of Hugh’s thought, focusing on philosophical issues. Specifically it gives a summary of his overall vision; the sources he worked from; his understanding of: the division of the science, biblical interpretation, God, creation, providence and evil, human nature and ethics, salvation; and his spiritual teachings.
This is a discussion of self-knowledge in Hugh of St. Victor. It will yield the following three systematic results. First, it will be shown that there is a clear sense in which human self-knowledge is knowledge of one’s own rationality, and therefore knowledge of the proper object of one’s rational capacities (dunameis meta logou). Second, a distinction will be drawn between perfect and imperfect self-knowledge. Third, it will turn out that under conditions of perfect self-knowledge, all our rational capacities (...) would work like our capacity for perceptual knowledge. (shrink)
Interview with Richard Rorty, April 1997, Amsterdam. Occasion for the interview was Rorty being the occupant of the Spinoza Chair in 1997. The interview is mostly about Rorty's paper 'The Intellectuals and the Poor', in which he criticises the politics of left-wing academics.
Richard Rorty suggests that we should stop looking for something common to us all, for universal justifi cations and truth. Rorty argues that focusing on a single truth sooner or later serves those who claim that there is a proper, true model of living. In the end, they use violence and cause pain, as they are driven by the idea that everyone should accept their truth. In this article I shall argue that such reasoning is not justifi ed and (...) whether we are universalists or constructivists, our actions may be the same and cause pain. At the same time, having the same beliefs will not stop us from acting differently. What matters is how we use a particular concept in accordance with our interests and not the concept itself. I shall also argue that dialog can help to prevent violence and that while Rorty is right, there are also a number of problems with that proposition. (shrink)
It is curious why a secular pragmatist like Richard Rorty would capitalize on the religiously-laden concept of redemption in his recent writings. But more than being an intriguing idea in his later work, this essay argues that redemption plays a key role in the historical development of Rorty’s thought. It begins by exploring the paradoxical status of redemption in Rorty’s oeuvre. It then investigates an overlooked debate between Rorty, Dreyfus and Taylor that first endorses the concept. It then contrasts (...) Rorty’s notions of essentialism and edification to link redemption to self-transformation. After providing a historical legitimation to the idea of redemption, the essay reconstructs Rorty’s modern version of the concept. Redemption for Rorty centers on human relationships and not religion or philosophy; it is also pluralist and liberal in character. Finally, it concludes that Rorty uses redemption—a primary component of religious language—to capture the salvific force of religion. This power is redirected toward the protection of secular, democratic hopes, which are demanding and fragile by nature. (shrink)
In 1870, Wilhelm Richard Wagner wrote an essay to celebrate the centennial of Beethoven’s birth. In this essay Wagner made the case that music is, unlike any other object we create or are attentive to in experience, in an immediate analogical relationship with the activity of the Schopenhauerian “will” and is always enlivened. By drawing on this idea, we can not only conceive of music as in an immediate analogical relationship with our personal experience, but as perhaps the only (...) object of cognition that is in a constant state of personal vitality. It is by that very continuous vitality that it can return us to our own personhood with deeper insight and perspective. The essay concludes by exploring how attending to the musical object as a spiritual exercise might reconnect us to our roots in sensus communis, educate us on our common personhood, and play an ethical role in our lives. (shrink)
As the expansion of the Internet and the digital formatting of all kinds of creative works move us further into the information age, intellectual property issues have become paramount. Computer programs costing thousands of research dollars are now copied in an instant. People who would recoil at the thought of stealing cars, computers, or VCRs regularly steal software or copy their favorite music from a friend's CD. Since the Web has no national boundaries, these issues are international concerns. The contributors-philosophers, (...) legal theorists, and business scholars, among others-address questions such as: Can abstract ideas be owned? How does the violation of intellectual property rights compare to the violation of physical property rights? Can computer software and other digital information be protected? And how should legal systems accommodate the ownership of intellectual property in an information age? Intellectual Property is a lively examination of these and other issues, and an invaluable resource for librarians, lawyers, businesspeople, and scholars. (shrink)
Richard Rorty is one of the most influential and provocative figures in contemporary intellectual life. He argues that many of philosophy's traditional concerns are redundant, and that the goal of inquiry should not be truth but human betterment. In this collection a distinguished team of scholars grapples with the implications of his writings for social and political thought. Avoiding mindless adulation or ritual denunciation, they offer careful but critical investigations of the meaning of Rorty's work for a range of (...) important issues. Topics explored include anti-foundationalism; irony and commitment; justice; liberalism and utopianism; reason and aesthetics; humanism and anti-humanism; the Holocaust; the theory of international relations; social democracy and the pragmatist tradition. Each essay is followed by a reply written for this volume by Rorty. The volume also includes a substantial essay by Rorty on 'Justice as a Larger Loyalty'. This volume is indispensable for any reader interested in Rorty's work, or in contemporary debates in social, political or ethical theory. Contributors: Molly Cochran; Daniel Conway; Matthew Festenstein; Norman Geras; John Horton; David Owen; Richard Rorty; Kate Soper; Simon Thompson. (shrink)
Richard Rorty (1931–2007) developed a distinctive and controversial brand of pragmatism that expressed itself along two main axes. One is negative—a critical diagnosis of what Rorty takes to be defining projects of modern philosophy. The other is positive—an attempt to show what intellectual culture might look like, once we free ourselves from the governing metaphors of mind and knowledge in which the traditional problems of epistemology and metaphysics (and indeed, in Rorty's view, the self-conception of modern philosophy) are rooted. (...) The centerpiece of Rorty's critique is the provocative account offered in Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature (1979, hereafter PMN). In this book, and in the closely related essays collected in Consequences of Pragmatism (1982, hereafter CP), Rorty's principal target is the philosophical idea of knowledge as representation, as a mental mirroring of a mind-external world. Providing a contrasting image of philosophy, Rorty has sought to integrate and apply the milestone achievements of Dewey, Hegel and Darwin in a pragmatist synthesis of historicism and naturalism. Characterizations and illustrations of a post-epistemological intellectual culture, present in both PMN (part III) and CP (xxxvii-xliv), are more richly developed in later works, such as Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity (1989, hereafter CIS), in the popular essays and articles collected in Philosophy and Social Hope (1999), and in the four volumes of philosophical papers, Objectivity, Relativism, and Truth (1991, hereafter ORT); Essays on Heidegger and Others (1991, hereafter EHO); Truth and Progress (1998, hereafter TP); and Philosophy as Cultural Politics (2007, hereafter PCP). In these writings, ranging over an unusually wide intellectual territory, Rorty offers a highly integrated, multifaceted view of thought, culture, and politics, a view that has made him one of the most widely discussed philosophers in our time. (shrink)
Key Philosophers in Conversation is a fascinating collection of interviews presenting the ideas of some of the worlds leading contemporary philosophers. Each interview features a discussion with a key philosopher looking at philosophical issues such as; the philosophy of mind, ethics, science, political philosophy and the history of philosophy. Those interviewed are; W.V.O Quine, Michael Dummet, Mary Warnock, Hilary Putnam, Alasdair MacIntyre, Daniel Dennett, Martha Nussbaum, Roger Scruton, Bernard Williams, Jean Hampton, Richard Dawkins, Derek Parfit, Peter Strawson, David Gauthier, (...)Hugh Mellor, John Cottingham, Adam Morton, Stefan Korner, Richard Sorabji and Nancy Cartwright. This book offers an excellent insight to contemporary philosophy and is ideal for anyone seeking an introduction to what is happening in Philosophy today. (shrink)
Uno de los fenomenólogos de la nueva generación que sigue la línea de Husserl, Heidegger, Marion y Lévinas es Richard Kearney. Este filósofo irlandés, católico, propone una cuarta reducción fenomenológica, esto es, volver al eschaton enraizado en la existencia cotidiana: encontrar la voz y el rostro de lo más alto en lo más bajo. Es como la realización de aquella idea heideggeriana de que “Sólo aquello del mundo que es de poca monta llegará alguna vez a ser cosa.” . (...) En el lenguaje cotidiano, en la vida diaria, se encuentra una posibilidad de superar el escepticismo, la indiferencia y el hastío del mundo vuelto consumo y del hombre convertido en pieza del mercado. En el encuentro cara a cara se da la posibilidad de una revelación que hace de la relación con el otro, y especialmente con el extranjero, un maravillarse y nos implemente una duda, una sospecha y una desconfianza. (shrink)
Richard Goldschmidt was one of the most controversial biologists of the mid-twentieth century. Rather than fade from view, Goldschmidt's work and reputation has persisted in the biological community long after he has. Goldschmidt's longevity is due in large part to how he was represented by Stephen J. Gould. When viewed from the perspective of the biographer, Gould's revival of Goldschmidt as an evolutionary heretic in the 1970s and 1980s represents a selective reinvention of Goldschmidt that provides a contrast to (...) other kinds of biographical commemorations by scientists. (shrink)
Richard Koch first made his appearance in the 1920s with works published on the foundations of medicine. These publications describe the character of medicine as an action and the status of medicine within the theory of science. One of his conclusions is that medicine is not a science in the original sense of the word, but a practical discipline. It serves a practical purpose: to heal the sick. All medical knowledge is oriented towards this purpose, which also defines the (...) physician’s role. One kind of knowledge is diagnosis, which is strictly understood in relation to therapy, and is at the core of medical thinking. Diagnosis is not the assignment of a term of a species to a patient’s disease: this would not do justice to the individuality of a clinical manifestation and would fail to provide a reason for individual therapy. Nevertheless, the terms assigned to diseases, although fictitious, are not useless, but assist in differentiating various phenomena. These conclusions carry ethical consequences. Because the task of helping the sick constitutes medicine, morals not only set ethical limits: medicine originates in a moral decision. If there are no diseases but only individual sick people, disease can not be defined as an abnormality. The individual benefit to the patient must not necessarily be the complete restoration of health. With its object being incalculable, medicine cannot guarantee its own success. Here the physician has to develop principles that allow for the best possible response to the challenges faced in varying situations of conduct. (shrink)
Many global and national systems of regulation of blood donors and donor compensation rely for intellectual support on Richard Titmuss’s views, represented in The Gift Relationship. Based on selective interpretation of data from the 1960s, Titmuss engineered an ethical view pertaining to donors and, in so doing, created not only ongoing stereotypes, but created a cause for followers to perpetuate misunderstandings about the nature of such donations. In many cases, donors are, in fact compensated, but regulatory systems persevere in (...) using definitional fig leaves in order to perpetuate an ongoing political goal of diminishing private sector participation in health care. However, in more recent works, including new views of critical sociology and evolutionary psychology, the Titmuss worldview has been turned upside-down. Evidence readily available today proves the safety of compensated donation and the lives saved by encouraging policies for both compensated and non-compensated donation. (shrink)