Content analysis of three chapters of Jamison’s memoir, An Unquiet Mind, shows that depression, mania, and Bipolar Disorder have a common metaphoric core as a sequential process of suffering and adversity that is a form of malevolence and destruction. Depression was down and in, while mania was up, in and distant, circular and zigzag, a powerful force of quickness and motion, fieriness, strangeness, seduction, expansive extravagance, and acuity. Bipolar Disorder is down and away and a sequential and cyclical process that (...) partakes of the metaphors of its component moods. We conclude that metaphors of mood disorders share a number of structural features and are consistent across different authors. (shrink)
If “perfectionism” in ethics refers to those normative theories that treat the fulfillment or realization of human nature as central to an account of both goodness and moral obligation, in what sense is “human flourishing” a perfectionist notion? How much of what we take “human flourishing” to signify is the result of our understanding of human nature? Is the content of this concept simply read off an examination of our nature? Is there no place for diversity and individuality? Is the (...) belief that the content of such a normative concept can be determined by an appeal to human nature merely the result of epistemological naiveté? What is the exact character of the connection between human flourishing and human nature? These questions are the ultimate concern of this essay, but to appreciate the answers that will be offered it is necessary to understand what is meant by “human flourishing.” “Human flourishing” is a relatively recent term in ethics. It seems to have developed in the last two decades because the traditional translation of the Greek term eudaimonia as “happiness” failed to communicate clearly that eudaimonia was an objective good, not merely a subjective good. (shrink)
This essay asks whether what is good for someone is distinct from her self-perfection, and whether it makes sense to understand either her good or her self-perfection in terms of the other. The essay adopts a traditional naturalistic understanding of perfection. It argues, however, that the conception of human nature that underlies the perfectionist view must be more individualistic than it is often taken to be. It goes on to distinguish individuative from generic features of human nature; because the account (...) includes both types of characteristics, the concluding vision of human nature, and hence human perfection, is deeply individualized. What is good for an individual is linked to the exercise of her nature rather than to desires individuals simply happen to have. (shrink)
In this essay, I consider whether the alleged demise of metaphysical realism does actually provide a better way for defending the cognitive status of ethical judgments. I argue that the rejection of a realist ontology and epistemology does not help to establish the claim that ethical knowledge is possible. More specifically, I argue that Hilary Putnam's argument does not succeed in making a case for ethical knowledge. In fact, his account of the procedures by which our valuations are warranted—the criteria (...) of idealized inquiry—ultimately begs the question in a number of crucial ways. Moreover, it prejudices the moral and political discussion in certain ideological respects. Finally, though Putnam has apparently modified to some extent his approach to the issue of realism in recent years, I will point out that these modifications are not fundamental and do not help to advance the case for ethical knowledge. I note also that Martha C. Nussbaum's appeal to Putnam’s argument actually works against her attempt to make a case for an Aristotelian conception of human flourishing. Ultimately, I conclude that metaphysical realism is vital for ethical knowledge. (shrink)
In "representing and intervening", Ian hacking argues that on a fregean semantics of scientific theory, Incommensurability between competing theories threatens, In the strong sense of precluding their being about the same entities; whereas no such threat arises on putnam's account. On fregean principles, Hacking's argument would however at best support a much weaker claim. In any case, The pivot of his argument is the completely unfounded assumption that the fregean is commited to semantical holism.
In this first book-length comparative study of these leading eighteenth-century thinkers, Dennis Rasmussen highlights Smith's sympathy with Rousseau's concerns and analyzes in depth the ways in which Smith crafted his arguments to defend ...
The correspondence theory of truth is a precise and innovative account of how the truth of a proposition depends upon that proposition's connection to a piece of reality. Joshua Rasmussen refines and defends the correspondence theory of truth, proposing new accounts of facts, propositions, and the correspondence between them. With these theories in hand, he then offers original solutions to the toughest objections facing correspondence theorists. Addressing the Problem of Funny Facts, Liar Paradoxes, and traditional epistemological questions concerning how (...) our minds can access reality, he challenges recent objections, and defends what has traditionally been the most popular theory of truth. Written with clarity, precision, and sensitivity to a range of philosophical backgrounds, his book will appeal to advanced students and scholars seeking a deeper understanding of the relationship between truth and reality. (shrink)
How can we establish a political/legal order that in principle does not require the human flourishing of any person or group to be given structured preference over that of any other? Addressing this question as the central problem of political philosophy,_ Norms of Liberty_ offers a new conceptual foundation for political liberalism that takes protecting liberty, understood in terms of individual negative rights, as the primary aim of the political/legal order. Rasmussen and Den Uyl argue for construing individual rights (...) as metanormative principles, directly tied to politics, that are used to establish the political/ legal conditions under which full moral conduct can take place. These they distinguish from normative principles, used to provide guidance for moral conduct within the ambit of normative ethics. This crucial distinction allows them to develop liberalism as a metanormative theory, not a guide for moral conduct. The moral universe need not be minimized or morality grounded in sentiment or contracts to support liberalism, they show. Rather, liberalism can be supported, and many of its internal tensions avoided, with an ethical framework of Aristotelian inspiration—one that understands human flourishing to be an objective, inclusive, individualized, agent-relative, social, and self-directed activity. (shrink)
Larry L. Rasmussen offers a dramatic new way of thinking about human society, ethics, and the health of our planet. Rejecting the modern ethical assumption that morality applies to human society alone, Earth-honoring Faith argues that we must derive a system of ethics and morality that accounts for the wellbeing of all creation on Earth.
In the past decade the work of Jurgen Habermas has sparked off a series of lively debates over modernity and post-modernity, the nature of language, the interplay of law and politics and the dilemmas of morality. Significantly, these debates unfold in the context of his particular reading of the modern philosophical tradition from the German enlightment to the present period. In this original interpretation, David Rasmussen provides both guide and critique to the later Habermas encountered in the context of (...) the best of the critical literature that has emerged in recent years. Reading Habermas argues that Habermas' concept of modernity provides the context for the theory of language as well as his approaches to law and ethics. This book, as its title implies, offers a reading. It explores philosophical options chosen in the light of other, rejected readings. It is a distinctive, readable contribution to the current controversy surrounding the most recent developments in critical theory. (shrink)
Universalism vs. Communitarianism focuses on the question, raised by recent work in normative philosophy, of whether ethical norms are best derived and justified on the basis of universal or communitarian standards. It is unique in representing both Continental and American points of view and both the older and a younger generation of scholars. The essays introduce the key issues involved in universalism vs. communitarianism and take up ethics in historical perspective, practical reason and ethical responsibility, justification, application and history, and (...) communitarian alternatives. Based on a special issue of the Journal Philosophy and Social Criticism, the book includes two additional essays by Chantal Mouffe and by Hubert and Stuart Dreyfus. David Rasmussen is Professor of Philosophy at Boston College and editor of Philosophy and Social Criticism. Contents: introduction, David, Rasmussen. Universalisms: Procedural, Contextualist, and Prudential, Alessandro Ferrara. Beyond Liberalism and Communitarianism: Toward a Critical Theory of Social Justice, Gerald Doppelt. The Liberal/Communitarian Controversy and Communicative Ethics, Kenneth Baynes. Discourse Ethics and Civil Society, Jean Cohen. Equality, Political Order and Ethics: Hobbes and the Systematics of Democratic Rationality, Rolf Zimmermann. Atomism and Ethical Life: On Hegel's Critique of the French Revolution, Axel Honneth. The Gadamer-Habermas Debate Revisited: The Question of Ethics, Michael Kelly. What Is and What Is Not Practical Reason? Agnes Heller. Adorno, Heidegger, and Postmodernity, Hauke Brunkhorst. Impartial Application of Moral and Legal Norms: A Contribution to Discourse Ethics, Klaus Günther. An Ethics, Politics, and History, Jürgen Habermas in an interview conducted by Jean-Marc Ferry. Rawls: Political Philosophy without Politics, Chantal Mouffe. What Is Morality: A Phenomenological Account of the Development of Ethical Expertise, Hubert L Dreyfus, Stuart E. Dreyfus. Universalism and Communitarianism: A Bibliography, Michael Zilles. (shrink)
Autonomy is a vital concept in much of modern theory, defining the Subject as capable of self-governance. Democratic theory relies on the concept of autonomy to provide justification for participatory government and the normative goal of democratic governance, which is to protect the ability of the individual to self-govern. Offering the first examination of the concept of autonomy from a postfoundationalist perspective, _The Autonomous Animal _analyzes how the ideal of self-governance has shaped everyday life. Claire E. Rasmussen begins by (...) considering the academic terrain of autonomy, then focusing on specific examples of political behavior that allow her to interrogate these theories. She demonstrates how the adolescent—a not-yet-autonomous subject—highlights how the ideal of self-governance generates practices intended to cultivate autonomy by forming the individual’s relationship to his or her body. She points up how the war on drugs rests on the perception that drug addicts are the antithesis of autonomy and thus must be regulated for their own good. Showing that the animal rights movement may challenge the distinction between human and animal, Rasmussen also examines the place of the endurance athlete in fitness culture, where self-management of the body is the exemplar of autonomous subjectivity. (shrink)
I develop a new theory of times. I show how to analyze times as tenselessly describable “abstract” entities. Some philosophers make use of ersatz times, which are abstract entities such as maximal states of affairs that bear earlier than and later than relations to one another. Although these times are normally thought to exemplify A-properties that cannot be expressed in a purely tenseless language, I explain how a tenseless theory can accommodate abstract times. I do this by defending Rasmussen’s (...) tenseless presentism against a recent objection, and getting on the table a new theory of time that combines eternalism with a B-series of genuine, abstract times. The result is a new way to think about a familiar category: time. (shrink)
Fifteen distinguished contributors free present up-to-date arguments for the libertarian alternative. Part One introduces libertarianism and outlines some approaches by which it might be justified. Part Two addresses how a society that embraces libertarian principles might deal with various social problems, especially those that seem to require government intervention. Part Three responds to criticisms of libertarianism from other political perspectives and presents a libertarian critique of those viewpoints. Contributors: N. Scott Arnold; James E. Chesher; Mike Gemmell; John Hospers; Gregory R. (...) Johnson; Loren E. Lomasky; Tibor R. Machan; Eric Mack; Jan Narveson; Douglas B. Rasmussen; Daniel Shapiro; Aeon Skoble; Mark Thornton; Douglas J. Den Uyl; Steven Yates. (shrink)
Gregory R. Johnson and David Rasmussen defend their critique of Ayn Rand's views on abortion, arguing that their critics miss its main points. Tibor Machan and Alexander Tabarrok actually depart from Rand's own position under the guise of defending it; they introduce a non-Randian distinction between being a human organism and being a moral person.
Douglas B. Rasmussen examines, in this revised and extended version of his 1990 address to the Ayn Rand Society, whether Rand's ethics are best interpreted as dependent on a "pre-moral" choice. He argues that such an interpretation undercuts Rand's claim to provide a rational foundation for ethics. He suggests an alternative, neo-Aristotelian interpretation of Rand's ethics, which treats "man's survival qua man" as the telos of human choice and takes the obligation to achieve this ultimate end as the result (...) of its being the good for human beings. (shrink)
In response to Robert Hartford's criticisms of his Spring 2006 Journal of Ayn Rand Studies essay, "Regarding Choice and the Foundations of Morality," Rasmussen argues against "the official" interpretation of Rand's ethics as resting on a basic "choice to live." Drawing from his work with Douglas Den Uyl, Rasmussen argues that Rand's metaethics is best understood in "biocentric," neo-Aristotelian terms: that human choice does not set the context in which it operates and that "man's life qua man" is (...) the natural end of human life. (shrink)
Book notice Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-2 DOI 10.1007/s11016-011-9588-3 Authors Nicolas Rasmussen, School of History and Philosophy, University of NSW, Sydney, 2052 Australia Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.
GREGORY R. JOHNSON and DAVID RASMUSSEN defend their critique of Ayn Rand's views on abortion, arguing that their critics miss its main points. Tibor Machan and Alexander Tabarrok actually depart from Rand's own position under the guise of defending it; they introduce a non-Randian distinction between being a human organism and being a moral person.
GREGORY R. JOHNSON and DAVID RASMUSSEN argue that Rand's defense of abortion on demand is inconsistent with her own fundamental metaphysical, epistemological, and moral principles, namely that everything that exists has a determinate identity, that the concept of man refers to all of man's characteristics, not just his essential characteristics, and that there is no gap between what an organism truly is and what it ought to be.
Adam Smith is popularly regarded as the ideological forefather of laissez-faire capitalism, while Rousseau is seen as the passionate advocate of the life of virtue in small, harmonious communities and as a sharp critic of the ills of commercial society. But, in fact, Smith had many of the same worries about commercial society that Rousseau did and was strongly influenced by his critique. In this first book-length comparative study of these leading eighteenth-century thinkers, Dennis Rasmussen highlights Smith’s sympathy with (...) Rousseau’s concerns and analyzes in depth the ways in which Smith crafted his arguments to defend commercial society against these charges. These arguments, Rasmussen emphasizes, were pragmatic in nature, not ideological: it was Smith’s view that, all things considered, commercial society offered more benefits than the alternatives. Just because of this pragmatic orientation, Smith’s approach can be useful to us in assessing the pros and cons of commercial society today and thus contributes to a debate that is too much dominated by both dogmatic critics and doctrinaire champions of our modern commercial society. (shrink)
This is a study of the political theory of the Enlightenment, focusing on four leading eighteenth-century thinkers: David Hume, Adam Smith, Montesquieu and Voltaire. Dennis C. Rasmussen calls attention to the particular strand of the Enlightenment these thinkers represent, which he terms the 'pragmatic Enlightenment'. He defends this strand of Enlightenment thought against both the Enlightenment's critics and some of the more idealistic Enlightenment figures who tend to have more followers today, such as John Locke, Immanuel Kant and Jeremy (...) Bentham. Professor Rasmussen argues that Hume, Smith, Montesquieu and Voltaire exemplify an especially attractive type of liberalism, one that is more realistic, moderate, flexible, and contextually sensitive than most other branches of this tradition. (shrink)
The analytical notion of ‘scientific style of reasoning’, introduced by Ian Hacking in the middle of the 1980s, has become widespread in the literature of the history and philosophy of science. However, scholars have rarely made explicit the philosophical assumptions and the research objectives underlying the notion of style: what are its philosophical roots? How does the notion of style fit into the area of research of historical epistemology? What does a comparison between Hacking’s project on styles of thinking and (...) other similar projects suggest? My aim in this paper is to answer these questions. Hacking has denied that his project of styles of thinking falls into the field of historical epistemology. I shall challenge his remark by tracing out the connections of the notion of style with historical epistemology and, more in general, with a tradition of thought born in France in the beginning of twentieth-century. (shrink)
This essay constitutes a response to Mikkel Bolt Rasmussen’s essay “A Note on Socially Engaged Art Criticism”. In particular, the essay focuses on the concept of an “exculpatory critique”. This term refers to a set of arguments in contemporary art criticism which contend that artistic practices that engage directly with processes of social or political change sacrifice their aesthetic validity while also providing an ideological justification for existing systems of domination. Kester seeks to demonstrate some of the shortcomings involved (...) in this critique by examining the underlying model of political transformation on which it is based and outlining an alternative account of art’s role in social action. (shrink)
En los últimos años Ian Hacking se ha dedicado a trabajar principalmente acerca de las ciencias humanas. El objetivo de este artículo es presentar algunas de las nociones acuñadas por el filósofo canadiense -fundamentalmente las de ontología histórica y nominalismo dinámico- para dicho ámbito. A par..
Ian Rumfitt has proposed systems of bilateral logic for primitive speech acts of assertion and denial, with the purpose of ‘exploring the possibility of specifying the classically intended senses for the connectives in terms of their deductive use’ : 810f). Rumfitt formalises two systems of bilateral logic and gives two arguments for their classical nature. I assess both arguments and conclude that only one system satisfies the meaning-theoretical requirements Rumfitt imposes in his arguments. I then formalise an intuitionist system of (...) bilateral logic which also meets those requirements. Thus Rumfitt cannot claim that only classical bilateral rules of inference succeed in imparting a coherent sense onto the connectives. My system can be extended to classical logic by adding the intuitionistically unacceptable half of a structural rule Rumfitt uses to codify the relation between assertion and denial. Thus there is a clear sense in which, in the bilateral framework, the difference between classicism and intuitionism is not one of the rules of inference governing negation, but rather one of the relation between assertion and denial. (shrink)
In a recent article Mark Ian Thomas Robson argues that there is a clear contradiction between the view that possible worlds are a part of God's nature and the theologically pivotal, but philosophically neglected, claim that God is perfectly beautiful. In this article I show that Robson's argument depends on several key assumptions that he fails to justify and as such that there is reason to doubt the soundness of his argument. I also demonstrate that if Robson's argument were sound (...) then this would be a problem for all classical theists and not just those who hold the possible worlds view. (shrink)
This paper offers a defence of the distinction between agent-neutral and agent-relative reasons for action from scepticism aired by Toni Rønnow-Rasmussen. In response it is argued that the Nagelian notion of an agent-neutral reason is not incomprehensible, and that agent-neutral reasons can indeed be understood as obtaining states of affairs that count in favour of anyone and everyone performing the action they favour. Furthermore, I argue that a distinction drawn between agent-neutral and agent-relative reason-statements that express the salient features (...) of reason-constitutive states of affairs is neither reductive in the sense of reducing normative reasons to the propositional content of an agent’s mental state, nor trivial in the sense of locating the distinction merely in an agent’s description of the world. (shrink)
. In my response to Ian Barbour's criticisms, I first argue for the anthropological dimensions and contextuality of any theology. Next I examine and criticize Barbour's thesis that I am an in‐compatibilist about divine action. Finally I illustrate the fact that I see genuine opportunities for a dialogue between theologians and scientists without apologetics, category mistakes, or relegating theology to the fringes of science, by pointing to evolutionary explanations of religion.
Personal Values is a delightful and enlightening read. It is teeming with novel insights, ground-breaking distinctions, rich examples, new delineations of the field, refreshing historical reminders, inventive arguments, unprecedented connections, identifications of neglected difficulties, and pioneering proposals. I shall focus here on three of these insights, which are illustrative of the pervasive scrupulousness and inventiveness of the book. The first is that there is a distinction between the supervenience base of values and their constitutive grounds. The second is that FA (...) is admittedly circular (because pro-attitudes have values as formal objects), but that this circularity is benign. The third proposal is that one important kind of for- someome-sake’s attitude⎯prototypically, love⎯is such that it is not justified by the properties it represents its object as exemplifying. This is a small sample of claims not meant to be representative of the book. The reason I have chosen to discuss these in particular is that, while finding them plausible and significant, I believe that each raises a worry that Rønnow-Rasmussen fails to address properly. I shall tentatively suggest a possible solution in each case. (shrink)
This article explores the proposal offered by Ian Hacking for the distinction between natural and social sciences—a proposal that he has defined from the outset as complex and different from the traditional ones. Our objective is not only to present the path followed by Hacking’s distinction, but also to determine if it constitutes a novelty or not. For this purpose, we deemed it necessary to briefly introduce the core notions Hacking uses to establish his strategic approach to social sciences, under (...) the assumption that they are less well known that the ones corresponding to his treatment of natural sciences. (shrink)
I use Ian Hacking 's views to explore ways of classifying people, exploiting his distinction between indifferent kinds and interactive kinds, and his accounts of how we 'make up' people. The natural kind/essentialist approach to indifferent kinds is explored in some depth. I relate this to debates in psychiatry about the existence of mental illness, and to educational controversies about the credentials of learner classifications such as 'dyslexic'. Claims about the 'existence' of learning disabilities cannot be given a clear, simple (...) and unambiguous interpretation. In particular I show that science cannot deliver a definitive taxonomy of learner categories, and that this has important implications for teachers and policy makers. (shrink)
Charles Taylor's work has recently taken a religious turn, with Taylor becoming more explicit about his own religious faith and its influence on his thinking. Ian Fraser offers a systematic, critical exploration of the nature of Taylor's Catholicism as it appears in his writings. This reply to Fraser endorses his belief in the importance of looking carefully at Taylor's religious views. However, it raises doubts about some of Fraser's particular arguments and conclusions, and aims to foster a clearer understanding of (...) Taylor's religious beliefs. It poses questions for Fraser about what Taylor is setting out to do in A Catholic Modernity?; why he invokes the figure of Matteo Ricci; whether he believes that acts of practical benevolence are impossible without a religious foundation; and whether his religiously-inspired pluralism suffers an inherent contradiction. (shrink)
Representing and Reconstructing: A Hermeneutical Reply to Ian Hacking. Hacking published in 1983 Representing and Intervening which has provoked, particularly in the US, the so called realism/anti-realism debate which is still alive today. He lays claim to anti-realism for theory and to realism for the experiment. Following him, only that which can be used for manipulating something is realistic. H. Putnam is a severe critic of this dualism. In my paper I am going to take the Hacking -Putnam controversy as (...) a starting-point for the problem about the determination of the relation between theory and experiment in the natural sciences. I shall then follow M. Schlick's discussion of this problem and the current solution to the problem as offered by H. Pietschmann. The differing interpretation of Kant according to the three perspectives shall be the guideline for the argumentation. The goal of my argumentation is that theory and experiment do not live their own lives, that in experimenting one always continues traditional chains of action, and that natural science cannot be regarded independently of the life world it takes place in. This insight into the representing and reconstructing overturns in natural science, due to the necessity of human decisions, opens up their hermeneutical dimension. (shrink)
The rosy dawn of my title refers to that optimistic time when the logical concept of a natural kind originated in Victorian England. The scholastic twilight refers to the present state of affairs. I devote more space to dawn than twilight, because one basic problem was there from the start, and by now those origins have been forgotten. Philosophers have learned many things about classification from the tradition of natural kinds. But now it is in disarray and is unlikely to (...) be put back together again. My argument is less founded on objections to the numerous theories now in circulation, than on the sheer proliferation of incompatible views. There no longer exists what Bertrand Russell called ‘the doctrine of natural kinds’—one doctrine. Instead we have a slew of distinct analyses directed at unrelated projects. (shrink)
This paper examines Ian Hacking's arguments in favor of entity realism. It shows that his examples from science do not support his realism. Furthermore, his proposed criterion of experimental use is neither sufficient nor necessary for conferring a privileged status on his preferred unobservables. Nonetheless his insight is genuine; it may be most profitably seen as part of a more general effort to create a space for a new form of scientific and philosophical certainty, one that does not require foundations.
Ian Hacking, Hacking and Latour on science studies and metaphysics: The Social Construction of What?Harvard University Press, ISBN 0-674-81200-X Bruno Latour, Pandora's Hope: Essays on the Reality of Science StudiesHarvard University Press, ISBN0-67-465336-X.
The analytical notion of ‘scientific style of reasoning’, introduced by Ian Hacking in the middle of the 1980s, has become widespread in the literature of the history and philosophy of science. However, scholars have rarely made explicit the philosophical assumptions and the research objectives underlying the notion of style: what are its philosophical roots? How does the notion of style fit into the area of research of historical epistemology? What does a comparison between the Hacking’s project on styles of thinking (...) and other similar projects suggest? My aim in this paper is to answer these questions. Hacking has denied that his project of styles of thinking falls into the field of historical epistemology. I shall challenge his remark by tracing out the connections of the notion of style with historical epistemology and, more in general, with a tradition of thought born in France in the beginning of twentieth-century. (shrink)
This article reviews the research of “top rebirth scientist” Ian Stevenson on spontaneous past-life memory cases, focusing on three key problems with Stevenson’s work. First, his research of entirely anecdotal case reports contains a number of errors and omissions. Second, like other reincarnation researchers, Stevenson has done no controlled experimental work on such cases; yet only such research could ever resolve whether the correspondences found between a child’s statements and a deceased person’s life exceed what we might find by chance. (...) Finally, the best reincarnation research should at least meet the standards met by typical empirical research, but Stevenson’s methodology does not even meet the standards expected of third- or fourth-year college students. -/- 1. How Controlled Experimental Work is Possible -- 2. The Anecdotal Record - 2.1 Reincarnation and Biology - 2.2 The Imad Elawar Case -- 3. Conclusion. (shrink)
There is widespread acceptance in medical humanities circles that reading is good for doctors and that, in medical educational terms, it is particularly good at making better doctors by widening perspective and developing the sensibilities. Recent recommendations on medical education in the UK have allowed medical students to take courses in literature as a component of their degrees, and some have suggested that this option should be compulsory for all doctors. It is possible, however, that in our eagerness to assert (...) the primacy of a literary education for personal development, we can ignore other routes to enlightened, sensitive doctoring. This paper appraises the instrumental role of a literary education for doctors through an analysis of Ian McEwan’s novel Saturday, which deals with the dramatic events in the day in the life of a neurosurgeon. (shrink)
. Using as a model contemporary analyses of scientific cognition, Ian Harbour has claimed that religious cognition is neither immediate nor inferential but has the structure of interpreted experience. Although I contend that Barbour has failed to establish his claim, I believe his views about the similarities between scientific and religious cognition are well founded. Thus on that basis I offer an alternative proposal that theistic religious cognition is essentially inferential and that religious experience is in fact the use of (...) inferentially acquired religious beliefs to interpret ordinary nonreligious experiences. (shrink)