Impairment of the Self has been described in frontal–temporal dementia but little research has been carried out in patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Objective. The aim of this study was to explore changes in the self in patients with AD. Method. Forty-seven patients with mild to moderate AD were examined using a semi-structured scale designed to assess the self-concept along three dimensions, namely, the Material Self, the Social Self and the Spiritual Self. Results. The majority of patients presented impairment of at (...) least one dimension of the Self. When only one dimension was affected, it was always the Social Self. The severity of impairment of the Self was correlated to the impairment of the semantic autobiographical memory and apathy. The Self is impaired in AD and the Social Self dimension appears to be more vulnerable in AD than other dimensions. (shrink)
Chris Tucker's paper on the hiddenness argument seeks to turn aside a way of defending the latter which he calls the value argument. But the value argument can withstand Tucker's criticisms. In any case, an alternative argument capable of doing the same job is suggested by his own emphasis on free will.
Mark McCreary has argued that I cannot consistently advance both the hiddenness argument and certain arguments for religious scepticism found in my book The Wisdom to Doubt . This reaction was expected, and in WD I explained its shortsightedness in that context. First, I noted how in Part III of WD , where theism is addressed, my principal aim is not to prove atheism but to show theists that they are not immune from the scepticism defended in Parts I and (...) II. To the success of this aim, McCreary's arguments are not so much as relevant, for a thoroughgoing scepticism embracing even the hiddenness argument is quite compatible with its success. But I also explained how someone convinced that the hiddenness argument does prove atheism escapes the grip of religious scepticism because of that argument's reliance on apparent conceptual truths. McCreary's critique obscures this point but does not defuse it. (shrink)
The influence of J. L. Austin on contemporary philosophy was substantial during his lifetime, and has grown greatly since his death, at the height of his powers, in 1960. Philosophical Papers, first published in 1961, was the first of three volumes of Austin's work to be edited by J. O. Urmson and G. J. Warnock. Together with Sense and Sensibilia and How to do things with Words, it has extended Austin's influence far beyond the circle who knew him or read (...) the handful of papers he published in journals. (shrink)
William Alston's Perceiving God: The Epistemology of Religious Experience is a most significant contribution to the philosophy of religion. The product of 50 years' reflection on its topic , this work provides a very thorough explication and defence of what Alston calls the ‘mystical perceptual practice’ – the practice of forming beliefs about the Ultimate on the basis of putative ‘direct experiential awareness’ thereof . Alston argues, in particular, for the rationality of engaging in the Christian form of MP . (...) On his view, those who participate in CMP are justified in forming beliefs as they do because their practice is ‘socially established’, has a ‘functioning overrider system’ and a ‘significant degree of self-support’; and because of the ‘lack of sufficient reasons to take the practice as unreliable’. (shrink)
This book is the one to put into the hands of those who have been over-impressed by Austin 's critics....[Warnock's] brilliant editing puts everybody who is concerned with philosophical problems in his debt.
Amongst Kant's lesser known early writings is a short treatise with the curious title Dreams of a Spirit-Seer Explained by Dreams of Metaphysics , in which, with considerable acumen and brilliance, and not a little irony, Kant exposes the empty pretensions of his contemporary, the Swedish visionary and Biblical exegete, Emanuel Swedenborg, to have access to a spirit world, denied other mortals. Despite his efforts, it must be feared, however, that Kant did not, alas, succeed in laying the spirit of (...) Swedenborg himself to rest once and for all, for there has arisen in our own day, and within philosophy itself, a movement of thought, if such it can be called, which, like that of Swedenborg, is founded upon an unbridled and unhealthy exercise of the imagination, and apparently believes that philosophical problems can be discussed and resolved by the elaboration of fantastical, and at times repulsive, examples; if we require a name for this contemporary pretence at philosophy, we could take as our model the Italian word for science fiction, fantascienza , and call it ‘fantaphilosophy’: it is my aim to show that this fantaphilosophy is a phantom philosophy. (shrink)
In many places and times, and for many people, God's existence has been rather less than a clear fact. According to the hiddenness argument, this is actually a reason to suppose that it is not a fact at all. The hiddenness argument is a new argument for atheism that has come to prominence in philosophy over the past two decades. J. L. Schellenberg first developed the argument in 1993, and this book offers a short and vigorous statement of its central (...) claims and ideas. Logically sharp but so clear that anyone can understand, the book addresses little-discussed issues such as why it took so long for hiddenness reasoning to emerge in philosophy, and how the hiddenness problem is distinct from the problem of evil. It concludes with the fascinating thought that retiring the last of the personal gods might leave us nearer the beginning of religion than the end. (shrink)
Analytical philosophers, if they are true to their training, never forget the first lesson of analytical philosophy: philosophers have no moral authority. In so far as analytical philosophers believe this, they find it easy to live with. For them even to assert, let alone successfully lay claim to, moral authority would require, first, hard work of some non-analytical and probably mistaken kind and, secondly, personality traits of leadership or confidence or even charisma, which philosophers may accidentally have but which they (...) are certainly not trained to have and had better not rely upon, while they live by analytical standards. Yet a further reason why analytical philosophers find the denial of their moral authority easy to accept is that they never forget the second lesson of analytical philosophy, either: nobody else has any moral authority. (shrink)
2. The Contingency and A posteriority Constraint: A formulation of the thesis must make physicalism come out contingent and a posteriori. First, physicalism is a contingent truth, if it is a truth. This means that physicalism could have been false, i.e. there are counterfactual worlds in which physicalism is false, for example, counterfactual worlds in which there are miracle -performing angels. Moreover, if physicalism is true, our knowledge of its truth is a posteriori. This is to say that there are (...) ways the world could turn out to be such that physicalism is false. For example, if there are miracle -performing angels, then physicalism is false. So there are worlds considered as actual in which physicalism is false. For short, call this ‘the a posteriority constraint’.. (shrink)
Aristotle is widely regarded as the greatest of all philosophers; indeed, he is traditionally referred to simply as `the philosopher'. Today, after more than two millennia, his arguments and ideas continue to stimulate philosophers and provoke them to controversy. In this book J.L. Ackrill conveys the force and excitement of Aristotle's philosophical investigations, thereby showing why contemporary philosophers still draw from him and return to him. He quotes extensively from Aristotle's works in his own notably clear English translation, and a (...) picture emerges of a lucid, lively, subtle and tough-minded thinker of astonishing range and penetration. Professor Ackrill identifies many striking connections between Aristotle's ideas and ideas in recent philosophy; he also raises philosophical questions of his own, and exemplifies the way in which Aristotle can still be argued with and learned from. (shrink)
J.L. Ackrill's work on Plato and Aristotle has had a considerable influence upon ancient philosophical studies in the late twentieth century. This volume collects the best of Ackrill's essays on the two greatest philosophers of antiquity. With philosophical acuity and philological expertise he examines a wide range of texts and topics--from ethics and logic to epistemology and metaphysics--that continue to be in the focus of debate.
There are doubtless many with personal experience of suffering, or of comforting others in distress, who would agree with Milton thus far that philosophic argument is powerless to satisfy those who in their anguish ask the question ‘Why did it happen to me?’ Yet to think so is to underestimate both the necessity and the power of reason: clarity of mind and the disposition to argue are commonly enhanced rather than diminished by suffering; and if reason is an essential part (...) of man's nature, it should serve him, if anywhere, in the trials of life. We have every justification, therefore, despite common opinion, for seeking a rational answer to the question proposed. It must, however, be admitted at the outset that there is no direct answer to the question which can both withstand critical scrutiny and bring genuine comfort to the afflicted, an answer, that is, which accepts the question as it stands with its attendant presuppositions; but there is an indirect answer, which, precisely by rejecting one or more of these presuppositions and restating the question, can indeed satisfy these two requirements. Before such an answer can be outlined, however, the question in its traditional form must be examined and the traditional answers to it critically reviewed. (shrink)
Alice Crary has recently developed a radical reading of J. L. Austin's philosophy of language. The central contention of Crary's reading is that Austin gives convincing reasons to reject the idea that sentences have context-invariant literal meaning. While I am in sympathy with Crary about the continuing importance of Austin's work, and I think Crary's reading is deep and interesting, I do not think literal sentence meaning is one of Austin's targets, and the arguments that Crary attributes to Austin or (...) finds Austinian in spirit do not provide convincing reasons to reject literal sentence meaning. In this paper, I challenge Crary's reading of Austin and defend the idea of literal sentence meaning. (shrink)
Prologue: Deep Time Religion -- Half a Revolution -- First Among Unequals? -- Evolutionary Skepticism -- The New Pessimism -- The New Optimism 6. Imagination is Key -- The "Chief Objections" -- Religion for Pioneers -- Epilogue: Darwin's Door and Hegel's Hinge.
Ultimism and the aims of human immaturity -- Faith without details, or how to practice skeptical religion -- Simple faith and the complexities of tradition -- The structure of faith justification -- How skeptical faith is true to reason -- Anselm's idea -- Leibniz's ambition -- Paley's wonder -- Pascal's wager -- Kant's postulate -- James's will -- Faith is positively justified : the many modes of religious vision.