My paper discusses the philosophical interrelationship between perfection, truth, and knowledge. The connection that exists between these three concepts underscores the argument of my paper that they are all one and the same thing. -/- The concepts of perfection, truth and knowledge are analysed in that order. I analyse perfection and demonstrate the practicalities of my arguments. Truth is then scrutinized and defined to illustrate its intimate relationship with perfection leading to the conclusion that knowledge being ‘truth that is perfect’. (...) -/- In dealing with the theory of knowledge, I take into account the justification of knowledge and highlighted arguments that I found to be insufficient. I derive a premise to refute and replace both the traditional and contemporary views of knowledge. -/- In the paper presented, I consider views of some prominent philosophers including; Locke, Russell, Plato, Aristotle and Leibniz. (shrink)
James P. Sterba postulates a conflict situation between ‘poor’ and ‘rich’ persons in order to establish the legitimacy of a welfare right superior to unlimited private property rights. Sterba does not recognize the moral options available to the non-poor in his conflict scenario, nor the generally voluntary character of enduring unemployment, or how few people would satisfy his own restrictive criteria for poverty. His definition mischaracterizes the general state of the poor as one of imminent decline when in fact, (...) for most of human history it was one of stasis, and since comparatively free societies emerged, it has been one of general improvement. He fails to grasp that the processes by which others become non-poor in a libertarian society also make most of the poor better off. Consequently, consideration of future generations also turns out to weigh heavily against justification of a welfare right, contrary to Sterba’s claim. (shrink)
What could it mean to be religious in a world where religion no longer retains its former authority? Posing this question for his fellow Western intellectuals who inhabit just such a world, James C. Edwards investigates the loss of religion's traditional power in a culture characterized by what he calls "normal nihilism"—a situation in which one's commitment to a particular set of values is all one really has, and in which traditional religion is only a means of interpretation (...) used to preserve what one most cares about. Recognizing the important historical role of religion in making us the people we are, he seeks to establish a viable understanding of religion without traditional beliefs and within the context of contemporary skepticism. _The Plain Sense of Things_ is a book more interested in the power of religion that in its truth and in what happens to that power when the claims to truth slacken their grip. (shrink)
Buffy the Vampire Slayer earned critical acclaim for its use of metaphor to explore the conflicts of growth, power, and transgression. Its groundbreaking stylistic and thematic devices, boldness and wit earned it an intensely devoted fan base—and as it approached its zenith, attention from media watchdog groups and the Federal Communications Commission. The grim and provocative evolution of the show over its final two seasons polarized its audience, while also breaking new ground for critical and philosophical analysis. The thirteen essays (...) in this collection, divided into the perspectives of feminist, cultural, auteur and fan studies, explore the popular series’ conclusion, providing a multifaceted examination of Buffy’s most controversial two seasons. Lynne Y. Edwards is associate professor of media and communication studies at Ursinus College. Elizabeth L. Rambo is associate professor of English at Campbell University. James B. South is associate professor of English at Campbell University. James B. South is associate professor and chair of the philosophy department at Marquette University. (shrink)
In the course of my efforts to distinguish and relate the methods and achievements of René Girard and James Alison, I have developed the hypothesis that a particular pair of theological terms might provide a helpful conceptual tool for carrying out this task—fides quae creditur and fides qua creditur. These terms were given their classic formulation within Protestant scholasticism at the beginning of the seventeenth century, where they were used to distinguish between two dimensions of Christian faith: the “object” (...) or “content” of faith , and the kind of activity that faith is or the form that it takes within the subject .My proposal, stated most briefly, is that Alison’s use of Girard’s .. (shrink)
Goodman’s book is neither a survey, nor a comprehensive history of American philosophy before pragmatism emerged in the late nineteenth century in the works of Charles S. Peirce and William James, nor does it explore undiscovered depths of American thought possibly overlooked or lost to time. Rather, Goodman’s treatment of five men—-Jonathan Edwards, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Henry David Thoreau—attempts to follow James’s understanding of what philosophies are and to “convey each writer’s feel (...) for the ‘whole push’ of things”. In that regard, Goodman succeeds and gives the reader a sense of each man’s motivations. Each is given his own chapter, including an interlude and an... (shrink)
This new edition of William James’s 1909 classic, A Pluralistic Universe reproduces the original text, only modernizing the spelling. The books has been annotated throughout to clarify James’s points of reference and discussion. There is a new, fuller index, a brief chronology of James’s life, and a new bibliography—chiefly based on James’s own references. The editor, H.G. Callaway, has included a new Introduction which elucidates the legacy of Jamesian pluralism to survey some related questions of contemporary (...) American society. -/- A Pluralistic Universe was the last major book James published during his life time. It is a substantial philosophical work, devoted to a thorough-going criticism of Hegelian monism and Absolutism—and the exploration of philosophical and social-theological alternatives. Our world of some one hundred years on is much the better for James’s contributions; and understanding James’s pluralism deeply contributes even now to America’s self-understanding. At present, we are more certain that American is, and is best, a pluralistic society, than we are of what particular forms our pluralism should take. Keeping an eye out for social interpretations of Jamesian pluralism, this new philosophical reading casts light on our twenty-first century alternatives by reference to prior American experience and developments. -/- . (shrink)
Prepared by editors of the distinguished series The Works of Jonathan Edwards, this authoritative anthology includes selected treatises, sermons, and autobiographical material by early America’s greatest theologian and philosopher.
Presents an analysis of Jonathan Edwards' theological position. This book includes a study of his life and the intellectual issues in the America of his time, and examines the problem of free will in connection with Leibniz, Locke, and Hume.
William James had the courage to experience the collision of European and American ways of thinking head on, and to emerge from it with a new philosophy - one displaying a remarkable vitality for dealing with the transformative issues at the core of the human condition. This easy to read introduction to his life and work explains why James' work is overwhelmingly valuable to us today in getting to grips with the spiritual dimension of human experience.
We often hold others responsible, and are held responsible ourselves. Many philosophers claim that to evaluate such holdings, we must consider the standing of the holder. Many also claim that both hypocrites and meddlers lack standing. Little has been said, however, about what exactly standing is—about what it is that hypocrites and meddlers are supposed to lack. Though talk of standing is now widespread, ‘we do not,’ in Joseph Raz’s words, ‘have an unproblematic grasp of the phenomena referred to’ by (...) such talk. In this paper I attempt to improve that grasp. I offer an account of what it is to have, and lack, standing to hold others responsible. And I offer some reasons why, if this account is accepted, both hypocrites and meddlers should lack standing. (shrink)
We present a new account of perceptual consciousness, one which gives due weight to the epistemic commitment of normal perception in familiar circumstances. The account is given in terms of a higher-order attitude for which the subject has an immediate perceptual epistemic warrant in the form of an appropriate first-order perception. We develop our account in contrast to Rosenthal's higher-order account, rejecting his view of consciousness in virtue of so-called ‘targetless’ higher-order states. We explain the key notion of an immediate (...) perceptual warrant and show both that it requires the content of the higher-order attitude to match that of the first-order perception, and also that it gives a new perspective on the intimate relationship, rightly emphasised by Rosenthal, between consciousness and a subject's testimony as to ‘how it is with her’. (shrink)
Much time has been spent arguing about the soundness of But in the philosophical literature there is no single such principle; there are many harm principles. And many objections pressed against are objections to only some of these principles. The first half of this paper draws a number of distinctions between harm principles. It then argues that each harm principle is compatible with many other principles that impose limits on the law, including but not limited to other harm principles. The (...) second half of the paper applies the lessons of the first to a number of prominent objections to That principle has been accused of a) being underinclusive; b) misrepresenting the reasons why many act-types ought to be legally proscribed; c) permitting lawmakers to treat people as mere means of achieving their ends; and d) being overinclusive. The paper argues that one harm principle survives all four objections. (shrink)
The character of contemporary criminal law is changing. This article examines one aspect of that change: a type of criminal offence which, it is argued, effectively ousts the criminal courts. These ‘ouster offences’ are first distinguished from more conventional offences by virtue of their distinctive structure. The article then argues that to create an ouster offence is to oust the criminal courts by depriving them of the ability to adjudicate on whatever wrongdoing the offence-creator takes to justify prosecuting potential defendants. (...) The article further argues that creating such an ouster is objectionable on a number of grounds. It deprives the courts of the ability to adjudicate independently, and undermines their ability to deliver procedural justice in both pure and imperfect form. While the ouster in question is by no means express, the article argues that it is nonetheless of the first importance. (shrink)
The dual-use issue is often framed as a series of paralyzing ‘dilemmas’ facing the scientific community as well as institutions which support innovation. While this conceptualization of the dual-use issue can be useful in certain contexts its usefulness is more limited when reflecting on the governance and politics of the dual-use issue. Within this paper, key shortcomings of the dilemma framing are outlined. It is argued that many of the issues raised in the most recent debates about ‘dual-use’ bird flu (...) research remain unresolved. This includes questions about the trajectories of certain lines of research, as well as broader trends in the practice and governance of science. This leads to difficult questions about current approaches to the dual-use issue within the US, as well as internationally. (shrink)
Our paper has three parts. In Part 1, we discuss John Gardner’s thesis that the non-elliptical ascription of agency to law is a necessary and irreducible part of any adequate explanation of the activities of legal officials. We consider three explananda which might conceivably necessitate this ascription, and conclude that none in fact does so. In Part 2, we discuss two other theses of Gardner’s: that it makes no sense to ascribe to law the claim that there are legal obligations (...) , and that law’s claim is the claim that there are moral obligations . We take issue with Gardner’s arguments for , and suggest that is unwarranted in the absence of an argument that law makes any claims at all. In Part 3, we briefly argue that, insofar as it issues requirements, there are certain claims that law cannot but make. We conclude that if Gardner is right that law’s claims are those of certain of its officials, it is law-making and not law-applying officials who make law’s claim. (shrink)
Jansen and Wall suggest a new way of defending hard paternalism in clinical research. They argue that non-therapeutic research exposing people to more than minimal risk should be banned on egalitarian grounds: in preventing poor decision-makers from making bad decisions, we will promote equality of welfare. We argue that their proposal is flawed for four reasons.First, the idea of poor decision-makers is much more problematic than Jansen and Wall allow. Second, pace Jansen and Wall, it may be practicable for regulators (...) to uncover the values that a potential research participant holds when agreeing to enter a research project, so their claim that we must ban such research projects for all if we are to ban them for poor decision-makers looks to be unmotivated. Third, there seem to be cases where the liberty to enter the sort of research project Jansen and Wall discuss is morally weighty, and arguably should outweigh concerns of egalitarian distribution. Fourth, banning certain types of research, which seem on the face of it to offer an unfavourable risk-benefit ratio, would have unwelcome consequences for all clinical research, which Jansen and Wall do not recognize. (shrink)
This paper addresses three doctrinal phenomena of which it finds evidence in English law: the quiet extension of the criminal law so as to criminalise that which is by no means an obvious offence; the creation of offences the goal of which is not to guide potential offenders away from crime; and the existence of offending behaviour which is not itself thought to justify arrest or prosecution. While such phenomena have already been criticised by other criminal law theorists, this paper (...) offers a critique to which little attention has yet been paid. It argues that the existence of these phenomena has been concealed from public view: that the organs of state have encouraged the belief that they are no part of English law. The paper then argues that it is high time the state came clean. The state owes its people answers for the imposition of the criminal law: it must account for the creation and enforcement of any given criminal offence. When the state misleads its people about the criminal law’s scope, goals and enforcement, it refuses to provide those people with the answers they are owed. (shrink)
Democratic deliberation places the burden of self‐governance on its citizens to provide mutual justifying reasons. This article concerns the limiting effect that group identity has on the efficacy of democratic deliberation for equality in education. Under conditions of a powerful majority, deliberation can be repressive and discriminatory. Issues of white flight and race‐based admissions serve to illustrate the bias of which deliberation is capable when it fails to substantively take group identity into account. As forms of Gilbert's plural subjects, identity (...) group members holding the group identity can experience agency as the freedom to believe together with members of their group. I argue that attending to how group members acquire group beliefs through trust is a reasonable accommodation of group identity in deliberation. (shrink)
Criminal laws are created to achieve various ends. These include reducing the incidence of wrongdoing, and holding wrongdoers responsible for their wrongs. Some criminal laws are created to further the first of these ends by means of compliance. The second end is to be furthered only if, regrettably, some fail to comply. These criminal laws are made to be followed. Other criminal laws are not created with compliance in mind. Conviction, in these cases, is no regrettable fallback. It is the (...) primary means by which the law is to contribute to ends and. Laws of this second kind are made to be broken. My concern in this paper is with the creation of such laws. Section 1 sharpens the contrast drawn above, and considers some arguments for enacting laws that are made to be broken. The following sections develop an argument against. Section 2 introduces what I call the identification principle. It argues that the principle is an implication of the ideal of the rule of law, and that it binds state officials who make, apply and enforce criminal laws. Section 3 argues that when laws are made to be broken, the identification principle is violated. Section 4 concludes. (shrink)
According to the offense principle, the fact that wrongs are offensive makes them eligible for criminalization. Section “Introduction” unpacks this principle. Section “Offense and Offensiveness” discusses what it is for X to be offensive. Section “Offensiveness and Criminalization” argues that, whether we interpret offensiveness subjectively or objectively, the offense principle is not a sound principle. The fact that a wrong is objectively offensive does not bear on whether it should be criminalized. The fact that a wrong is subjectively offensive is (...) no reason to tackle it using the criminal law. Section “The Value of Offense” considers the conditions under which offense has value. It argues that, under some conditions, the fact that X is subjectively offensive counts against criminalizing X, while the fact that X is not subjectively offensive counts in favor of criminalization. Feinberg’s version of the offense principle—which holds that subjective offensiveness gives us reason to criminalize—is something close to the opposite of the truth. (shrink)