Cooperation, Contribution and Contestation: The Jain Community, Colonialism and Jainological Scholarship, 1800–1950. Edited by John E. Cort, Andrea Luithle-Hardenberg, and Leslie C. Orr. Studies in Asian Art and Culture, vol. 6. Berlin: eb verlAg, 2020. Pp. 615, plates. €69.
This book presents a detailed fieldwork-based study of the ancient Indian religion of Jainism. Drawing on field research in northern Gujarat and on the study of both ancient Sanskrit and Prakrit and modern vernacular Jain religious literature, JohnCort provides a rounded portrait of the religion as it is practiced today.
It has been widely proposed that the Jain logical methods of linguistic analysis collectively known as anekāntavāda (manypointedness) are an extension of the Jain ethical imperative of ahiṃsā (non-harm) into philosophy as a form of intellectual tolerance and relativity--described by several scholars as "intellectual ahiṃsā"--whose genealogy and development over the past sixty-five years are given in detail. It is shown how Jains used anekāntavāda to expose the relative truth of non-Jain metaphysics, while arguing that only Jain metaphysics, which alone is (...) based on the omniscience (kevala-jñāna) of the Jina, contains absolute truth (samyag-jñāna). Examples are given of Jain intolerance of others, based on nonphilosophical literacy and historical evidence, before returning to the issue of Jain tolerance for and curiosity about non-Jain philosophical positions, in an attempt to ground future discussions of Jain tolerance and intolerance on a fuller range of Jain data and not on ideological formulations inadequately grounded in historical analysis. (shrink)
The Making of a Modern Indian Artist-Craftsman: Devi Prasad. By Naman P. AhuJa, with contributions by Krishna Kumar, Kristine Michael, Bob Overy, and Sunand Prasad. New Delhi: Routledge, 2012. Pp. 320, 392 illustrations. Rs. 2495.
This review of Martin Jay’s recent published collection of essays examines his ongoing rethinking, supplementation, and revision of central themes—the negative and positive dialectics of historical totalization, the varieties and uses of conceptions of experience, the nature of visual cultures and scopic regimes, and the ambiguities of truth-construction in the public realm—that have been the focus of his major works since the 1970s. It argues that his more recent work indicates a gradual shift toward an affirmation of the kinds of (...) paratactic and deconstructive thinking of Adorno and Derrida as models for producing appropriate forms of historical consciousness and historical critique in the present, and it raises the question of how the issues of historical truth-telling, consensual collective identity, ethical action, and the cultural role of the critical intellectual are reformulated in this process. (shrink)
The popular belief that religion is the same everywhere or that all religions are ‘at bottom’ identical in essentials is a widespread falsehood that is saved from being completely worthless by the fact that religion does exhibit a universal or common structure wherever it appears. This structure is intimately related to the structure of human life in the world. The enduring pattern that enables us to understand religions widely separated in both time and space depends largely on the fact that (...) man and the process of human life in the world have their own structures which remain, despite the undeniable variety introduced by vast differences of culture, ethnic features, geographical location, climate etc. Structure means pattern or form; it is reality significantly organised. It can be grasped as that which endures above and beyond changing historical details. Because human life has a structure, we are able to understand the wrath of Achilles or sympathise with the love of Abélard for Héloïse although we are separated from both by centuries of time. (shrink)
Despite the title, I do not intend to launch another expedition into the domain of epistemology. I wish instead to call attention to some problems which have arisen for philosophical theologians and philosophers of religion, as a result of two facts about the development of modern philosophy and its bearing on the analysis and interpretation of religious insight. Following these considerations, I shall propose in brief compass a programme for the future which I believe will prove fruitful for the philosophical (...) treatment of religious concerns. (shrink)
Let it be clear at the outset that in reappraising Dewey's thought we have to do with no minute philosopher. In breadth of interest and range of thought he belongs with the great comprehensive thinkers of the past. And in contrast to many thinkers both in his own time and since, he had a constructive program. Philosophy for him meant more than analysis, even though analysis is an important part of the philosophic enterprise. Dewey's constructive philosophy has too often been (...) lost in polemic discussion. I subscribe to the confession made some years ago by Ernest Hocking in which he said that he began to understand Dewey when he started reading him for enjoyment and not for the purpose of showing that he was all wrong! As Dewey's work shapes up in historical perspective, it assumes a great substantiality. One may disagree and one may correct, but in comparison with philosophy of a wholly technical and professional sort, Dewey's large-minded approach to genuinely philosophic questions places him among philosophers of stature. (shrink)
In the first comprehensive biography of Ferdinand de Saussure, John E. Joseph restores the full character and history of a man who is considered the founder of modern linguistics and whose ideas have influenced literary theory, philosophy, cultural studies, and virtually every other branch of humanities and the social sciences.
_God and Morality_ evaluates the ethical theories of four principle philosophers, Aristotle, Duns Scotus, Kant, and R.M. Hare. Uses their thinking as the basis for telling the story of the history and development of ethical thought more broadly Focuses specifically on their writings on virtue, will, duty, and consequence Concentrates on the theistic beliefs to highlight continuity of philosophical thought.
This book, first published in 1990, takes a critical look at the major assumptions which support critical thinking programs and discovers many unresolved questions which threaten their viability. John McPeck argues that some of these assumptions are incoherent or run counter to common sense, while others are unsupported by the available empirical evidence. This title will be of interest to students of the philosophy of education.
_A new theory of how and why we cooperate, drawing from economics, political theory, and philosophy to challenge the conventional wisdom of game theory_ Game theory explains competitive behavior by working from the premise that people are self-interested. People don’t just compete, however; they also cooperate. John Roemer argues that attempts by orthodox game theorists to account for cooperation leave much to be desired. Unlike competing players, cooperating players take those actions that they would like others to take—which Roemer (...) calls “Kantian optimization.” Through rigorous reasoning and modeling, Roemer demonstrates a simpler theory of cooperative behavior than the standard model provides. (shrink)
Spanning 1200 years of intellectual history - from the 6th century BCE emergence of philosophical enquiry in the Greek city-state of Miletus, to the 6th century CE closure of the Academy in Athens in 529 - Philosophy of Mind in Antiquityprovides an outstanding survey of philosophy of mind of the period. It covers a crucial era for the history of philosophy of mind, examining the enduring and controversial arguments of Plato and Aristotle, in addition to the contribution of the Stoics (...) and other key figures. Following an introduction by John Sisko, fifteen specially commissioned chapters by an international team of contributors discuss key topics, thinkers, and debates, including: the Presocratics, Plato, cognition, Aristotle, intellect, natural science, time, mind, perception, and body, the Stoics, Galen, and Plotinus. Essential reading for students and researchers in philosophy of mind, ancient philosophy, and the history of philosophy, Philosophy of Mind in Antiquityis also a valuable resource for those in related disciplines such as Classics. (shrink)
In these previously uncollected essays, Smith argues that American philosophers like Peirce, James, Royce, and Dewey have forged a unique philosophical tradition—one that is rich and complex enough to represent a genuine alternative to the analytic, phenomenological, and hermeneutical traditions which have originated in Britain or Europe. "In my judgment, John Smith has no equal today in combining two scholarly qualities: the analysis of philosophical texts with penetration and rigor, and the discernment of what it is in these texts (...) that matters. These qualities are in evidence throughout the essays in _America's Philosophical Vision._ Whether he is evaluating Rorty's view of Dewey; the pragmatic theory of experience and truth; theories of freedom, creativity, and the self; Royce's conception of community; or synoptic philosophic visions, Smith always succeeds in uniting a comprehensive understanding of philosophic writings with a sure grasp of their import for human culture and aspiration. It is a great benefit to students of American thought that these papers have now been collected into one volume."—James Gouinlock, Emory University. (shrink)
Is morality too difficult for human beings? Kant said that it was, except with God's assistance. Contemporary moral philosophers have usually discussed the question without reference to Christian doctrine, and have either diminished the moral demand, exaggerated human moral capacity, or tried to find a substitute in nature for God's assistance. This book looks at these philosophers--from Kant and Kierkegaard to Swinburne, Russell, and R.M. Hare--and the alternative in Christianity.
John E. Smith has contributed to contemporary philosophy in primarily four distinct capacities; first, as a philosopher of religion and God; second, as an indefatigable defender of philosophical reflection in its classical sense ( a sense inclusive of, but not limited to, metaphysics); third, as a participant in the reconstruction of experience and reason so boldly inaugurated by Hegel then redically transformed by the classical American pragmatists, and significantly augmented by such thinkers as Josiah Royce, william Earnest Hocking, and (...) Alfred North Whitehead; fourth, as an interpreter of philosophical texts and traditions (Kant, Hegel, and Nietzsche no less than Charles Peirce, WIlliam James and John Dewey; German idealism as well as American; the Augustinian tradition no less than the pragmatic). Reason, Experience, and God provides an important and comprehensive look at the work of John E. Smith by collected essays which each address aspects of his life-long work. A response by John E. Smith himself draws a line of continuity between the pieces. (shrink)