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.
Where is language? Answers to this have attempted to 'incorporate' language in an 'extended mind', through cognition that is 'embodied', 'distributed', 'situated' or 'ecological'. Behind these concepts is a long history that this book is the first to trace. Extending across linguistics, philosophy, psychology and medicine, as well as literary and religious dimensions of the question of what language is, and where it is located, this book challenges mainstream, mind-based accounts of language. Looking at research from the Middle Ages to (...) the present day, and exploring the work of a range of scholars from Aristotle and Galen to Merleau-Ponty and Chomsky, it assesses raging debates about whether mind and language are centred in heart or brain, brain or nervous-muscular system, and whether they are innate or learned, individual or social. This book will appeal to scholars and advanced students in historical linguistics, cognitive linguistics, language evolution and the philosophy of language. (shrink)
Farmers’ markets have enjoyed a resurgence in the past two decades in Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom. This increase in popularity is attributed to a host of environmental, social, and economic factors, often related to the alleged benefits of local food, alternative farming, and producer–consumer interactions. Steeped in tradition, there are also widely held assumptions related to the type of food and food vendors that belong at a farmers’ market in addition to the type of experience that (...) should take place. There remains a need to explore and analyze these fundamental aspects of the farmers’ market and to consider how they influence their formation and function. This paper argues that discourses of authenticity are central to the identity of the farmers’ market, and that they are constructed differently “from above” by those seeking to regulate farmers’ markets in particular jurisdictions and “from below” by managers, producers, and consumers at individual markets. A literature-based discussion is complemented and grounded by consideration of institutional statements regarding authenticity and of key results from a survey of managers, food vendors, and customers at 15 farmers’ markets in Ontario, Canada. It is demonstrated that while the general discourse about authenticity at the farmers’ market is built around strict, almost ideological assumptions about the presence of “local food” and those who produce it, community-level responses reflect considerable diversity in the interpretation and composition of the farmers’ market. It is suggested that a binary view of authenticity, where some farmers’ markets are cast as “real” and others presumably not, is highly problematic as it tends to ignore a large and important middle ground with multiple identities. (shrink)
The essays in this collection treat historical, literary, and philosophical topics related to Ayn Rand's Anthem, an anti-utopia fantasy set in the future. The first book-length study on Anthem, this collection covers subjects such as free will, political freedom, and the connection between freedom and individual thought and privacy.
This is an outstanding contribution to Scotistic scholarship in English. A distinguished array of Scotus and medieval philosophy scholars have served up polished essays to mark this the seventh centenary of the birth of the "Subtle Doctor." Allan Wolter writes on "The Formal Distinction," Timotheus A. Barth on "Being, Univocity, and Analogy According to Duns Scotus," Heiko Oberman on "Duns Scotus, Nominalism, and the Council of Trent," Efrem Bettoni on "The Originality of the Scotistic Synthesis," Bonansea on "Duns Scotus' Voluntarism," (...) Felix Alluntis on Scotus' treatment of "Demonstrability and Demonstration of the Existence of God." There are nine other contributions, most of uniformly high quality, including extended notes by Charles Balic on "The Life and Works of John Duns Scotus" and "The Nature and Value of a Critical Edition of the Complete Works of John Duns Scotus."—E. A. R. (shrink)
This article looks at two sorts of conceptual work in Cristina Rocha’s John of God: The Globalization of Brazilian Faith Healing : theoretical appliqué and comparative contextualization. The first involves using an ad hoc set of concepts to set out series of partial interpretations. Despite not offering one unified interpretation, this approach has the advantages of respecting the complexity of the case and indicating a range of relevant interpretative pathways. The second involves the standard work, in the study of (...) religion, of placing the religious movement or other object of study in relation to its religious landscape, influences and competitors, by comparing and contrasting beliefs and practices. Though the book would be better if both of these dimensions of conceptual work had been pushed further, Rocha’s theoretical appliqué is worth considering for its value as a model for other work. The goal of this article is to highlight the value of theoretical appliqué and to suggest how it could be done effectively. (shrink)
Catholic modernist John Augustine Zahm is best known for his attempt to reconcile the theory of evolution with the Christian scriptures. However, Zahm's theological method—the underlying principles and procedures in his effort to reconcile faith and science—remains largely unexamined. In this article, I analyze Zahm's theological method and submit that it is an attempt to harmonize scientific knowledge and Christian scripture through a “scientific allegory” of the bible, which takes into account the human and divine meanings of scripture, the (...) exegesis of the church fathers, and the dogmatic constitutions of the Catholic church. I compare Zahm's method with that of pioneering Catholic bible critic Marie-Joseph Lagrange, and his conception of biblical inspiration and the supra-literal sense of scripture. Through this historical investigation, I hope to contribute to the question of the relationship between modern science and Christian hermeneutics. (shrink)
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)
The philosophy of John Smith is not a dispassionate subject for me. He was my teacher from my sophomore year in college through the PhD, which he mentored. I worked in his office nearly every day during that time. He became my intellectual father and framed the way I took up philosophy. He performed my wedding and twenty-five years later taught my two daughters. We worked together philosophically and in the politics of the academy from my first day as (...) his undergraduate typist, when I was utterly naïve about both topics, until the day he died, when I had no innocence left. His daughter Diana informed me of his death by responding to an e-mail I had sent him that afternoon. I preached his funeral, threw frozen dirt .. (shrink)
I thought that I knew Adam Smith. Apparently not! "The political economy of the USA today is based on a laissez-faire interpretation of his Wealth of Nations," which, according to John E. Hill, "grossly distorts Smith's ideas." Furthermore, "correctly interpreting" Smith's thought would lead to greater happiness in all capitalistic political economic systems". The general slant of this book is that gross misinterpretations of Smith's theory of market capitalism have been used to justify the destruction of the moral standards (...) on which market capitalism depends. In other words, market capitalism requires a moral infrastructure or foundation, which has been eroded by Smith's recent... (shrink)
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)
In this study I propose that John E. Smith’s years-long argument for the importance of, and indeed his prolonged focus on, the notion of experience provides a particularly useful point of entry into the classical North American philosophical tradition and specifically into more pragmatist understandings of experience. Thisstudy of Smith on experience will proceed in three steps. After a brief reference in Part One to the Roycean background and context to Smith’s efforts toward a more adequate understanding of experience, (...) it will continue in Part Two with a review of the three-stage development of Smith’s own transformation, in a more distinctly pragmatist direction, of Royce’s idealist-pragmatist notion of experience as interpretation. This review of Smith’s thought lays the groundwork for a suggestion, in Part three of this study, toward the continuing formulation of a more explicitly developed philosophy of experience. The basic proposal will be to affirm the need, while profiting from Smith’s important contributions, to pay renewed attention to more idealist concerns for structure and totality. (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)
If one is an egalitarian, what should one want to equalize? Opportunities or outcomes? Resources or welfare? These positions are usually conceived to be very different. I argue in this paper that the distinction is misconceived: the only coherent conception of resource equality implies welfare equality, in an appropriately abstract description of the problem. In this section, I motivate the program which the rest of the paper carries out.
Imagine a society of fisherfolk, who, in the state of nature, fish on a lake of finite size. Fishing on the lake is characterized by decreasing returns to scale in labor, because the lake's finite size imply that each successive hour of fishing labor is less effective than the previous one, as the remaining fish become less dense in the lake. In the state of nature, the lake is commonly owned: each fishes as much as he pleases, and, we might (...) suppose, calculates his fishing plan by taking the labor of the others as given, as he sees it. Each knows that the distribution of fish will be proportional to labor expended among the fisherfolk: if I fish twice as long as you, I will end up with twice as much fish as you. This is not due to some kind of concern with equity among the fisherfolk; it is a technological fact, implied by the assumption that fishing labor is homogeneous, and all are equally likely to catch a fish in a unit of time. An equilibrium under common ownership can be thought of as a Nash equilibrium of the game where each computes his optimal fishing plan, given the labor of the others and knowing what the consequent distribution of fish would be. (shrink)
Radical and liberal theories of egalitarianism are distinguished, in large part, by the differing degrees to which they hold people responsible for their own well-being. The most liberal or individualistic theory calls for equality of opportunity. Once such “starting gate equality,” as Dworkin calls it, is guaranteed, then any final outcome is justified, provided certain rules, such as voluntary trading, are observed. At the other pole, the most radical egalitarianism calls for equality of welfare. In between these two extremes are (...) egalitarian proposals that equalize more than conventional opportunities, yet less than full welfare. Sen speaks of equality of basic capabilities as a goal; implementing that requires more than starting gate equality, because some will require more resources than others to attain the same capabilities. Meeting basic needs is another objective. Equality of needs fulfillment is perhaps less radical than equality of basic capabilities and more radical than equality of opportunity. Rawls takes equality of primary goods as a benchmark; he distinguishes primary goods from welfare, but includes among them goods that are more complicated than conventional resources and opportunities, all of which are supposed inputs into any conception of welfare. One could imagine proposing an egalitarianism that equalized some quite measurable outcome across populations, such as infant mortality. That would be an outcome-equalizing theory where the rate of infant mortality is a proxy, presumably, for some more complicated maximand, such as the degree of wellbeing of a population. (shrink)
All advanced societies maintain a commitment to equal educational opportunity, which they claim to implement through a public school system that is charged toprovide all children with an education up to a state-enforced standard. Indeed, what public schools do, even in the best of circumstances, is to provide all children with a more or less equal exposure to educational inputs, rather than to guarantee them equal educational attainment. Children, as the schools receive them, differ markedly in their docility — due (...) in part to innate ability, but perhaps due more to the economic status and cultural practices of their families. Many, including myself, believe that the task of schools should be to provide some measure of equal educational attainment among students of heterogeneous talent and background. Schools should devote more educational resources to students who require them in order that they be educated to an acceptable standard. (shrink)
There is an undercurrent to be detected in Anselm's record of the meditative experience that issued in the Ontological Argument and, although it points to a profound and perennial problem in the interpretation of religion, this undercurrent has been largely ignored. The Argument, as is well known, moves entirely within the medium of reflective meaning focused on the idea of God and, unlike the cosmological arguments of later theologians, it makes no appeal whatever to a principle of causality or to (...) the discovery of a sufficient reason for finite existence. Anselm seems to have had his own sense of what one may call the unadulterated rationalism of the Argument when, in his own words, he wondered, ‘if perhaps it might be possible to find one single argument that for its proof required no other save itself, and that by itself would suffice to prove that God really exists’. Here we are entirely within that inner chamber of the mind so dear to the Augustinian tradition, a mind from which one is to exclude all thought save that of God. The task of the one who reflects is to penetrate the inner meaning of this thought in order to discover what it implies beyond what is evident on the surface. With such an eminently rational or logical aim occupying the centre of attention, it is quite understandable that the presence of another, and quite opposed, concern should have been overlooked - Anselm's concern, namely, to transcend, as it were, the medium of thought itself, and enter into the presence of God. The reason that this concern introduces a tension in the search for a proof is that the realization of presence would seem to render proof superfluous, while the inference in an argument - especially one moving towards existence – inevitably suggests, in some sense and to some degree, the absence of what is sought for. (shrink)