John Wilson's work as moral educator is summarized and evaluated. His rationalist humanistic approach is based on a componential characterization of the morally educated person. Such a person consistently manifests a unity of reflection, feeling, belief, and acting under the logically structured rubrics of PHIL, EMP, GIG and KRAT, and exemplifying the formal features of 'moral opinion'. The rationale and conceptual status of the components is discussed, as is the view that the concept of education entails that teachers be (...) moral educators. This involves cultivating autonomous rationality with respect to the unconscious, motivation, day-to-day moral decision-making, and the emotions; in the latter case there are extensive applications in religious education. Finally, certain weaknesses and pre-eminent strengths of Wilson's position are indicated, and comparisons briefly made with the views of McPhail, Peters, Frankena and Kohlberg. (shrink)
A weak form of intuitionistic set theory WST lacking the axiom of extensionality is introduced. While WST is too weak to support the derivation of the law of excluded middle from the axiom of choice, we show that beeﬁng up WST with moderate extensionality principles or quotient sets enables the derivation to go through.
There was a long tradition in philosophy according to which good reasoning had to be deductively valid. However, that tradition began to be questioned in the 1960’s, and is now thoroughly discredited. What caused its downfall was the recognition that many familiar kinds of reasoning are not deductively valid, but clearly confer justification on their conclusions. Here are some simple examples.
Now in a new edition, this exceptionally successful survey text introduces the faith, belief, and practice of Islam from its earliest origins up to its contemporary resurgence. John L. Esposito, an internationally renowned expert on Islam, traces the development of this dynamic faith and its impact on world history and politics. The fourth edition features updated and expanded coverage of Islam and politics; more extensive treatment of early Islam; an enhanced art program; a new appendix; and a free 6-month (...) subscription to Oxford Islamic Studies Online edited by John L. Esposito. (shrink)
This exceptionally successful survey text introduces the teachings and practice of Islam from its earliest origins up to its contemporary practice. John L. Esposito, an internationally renowned expert on Islam, traces the development of Islam and its impact on world history and politics.Lucidly written and expansive in scope, Islam: The Straight Path, Updated Fifth Edition, provides keen insight into one of the world's least understood religions. It is ideally suited for use in courses on Islam, world religions, comparative religions, (...) and Middle East history and culture.A FREE 6-month subscription to Oxford Islamic Studies Online, edited by John L. Esposito, is included with the purchase of every new copy of this text. (shrink)
"There is no attempt here to lay down as inviolable or to legislate certain ways of looking at things or ways of proceeding for philosophers of religion, only proposals for how to deal with a range of basic issues-proposals that I hope will ignite much fruitful discussion and which, in any case, I shall take as a basis for my own ongoing work in the field."-from the Preface Providing an original and systematic treatment of foundational issues in philosophy of religion, (...) J. L. Schellenberg's new book addresses the structure of religious and irreligious belief, the varieties of religious skepticism, and the nature of religion itself. From the author's searching analysis of faith emerges a novel understanding of propositional faith as requiring the absence of belief. Schellenberg asks what the aims of the field should be, setting out a series of principles for carrying out some of the most important of these aims. His account of justification considers not only belief but also other responses to religious claims and distinguishes the justification of responses, propositions, and persons. Throughout Prolegomena to a Philosophy of Religion, Schellenberg is laying the groundwork for an elaboration of his own vision while at the same time suggesting how philosophers might rethink assumptions guiding most of today's work in analytic philosophy of religion. (shrink)
Georges Sorel's reputation as a proponent of violence has helped to link his ideas to fascist and totalitarian thought. Much of the literature on Sorel as developed this theme, at the expense of what Sorel himself stated as his primary purpose, "the discovery of the historical genesis of morals." How, Sorel asked, in the light of the development of modern industry and the vast powers of the modern state the individual can possess a sense of self-worth and at the same (...) time help to sustain a cultural vitality similar to the great societies of antiquity? How is it possible to avoid the utter resignation and nihilistic relativism of modern existence? In his writings Sorel outlined a sociology of virtue that combined the importance of family love as the basis of community feelings with acceptance of the basis of individual vitality as constant industrial struggle against nature. Sorel's solution is different from Marx's: in place of the ida of transcended alienation, Sorel envisions an agonal striving against nature's unceasing resistance to our efforts. The Feuerbachian unity of nature that, for Marx, had been alienated under capitalism, Sorel regarded as being inherently fragmented by scientific procedures themselves, as well as by the industrial processes that correspond to those scientific procedures. For Sorel, the struggle against nature is the struggle that enables man to overcome himself, to strive against his own inclination to passivity, sloth, and licentiousness. The Marxist concept of totality so necessary to the vision of a communist society is rejected, in favor of a pragmatic, pluralist view of nature that parallels the social pluralism of a regime of workers' syndicates. The primary function of Sorel's famous "myth of the general strike" is to link the workers' constant struggles against capitalist employers to the never-ending struggle against nature. The feelings engendered by such a strubble constitute the true core of socialism; without such feelings, socialism is doomed to the same decay that Sorel and Marx foresaw for capitalist civilization. This title is part of UC Press's Voices Revived program, which commemorates University of California Press’s mission to seek out and cultivate the brightest minds and give them voice, reach, and impact. Drawing on a backlist dating to 1893, Voices Revived makes high-quality, peer-reviewed scholarship accessible once again using print-on-demand technology. This title was originally published in 1981. (shrink)
This exceptionally successful survey text introduces the teachings and practice of Islam from its earliest origins up to its contemporary practice. John L. Esposito, an internationally renowned expert on Islam, traces the development of Islam and its impact on world history and politics.Lucidly written and expansive in scope, Islam: The Straight Path, Fifth Edition, provides keen insight into one of the world's least understood religions. It is ideally suited for use in courses on Islam, world religions, comparative religions, and (...) Middle East history and culture.A FREE 6-month subscription to Oxford Islamic Studies Online, edited by John L. Esposito, is included with the purchase of every new copy of this text. (shrink)
The objective of this book is to produce a theory of rational decision making for realistically resource-bounded agents. My interest is not in “What should I do if I were an ideal agent?”, but rather, “What should I do given that I am who I am, with all my actual cognitive limitations?” The book has three parts. Part One addresses the question of where the values come from that agents use in rational decision making. The most comon view among philosophers (...) is that they are based on preferences, but I argue that this is computationally impossible. I propose an alternative theory somewhat reminiscent of Bentham, and explore how human beings actually arrive at values and how they use them in decision making. Part Two investigates the knowledge of probability that is required for decision-theoretic reasoning. I argue that subjective probability makes no sense as applied to realistic agents. I sketch a theory of objective probability to put in its place. Then I use that to define a variety of causal probability and argue that this is the kind of probability presupposed by rational decision making. So what is to be defended is a variety of causal decision theory. Part Three explores how these values and probabilities are to be used in decision making. In chapter eight, it is argued first that actions cannot be evaluated in terms of their expected values as ordinarily defined, because that does not take account of the fact that a cognizer may be unable to perform an action, and may even be unable to try to perform it. An alternative notion of “expected utility” is defined to be used in place of expected values. In chapter nine it is argued that individual actions cannot be the proper objects of decision-theoretic evaluation. We must instead choose plans, and select actions indirectly on the grounds that they are prescribed by the plans we adopt. However, our objective cannot be to find plans with maximal expected utilities. Plans cannot be meaningfully compared in that way. (shrink)
This third edition, now available in paperback, is a follow up to the author's classic Boolean-Valued Models and Independence Proofs in Set Theory. It provides an exposition of some of the most important results in set theory obtained in the 20th century: the independence of the continuum hypothesis and the axiom of choice.
Reliabilist theories propose to analyse epistemic justification in terms of reliability. This paper argues that if we pay attention to the details of probability theory we find that there is no concept of reliability that can possibly play the role required by reliabilist theories. A distinction is drawn between the general reliability of a process and the single case reliability of an individual belief, And it is argued that neither notion can serve the reliabilist adequately.
It has long been claimed that Homo sapiens is the only species that has language, but only recently has it been recognized that humans also have an unusual pattern of growth and development. Social mammals have two stages of pre-adult development: infancy and juvenility. Humans have two additional prolonged and pronounced life history stages: childhood, an interval of four years extending between infancy and the juvenile period that follows, and adolescence, a stage of about eight years that stretches from juvenility (...) to adulthood. We begin by reviewing the primary biological and linguistic changes occurring in each of the four pre-adult ontogenetic stages in human life history. Then we attempt to trace the evolution of childhood and juvenility in our hominin ancestors. We propose that several different forms of selection applied in infancy and childhood; and that, in adolescence, elaborated vocal behaviors played a role in courtship and intrasexual competition, enhancing fitness and ultimately integrating performative and pragmatic skills with linguistic knowledge in a broad faculty of language. A theoretical consequence of our proposal is that fossil evidence of the uniquely human stages may be used, with other findings, to date the emergence of language. If important aspects of language cannot appear until sexual maturity, as we propose, then a second consequence is that the development of language requires the whole of modern human ontogeny. Our life history model thus offers new ways of investigating, and thinking about, the evolution, development, and ultimately the nature of human language. (shrink)