Rosa Parks was arrested in 1955 for refusing to submit to Alabama law requiring racially segregated transport. Her arrest triggered the Montgomery bus boycott. Fred Gray, barely a year out of law school, represented her ? and for nearly half a century thereafter played a prominent role in almost every major civil rights case in the state. Gray?s key moral and legal commitment was grounded in opposition to segregation of every kind, based on the law in principle and the US (...) Constitution in particular. The early Gray was an idealist who advocated integration as the best means to break down segregation. The elder Gray, by contrast ? even while rejecting black?nationalist calls for separatism ? reflects an ideological shift away from untrammelled support for integration as such, to a more explicit focus on protecting the interests of the black community through the preservation of its institutions. (shrink)
Christians hold that God is transcendent, that He is other than all else that exists. For example, Paul Tillich claims, The divine beings and the Supreme Being, God, are representations of that which is ultimately referred to in the religious act. They are representations, for the unconditioned transcendent surpasses every possible conception of a being, including even the conception of a Supreme Being … It is the religious function of atheism ever to remind us that the religious act has to (...) do with the unconditioned transcendent, and that the representations of the Unconditioned are not objects concerning whose existence … a discussion would be possible. (shrink)
I came to epistemology through an interest in the concept of rationality, and especially through the attacks on the rationality of religious believers. My thoughts at the time focused on the disappointing quality of the arguments for and against religious belief, and I recall being astonished at the time that philosophers capable of such penetrating insight in other areas had nothing that seemed either penetrating or original. The defenders sounded too much like mere apologists for the faith, and the attackers (...) arid and dull, with both sides often exuding a scent of intellectual dishonesty. (shrink)
Craig claims that my treatment of temporal indexicals such as ‘now’ is inadequate, and that my theory gives no general account of tense. Craig’s argument misunderstands the theory of indexicals I give, and I show how to extend the theory to give a general account of tense.
In the past empiricist philosophy has urged one or other or both of two interconnected, and sometimes interconfused, theses. The first has been a thesis about the causal origins of certain beliefs, the second a thesis about the proper criteria for appraising these beliefs. The causal thesis is that all beliefs about the structure and contents of the natural world are the end-product of a process that originates wholly in individual experiences of seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, or touching. The criterial (...) thesis is that all these beliefs are ultimately to be appraised for their truth, soundness or acceptability in terms of the data afforded by such perceptual acts. Of recent years the causal version of empiricism has been much attacked, primarily in regard to its implications about language-learning. The language in terms of which our beliefs are constructed is heavily conditioned, we are told, by certain congenital features of the human brain. But, whenever Chomsky and his followers have assailed the causal version of empiricism, they have always been careful to claim for their doctrines the warrant of empirical evidence. They have never questioned the correctness of the criterial version of empiricism. (shrink)