KeithHaartman argues that childrearing practices distinctive of the English middle class in the 18th century produced a type of personality structure characterized by excessive splitting. Methodism proved popular because the Methodist experience providing a way of confronting and working through the conflicts generated by this sort of personality structure. Unfortunately, although Haartman's argument is plausible, there is little or no evidence to support his central contention: that the individuals who found Methodism most appealing were associated with (...) the childhood experiences he posits. A somewhat different psychoanalytic interpretation of the same data that Haartman presents emerges when we pay attention to things, like the orality that pervaded the Methodist experience and the intended goal of the Methodist conversion experience, that Haartman ignores. This article concludes by suggesting that when psychoanalytic investigators study large-scale historical patterns, they would do well to recognize the limits of psychoanalytic explanation in this area. (shrink)
Haartman responds to points made by Malony and Carroll. Malony suggests that Methodist repentance was characterized by "devotion" and "joyous possession" rather than fear. Haartman argues that the hysterical crises and the persecutory ideation that accompanied Methodist conversion was often triggered by Wesley's invitation to accept God's love. The data points to a conflict model involving rage and anxiety, as well as devotion. Haartman concedes to Carroll's argument that the majority of Methodists hailed from the lower working (...) class and that the psychology of evangelical nurture does not apply to this constituency. However, the authors of the official autobiographies were drawn from the middling ranks and revealed struggles with authoritarian parenting. Haartman challenges Carroll's emphasis on orality and regression as the primary psychoanalytic explanation for Methodist spirituality. (shrink)
This paper examines the contemplative techniques that comprised wesley's method of spiritual transformation. By employing a psychoanalytic perspective that explains the pastoral effectiveness of the method, I claim that Wesley's view of spiritual growth was therapeutic and transformative as measured by contemporary clinical standards. Wesley's developmental model involved a series of spiritual phases each characterized by techniques and meditations that culminated in sanctification, a cognitive-emotional transformation marked by the eradication of sinful temptations and the perfection of altruism. Couched in a (...) theological idiom, the method helped individuals to work through conflicts created by the three main traumata of British middle class childhood: authoritarian parenting and unresolved bereavement grief. This paper argues that religious-cultural symbolism may promote transformations of archaic affect and neurotic conflict that progressively reshape these pre-reflective materials into complex existential insights and convictions. (shrink)
My discussion in this paper is divided into three parts. In section I, I discuss some fairly familiar lines of approach to the question how moral considerations may be shown to have rational appeal. In section II, I suggest how our existence as constituents in collective entities might also influence our practical thinking. In section III, I entertain the idea that identification with collectives might displace moral thinking to some degree, and I offer Marx's class theory as a sample of (...) collective identification for the purposes of practical deliberation. (shrink)
The Anglican Thirty Nine Articles join catholic Christendom in affirming that: There is but one living and true God…and in unity of this Godhead there be three Persons of one substance, power, and eternity; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.
We would like to thank Ian Carter and Matthew Kramer for their challenging reply to our recent article. Dowding and van Hees is one of a series of articles in which we try to address measurement issues with regard to individual freedom. Our aim is to provide a conception of freedom that will eventually yield a way of measuring the relative freedom of groups of people within a society and a relative measure of freedom across societies. In doing so, we (...) draw upon the important work of Carter and Kramer, but as should be clear, we also depart from it in several respects. (shrink)
The doctrine of hell, stated with a little care, entails that some persons never achieve their greatest good, fail to really flourish and never reach the end for which they were created. If that doctrine is true, and it is tragic that persons never achieve their greatest good, then there are tragic states of affairs whose tragedy is never overcome.
Appeal to experience for rational justification of religious belief is probably as old as the question whether religious belief has any rational support. The issues relevant to such appeal range widely, and I will have to be content to deal with only a few of them.
In an incisive critique of Professor Hick's Evil and the God of Love , Professor Puccetti claims to ‘carry the campaign as well as the battle’—i.e. to show that, with respect to evil, theists ‘are either “explaining it away” or saying it cannot be explained at all. And in both cases they are in effect admitting they have no rational defence to offer. Which means that despite appearances they really are abandoning the battlefield.’.
In his recent paper ‘Gratuitous Evil and Divine Existence’. Keith Yandell declares the deductive argument from evil solved. He notes, however, that what persists is a probabilistic version of the argument from evil, one concluding from the evidence of evil that it is ‘highly improbable’ that God exists. Yandell attempts to refute this probabilistic argument from gratuitous evil; as shown below, however, he fails.
The One remains, the many change and pass; Heaven's light forever shines, Earth's shadows fly; Life, like a dome of many-coloured glass, Stains the white radiance of Eternity, Until Death tramples it to fragments. At its widest, ‘pluralism’ signifies simply the variety of life, the teeming multitude of forms and entities, the many different properties that living beings manifest. Life is not everywhere the same but impressively differentiated, and without it eternity would be all of a piece, uniform. That is (...) enough for life to stain the white radiance of eternity. But within the multiplicity of specifically human life there are not merely differences. There are tensions, oppositions, conflicts. In contemporary philosophical debate ‘pluralism’ then comes to signify one problematic aspect of this. Groups of people have perhaps always subscribed to very different values, and in consequence favoured very different forms of behaviour from one another, at least on a global scale. But the groups are no longer geographically separated: we live in distinct but overlapping cultures, and get in one another's way to a far greater extent than previously. Shelley's ordered image of the dome may then seem inappropriate, and it may seem unnecessary for death to trample it to fragments. Life is already fragmented, and the practical problem facing us as living creatures is to go beyond the fragments, to achieve at least a modus vivendi in the light of all our differences and incompatibilities even if not the orderliness and cohesion of a dome. Somehow, we have to live together. That is a practical problem which confronts us at every level, as members of families, neighbourhoods, departments, countries and increasingly simply as members of a world-wide human race. (shrink)
In this impressive second edition of Theory of Knowledge, Keith Lehrer introduces students to the major traditional and contemporary accounts of knowing. Beginning with the traditional definition of knowledge as justified true belief, Lehrer explores the truth, belief, and justification conditions on the way to a thorough examination of foundation theories of knowledge,the work of Platinga, externalism and naturalized epistemologies, internalism and modern coherence theories, contextualism, and recent reliabilist and causal theories. Lehrer gives all views careful examination and concludes (...) that external factors must be matched by appropriate internal factors to yield knowledge. This match of internal and external factors follows from Lehrer’s new coherence theory of undefeated justification. In addition to doing justice to the living epistemological traditions, the text smoothly integrates several new lines that will interest scholars. Also, a feature of special interest is Lehrer’s concept of a justification game.This second edition of Theory of Knowledge is a thoroughly revised and updated version that contains several completely new chapters. Written by a well-known scholar and contributor to modern epistemology, this text is distinguished by clarity of structure, accessible writing, and an elegant mix of traditional material, contemporary ideas, and well-motivated innovation. (shrink)
Contextualism has been hotly debated in recent epistemology and philosophy of language. The Case for Contextualism is a state-of-the-art exposition and defense of the contextualist position, presenting and advancing the most powerful arguments in favor of the view and responding to the most pressing objections facing it.
This paper uses the knowledge account of assertion (KAA) in defense of epistemological contextualism. Part 1 explores the main problem afflicting contextualism, what I call the "Generality Objection." Part 2 presents and defends both KAA and a powerful new positive argument that it provides for contextualism. Part 3 uses KAA to answer the Generality Objection, and also casts other shadows over the prospects for anti-contextualism.
Much research in the last two decades has demonstrated that human responses deviate from the performance deemed normative according to various models of decision making and rational judgment (e.g., the basic axioms of utility theory). This gap between the normative and the descriptive can be interpreted as indicating systematic irrationalities in human cognition. However, four alternative interpretations preserve the assumption that human behavior and cognition is largely rational. These posit that the gap is due to (1) performance errors, (2) computational (...) limitations, (3) the wrong norm being applied by the experimenter, and (4) a different construal of the task by the subject. In the debates about the viability of these alternative explanations, attention has been focused too narrowly on the modal response. In a series of experiments involving most of the classic tasks in the heuristics and biases literature, we have examined the implications of individual differences in performance for each of the four explanations of the normative/descriptive gap. Performance errors are a minor factor in the gap; computational limitations underlie non-normative responding on several tasks, particularly those that involve some type of cognitive decontextualization. Unexpected patterns of covariance can suggest when the wrong norm is being applied to a task or when an alternative construal of the task should be considered appropriate. Key Words: biases; descriptive models; heuristics; individual differences; normative models; rationality; reasoning. (shrink)
In this paper, we review Keith Lehrer’s account of the basing relation, with particular attention to the two cases he offered in support of his theory, Raco (Lehrer, Theory of knowledge, 1990; Theory of knowledge, (2nd ed.), 2000) and the earlier case of the superstitious lawyer (Lehrer, The Journal of Philosophy, 68, 311–313, 1971). We show that Lehrer’s examples succeed in making his case that beliefs need not be based on the evidence, in order to be justified. These cases (...) show that it is the justification (rather than the belief) that must be based in the evidence. We compare Lehrer’s account of basing with some alternative accounts that have been offered, and show why Lehrer’s own account is more plausible. (shrink)
Definite descriptions, I shall argue, have two possible functions. 1] They are used to refer to what a speaker wishes to talk about, but they are also used quite differently. Moreover, a definite description occurring in one and the same sentence may, on different occasions of its use, function in either way. The failure to deal with this duality of function obscures the genuine referring use of definite descriptions. The best known theories of definite descriptions, those of Russell and Strawson, (...) I shall suggest, are both guilty of this. Before discussing this distinction in use, I will mention some features of these theories to which it is especially relevant. (shrink)
This book is about one of the most baffling of all paradoxes – the famous Liar paradox. Suppose we say: 'We are lying now'. Then if we are lying, we are telling the truth; and if we are telling the truth we are lying. This paradox is more than an intriguing puzzle, since it involves the concept of truth. Thus any coherent theory of truth must deal with the Liar. Keith Simmons discusses the solutions proposed by medieval philosophers and (...) offers his own solutions and in the process assesses other attempts to solve the paradox. Unlike such attempts, Simmons' 'singularity' solution does not abandon classical semantics and does not appeal to the kind of hierarchical view found in Barwise's and Etchemendy's The Liar. Moreover, Simmons' solution resolves the vexing problem of semantic universality – the problem of whether there are semantic concepts beyond the expressive reach of a natural language such as English. (shrink)
This article presents the case for an approach to consciousness that I call illusionism. This is the view that phenomenal consciousness, as usually conceived, is illusory. According to illusionists, our sense that it is like something to undergo conscious experiences is due to the fact that we systematically misrepresent them as having phenomenal properties. Thus, the task for a theory of consciousness is to explain our illusory representations of phenomenality, not phenomenality itself, and the hard problem is replaced by the (...) illusion problem. Although it has had powerful defenders, illusionism remains a minority position, and it is often dismissed as failing to take consciousness seriously. This article seeks to rebut this accusation. It defines the illusionist programme, outlines its attractions, and defends it against some common objections. It concludes that illusionism is a coherent and attractive approach, which deserves serious consideration. (shrink)
The idea that we might be robots is no longer the stuff of science fiction; decades of research in evolutionary biology and cognitive science have led many esteemed scientists to the conclusion that, according to the precepts of universal Darwinism, humans are merely the hosts for two replicators that have no interest in us except as conduits for replication. Richard Dawkins, for example, jolted us into realizing that we are just survival mechanisms for our own genes, sophisticated robots in service (...) of huge colonies of replicators to whom concepts of rationality, intelligence, agency, and even the human soul are irrelevant. Accepting and now forcefully responding to this decentering and disturbing idea, Keith Stanovich here provides the tools for the "robot's rebellion," a program of cognitive reform necessary to advance human interests over the limited interest of the replicators and define our own autonomous goals as individual human beings. He shows how concepts of rational thinking from cognitive science interact with the logic of evolution to create opportunities for humans to structure their behavior to serve their own ends. These evaluative activities of the brain, he argues, fulfill the need that we have to ascribe significance to human life. We may well be robots, but we are the only robots who have discovered that fact. Only by recognizing ourselves as such, argues Stanovich, can we begin to construct a concept of self based on what is truly singular about humans: that they gain control of their lives in a way unique among life forms on Earth—through rational self-determination. (shrink)
In this important new text, Keith Lehrer introduces students to the major traditional and contemporary accounts of knowing. Beginning with the accepted definition of knowledge as justified true belief, Lehrer explores the truth, belief and justification conditions on the way to a thorough examination of foundation theories of knowledge, externalism and naturalized epistemologies, internalism and modern coherence theories as well as recent reliabilist and causal theories. Lehrer gives all views careful examination and concludes that external factors must be matched (...) by appropriate internal ones to yield knowledge. Readers of Professor Lehrer's earlier book _Knowledge_ will want to know that this text adopts the framework of that classic text. But _Theory of Knowledge_ is a completely rewritten and updated version of that book that has been simplified throughout for student use. (shrink)
Mind and Supermind offers an alternative perspective on the nature of belief and the structure of the human mind. Keith Frankish argues that the folk-psychological term 'belief' refers to two distinct types of mental state, which have different properties and support different kinds of mental explanation. Building on this claim, he develops a picture of the human mind as a two-level structure, consisting of a basic mind and a supermind, and shows how the resulting account sheds light on a (...) number of puzzling phenomena and helps to vindicate folk psychology. Topics discussed include the function of conscious thought, the cognitive role of natural language, the relation between partial and flat-out belief, the possibility of active belief formation, and the nature of akrasia, self-deception and first-person authority. This book will be valuable for philosophers, psychologists and cognitive scientists. (shrink)
In the late summer of 1998, the authors, a cognitive scientist and a logician, started talking about the relevance of modern mathematical logic to the study of human reasoning, and we have been talking ever since. This book is an interim report of that conversation. It argues that results such as those on the Wason selection task, purportedly showing the irrelevance of formal logic to actual human reasoning, have been widely misinterpreted, mainly because the picture of logic current in psychology (...) and cognitive science is completely mistaken. We aim to give the reader a more accurate picture of mathematical logic and, in doing so, hope to show that logic, properly conceived, is still a very helpful tool in cognitive science. The main thrust of the book is therefore constructive. We give a number of examples in which logical theorizing helps in understanding and modeling observed behavior in reasoning tasks, deviations of that behavior in a psychiatric disorder (autism), and even the roots of that behavior in the evolution of the brain. (shrink)
This paper brings together two positions that for the most part have been developed and defended independently of one another: contextualism about knowledge attributions and the knowledge account of assertion.
Responds to the idea that humans are merely survival mechanisms for their own genes, providing the tools to advance human interests over the interests of the replicators through rational self-determination.
The eminent philosopher Keith Lehrer offers an original and distinctively personal view of central aspects of the human condition, such as reason, knowledge, wisdom, autonomy, love, consensus, and consciousness. He argues that what is uniquely human is our capacity for evaluating our own mental states (such as beliefs and desires), and suggests that we have a system for such evaluation which allows the resolution of personal and interpersonal conflict. The keystone in this system is self-trust, on which reason, knowledge, (...) and wisdom are grounded. (shrink)
This book addresses a fundamental question in the philosophy of religion. Can religious experience provide evidence for religious belief? If so, how? Keith Yandell argues against the notion that religious experience is ineffable, while advocating the view that strong numinous experience provides some evidence that God exists. An attractive feature of the book is that it does not confine its attention to any one religious cultural tradition, but tracks the nature of religious experience across different traditions in both the (...) East and the West. (shrink)
In this book Keith Graham examines the philosophical assumptions behind the ideas of group membership and loyalty. Drawing out the significance of social context, he challenges individualist views by placing collectivities such as committees, classes or nations within the moral realm. He offers an understanding of the multiplicity of sources which vie for the attention of human beings as they decide how to act, and challenges the conventional division between self-interest and altruism. He also offers a systematic account of (...) the different ways in which individuals can identify with or distance themselves from the groups to which they belong. His study will be of interest to readers in a range of disciplines including philosophy, politics, sociology, law and economics. (shrink)
The recently offered, Purported counter-Examples to justified, True belief analyses of knowledge are looked at with some care and all found to be either incoherent or inconclusive. It is argued that justified, True belief analyses are based on sound insight into the concept of knowledge. The distinction between having been justified in claiming to know something and actually having known it is used in an effort to get the discussion of knowledge back on the right track.
In epistemology, “contextualism” denotes a wide variety of more-or-less closely related positions according to which the issues of knowledge or justification are somehow relative to context. I will proceed by first explicating the position I call contextualism, and distinguishing that position from some closely related positions in epistemology, some of which sometimes also go by the name of “contextualism”. I’ll then present and answer what seems to many the most pressing of the objections to contextualism as I construe it, and (...) also indicate some of the main positive motivations for accepting the view. Among the epistemologists I’ve spoken with who have an opinion on the matter, I think it’s fair to say a majority reject contextualism. However, the resistance has to this point been largely underground, with little by way of sustained arguments against contextualism appearing in the journals,[i] though I have begun to see various papers in manuscript form which are critical of contextualism. Here, I’ll respond the criticism of contextualism that, in my travels, I have found to be the most pervasive in producing suspicion about the view. (shrink)
Philosophers and scientists have studied sensory perception and, in particular, vision for many years. Increasingly, however, they have become interested in the nonvisual senses in greater detail and the problem of individuating the senses in a more general way. The Aristotelian view is that there are only five external senses—smell, taste, hearing, touch, and vision. This has, by many counts, been extended to include internal senses, such as balance, proprioception, and kinesthesis; pain; and potentially other human and nonhuman senses. This (...) “multisensory turn” has been driven partly by developments in contemporary psychology and neuroscience, which have revealed a host of complex interrelations and interactions between sensory modalities previously thought to be distinct. Contrasts between modalities and other crossmodal phenomena, including multisensory integration, synesthesia, and sensory substitution, have also begun to receive more attention in a burgeoning scientific and philosophical literature on multisensory perception and other crossmodal effects. This article focuses on recent empirically informed contributions to the philosophy of perception, as well as key scientific works that provide important background information and insights into the nature of the senses and sensory perception. Indeed, one of the lessons of the multisensory turn, and of contemporary philosophy of mind more generally, is that philosophers ignore this body of empirical research at their peril because many human and animal senses turn out to be richer and more complex than philosophers and scientists had previously imagined, making this a fruitful area for interdisciplinary interaction and research. (shrink)