“Ockham never wrote a commentary on Aristotle’s Metaphysics,” Jenny Pelletier tells us at the beginning of this monograph, “but the absence of such a commentary does not allow us to infer that he was uninterested in or skeptical of metaphysics” (1–2). Her central contention is that Ockham had a robust conception of metaphysics as a distinct branch of scientific knowledge concerning being and God. It is an argument worth making insofar as many scholars in recent years have held that Ockham (...) lacks a metaphysics or rejects the possibility of one. In opposing these claims, Pelletier also has much to say about what Ockham’s metaphysics includes and how it relates to other sciences. As the study of being, it considers .. (shrink)
E. M. Wood, one of the main figures of political Marxism, is interviewed by Frédérick-Guillaume Dufour and Jonathan Martineau and discusses the different directions of her work. The main questions she is asked concern : her relationship to Marx ; her specific approach to history and how it differs from other Marx-inspired types of analysis ; the situation of contemporary capitalism ; the dead ends of intellectual debates in recent years and the challenges of the current political situation.
The volume includes representative and self-contained selections from fifteen authors covering various aspects of the problem of free will. Included are readings from Jonathan Edwards, Calvin, Schlick, Peirce, James, Mill, F. S. C. Schiller, Hospers, Swedenborg, Hume, Stace, Bertocci, Ledger Wood, and Douglas Browning. Enteman has added an elementary introduction and an appendix on "Microphysics and Free Will." Noticeably absent are selections from existential and phenomenological sources. There is a good bibliography, one which makes the reader envious that it (...) was not invaded more extensively for the purposes of the present volume.—E. A. R. (shrink)
Examining select high points in the speculative tradition from Plato and Aristotle through the Middle Ages and German tradition to Dewey and Heidegger, _Placing Aesthetics_ seeks to locate the aesthetic concern within the larger framework of each thinker's philosophy. In Professor Robert Wood's study, aesthetics is not peripheral but rather central to the speculative tradition and to human existence as such. In Dewey's terms, aesthetics is “experience in its integrity.” Its personal ground is in “the heart,” which is the (...) dispositional ground formed by genetic, cultural, and personal historical factors by which we are spontaneously moved and, in turn, are inclined to move, both practically and theoretically, in certain directions. Prepared for use by the student as well as the philosopher, _Placing Aesthetics_ aims to recover the fullness of humanness within a sense of the fullness of encompassing Being. It attempts to overcome the splitting of thought, even in philosophy, into exclusive specializations and the fracturing of life itself into theoretical, practical, and emotive dimensions. (shrink)
People talk about rats deserting a sinking ship, but they don't usually ask where the rats go. Perhaps this is only because the answer is so obvious: of course, most of the rats climb aboard the sounder ships, the ships that ride high in the water despite being laden with rich cargoes of cheese and grain and other things rats love, the ships that bring prosperity to ports like eighteenth-century Königsberg and firms such as Green & Motherby. By making the (...) insulting comparison - as I am in the course of doing – between us Kant scholars and a horde of noxious vermin, my more or less transparent aim is to mitigate, or at least to distract attention from, the collective immodesty of what I am saying about us. For my point is that, in the past half-century or so, Kant studies has become a very prosperous ship indeed. Its success has even been the chief thing that has buoyed all its sister ships in the fleet of modern philosophy, most of which are also doing very well. (shrink)
Hegel.Robert E. Wood - 2012 - Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy 16 (2):337-349.details
Misunderstandings of Hegel have several roots: one is the intrinsic difficulty of his highly technical and interrelated conceptual sets, another is ideological opponents who consequently take statements out of context, and a third is following those of high stature who pass on the misunderstandings. Typical misunderstandings concern freedom and necessity, slavery, that status of the individual, God and the State, facts measuring up to concepts, the relation of rationality and actuality, the status of passion, and, above all, the nature of (...) absolute knowing. Resituating these notions within the whole of the System shows the one-sidedness of typical misunderstandings and opens the way toward appropriation. (shrink)
The notion of the heart is one of the most basic notions in ordinary language. It is central to Heidegger’s notion of thought that he relates to the primordial word Gedanc as underlying attunement that issues forth in emotional phenomena. He plays with all the etymological cognates of that word to zero in on the phenomena involved. The key experience of Erstaunen that grounds the first beginning of philosophy is paralleled by Erschrecken that grounds Heidegger’s “second beginning” and plays counterpoint (...) with the first. Along with Befindlichkeit as one’s basic attunement, these are key phenomena that belong to the heart, not to ‘intellect’ or ‘will.’ Thinking in terms of the intellect is das rechnende Denken¸ thinking in terms of the heart, besinnliche Nachdenken. It is the latter that provides the “poetic-intellectual” experience for both the arts and philosophy in which such “world space” is created that even the ordinary appears extraordinary. (shrink)
Interpretation of the classics in political theory seems to go in waves. For a while we had John Locke, the bourgeois thinker. Now we seem to be in a Locke-as-radical-democrat phase. Locke-the-bourgeois had problems of its own, but a radically democratic Locke -- not just the old Locke as liberal democrat but Locke as quasi-Leveller -- strains the interpretative imagination more than most; yet in recent years, several different kinds of argument have been advanced in support of it, both textual (...) and contextual. The most effective argument has proceeded by situating Locke in the context of radical Whig politics in the 1670s and '80s, the struggles over religious toleration and the royal succession, in particular the �Exclusion Crisis� of 1679-81. This contextual argument has been accompanied by various textual interpretations having to do with Locke's conceptions of property, consent, representation, the right of revolution and natural law. Among other things, these are supposed to show that while Locke had nothing explicit to say about the extent of the franchise, the weight of evidence suggests that he would have supported a fairly wide franchise, perhaps even something like the (almost) manhood suffrage advocated by the Levellers (at least according to some, and probably the most convincing, interpretations of their ideas). Most recently, in these pages, Martin Hughes, building on the work of James Tully and Richard Ashcraft in particular, has pushed the argument as far as it can probably go. His argument on taxation and suffrage has provided a motivation here for a wider exploration of Locke's views on representation, consent and the franchise. (shrink)
Newman’s view of the heart corresponds with the recent Catechism of the Catholic Church. His motto, Cor ad cor loquitur, exhibits his central religious preoccupation. There are three factors involved in religious existence: intellectual apprehension, emotional realization, and moral action. The center, located in the heart, is typically considered secondary: clear conception and moral action are all that is required. For Newman, this is truncated religion, for religion has its deepest root in the heart. Here is where he considers conscience. (...) Like taste and common sense, it is an intellectual virtue; but unlike the former, it is always emotional. It is a privileged place of relation to God, the Supreme Judge. A peculiar set of emotional matters cluster around this relation. It plays in relation to the work of intellect as theology in relation to devotion. This exhibits an instance of the larger relation between notional and real assent. The latter deals with concrete matters and is a relation of “the whole person.” Its aim is to realize what we already accept. That may occur organically through experience, but it can also be invoked meditatively in solitude. Imagination is the chief vehicle of that realization. (shrink)
The ratio of index- and ring-finger lengths is thought to be related to prenatal androgen exposure, and in many, though not all, populations, men have a lower average digit ratio than do women. In many studies an inverse relationship has been observed, among both men and women, between 2D:4D ratio and measures of athletic ability. It has been further suggested that, in hunter-gatherer populations, 2D:4D ratio might also be negatively correlated with hunting ability, itself assumed to be contingent on athleticism. (...) This hypothesis has been tested using endurance running performance among runners from a Western, educated, and industrialized population as a proximate measure of hunting ability. However, it has not previously been tested among actual hunter-gatherers using more ecologically valid measures of hunting ability and success. The current study addresses this question among Tanzanian Hadza hunter-gatherers. I employ a novel method of assessing hunting reputation that, unlike previous methods, allows granular distinctions to be made between hunters at all levels of perceived ability. I find no statistically significant relationship between digit ratio and either hunting reputation or two important hunting skills. I confirm that Hadza men have higher mean 2D:4D ratios than men in many Western populations. I discuss the notion that 2D:4D ratio may be the consequence of an allometric scaling relationship between relative and absolute finger lengths. Although it is difficult to draw clear conclusions from these results, the current study provides no support for the theorized relationship between 2D:4D ratio and hunting skill. (shrink)
This essay, as the title suggests, is not just a reply to Richard Ashcraft -- although it is certainly that too. Its intention is to say something about the political theory of Locke, about his historical context and about the methodological question of contexts in general. About his political theory, I want to make two or three main points which, I think, have important consequences for our understanding of Locke: that he both appropriates and, on critical issues, deliberately neutralizes the (...) radical �discourses� of his time -- so that, for example, he adopts Leveller premises to arrive at something more like Cromwell's (or even more conservative) conclusions; and that he deprives these radical discourses of their most democratic implications less by excluding people from membership in the political nation than by restricting the rights of membership itself. This means, among other things, that the relevant debate is not the one that has so preoccupied Locke scholars -- namely, the controversy about who is a �freeman� or who belongs to the �people�. The decisive question is rather what political rights the �people� have. (shrink)
IN A PREVIOUS ARTICLE I argued that Plato’s Line of Knowledge in the middle of his Republic taught a “pedagogy of complete reflection.” What I intend to show in this article is that the general lines of that “complete reflection” indicated in the Republic are brought down to the everyday in the Theaetetus where we are invited, among other things, to reflect upon what is involved in the fact that we are reading the dialogue in our lifeworld.
Hegel and Nietzsche stood opposed to the monastic tradition which they saw as based upon a denial of the intrinsic value of this life. Both sought to install eternity in this life and not seek for it in an afterlife. Central to both, and contrary to common caricatures of Hegel, is the notion of the heart, the aspect of total subjective participation, which is the locus of a fully concrete reason understood in Hegel’s sense. It is also central to Dostoevsky’s (...) Brothers Karamazov where the heart of Fr. Zosima, while yet rooted in the encompassing eternality of God, overcomes the contempt for the earth of Fr. Ferapont and leads Alyosha to embrace his vocation in the world. Hegel developed the fundamental categories that allows us to comprehend the situation. (shrink)
Written from a viewpoint its author describes as "dialogical neopragmatism", this book attempts to acquaint specialists in philosophy, theology, and history of art and religion as well as the general reader with "condensed samplings" of the history of the treatment, in the Eastern as well as in the Western tradition, of the two notions that operate in the two areas of experience indicated by the title. Working with so broad a canvas, the author hopes to instruct us in avoiding "methodological (...) imperialisms and cultural provincialisms". The thesis of the work is announced on p. 68: Attention to the analogies between issues in aesthetic theory and theories of religion could help the disciplines of history of art and of religion to define themselves. (shrink)
The article reflects on the need for an independent philosophy in relation to faith. After the assimilation of Plato and Aristotle, the official Church tended to attack attempts at independent philosophy as modes of unbelief. But it was precisely independent developments in modern thought that led to the transformation of the ordinary magisterium on certain key questions. Following von Balthasar, the article attempts to make Heidegger’s project our own: to think the ground of metaphysics, and thus of intellect and will, (...) in “the heart” by making use of the seed parables in the Gospels. Taking its point of departure from an analysis of the basic structural features of the field of experience, the text argues for a sympathetic study of the philosophical classics in order to establish a set of critical epicenters in oneself. This furnishes the basis for a dialogical pluralism that will aid in ecumenical dialogue and in the development of the ordinary magisterium. (shrink)