This paper examines a remarkable document that has escaped critical attention within the vast literature on John Rawls, religion, and liberalism: Rawls's undergraduate thesis, "A Brief Inquiry into the Meaning of Sin and Faith: An Interpretation Based on the Concept of Community" (1942). The thesis shows the extent to which a once regnant version of Protestant theology has retreated into seminaries and divinity schools where it now also meets resistance. Ironically, the young Rawls rejected social contract liberalism for reasons (...) that anticipate many of the claims later made against him by secular and religious critics. The thesis and Rawls's late unpublished remarks on religion and World War II offer a new dimension to his intellectual biography. They show the significance of his humanist response to the moral impossibility of political theology. Moreover, they also reveal a kind of Rawlsian piety marginalized by contemporary debates over religion and liberalism. (shrink)
The Neoplatonist philosophers who flourished between the third and sixth centuries AD had a profound influence on western philosophy, on both Christian and Islamic literature and the visual arts from the Renaissance to modern times. This extensively revised and updated second edition of Neoplatonists provides a valuable introduction to the thought of four central Neoplatonic philosophers, Plotinus, Porphyry, Proclus and Iamblichus. JohnGregory presents new translations of a selection of key passages from Neoplatonist writings, an introduction that puts (...) in context the writings, and an epilogue detailing the legacy and influence of Neoplatonist thought. (shrink)
Do the rich descriptions and narrative shapings of literature provide a valuable resource for readers, writers, philosophers, and everyday people to imagine and confront the ultimate questions of life? Do the human activities of storytelling and complex moral decision-making have a deep connection? What are the moral responsibilities of the artist, critic, and reader? What can religious perspectives—from Catholic to Protestant to Mormon—contribute to literary criticism? Thirty well known contributors reflect on these questions, including iterary theorists Marshall Gregory, James (...) Phelan, and Wayne Booth; philosophers Martha Nussbaum, Richard Hart, and Nina Rosenstand; and authors John Updike, Charles Johnson, Flannery O'Connor, and Bernard Malamud. Divided into four sections, with introductory matter and questions for discussion, this accessible anthology represents the most crucial work today exploring the interdisciplinary connections between literature, religion and philosophy. (shrink)
John Dewey was not a philosopher of education in the now-traditional sense of a doctor of philosophy who examines educational ends, means, and controversies through the disciplinary lenses of epistemology, ethics, and political theory, or of agenda-driven schools such as existentialism, feminism, and critical theory. Rather, Dewey was both an educator and a philosopher, and he saw in each discipline reconstructive possibilities for the other, famously characterizing "philosophy . . . as the general theory of education" (1985, p. 338). (...) Dewey wanted each discipline to overcome its tendency to alienate knowledge and theory from experience and reconstruct itself as an enterprise aimed at personal and collective .. (shrink)
The writings of the Scottish physician and philosopher JohnGregory play an important role in the modern codification of medical ethics. It is therefore appropriate to use his work as a historical example in approaching the question how elements of aesthetics were incorporated in 18th century medical ethics. The concept of a Gentleman is pivotal to the entire medical ethics of JohnGregory as it provides him with the ethical source of the duty to patients. (...) class='Hi'>Gregory makes the trustworthiness of the physician a central point of his medical ethics, and it is in this context that Gregory declares good manners as an essential moral quality of a physician. This paper delineates how good manners are ethically justified in Gregory's medical ethics and concludes with an exploration of the importance of Gregory's conception for present day reflection on the inherence of aesthetics in ethical determinations. (shrink)
From the beginning of the 20th Century to the present day, it has rarely been doubted that whenever formal aesthetic methods meet their iconological counterparts, the two approaches appear to be mutually exclusive. In reality, though, an ahistorical concept is challenging a historical analysis of art. It is especially Susanne K. Langer´s long-overlooked system of analogies between perceptions of the world and of artistic creations that are dependent on feelings which today allows a rapprochement of these positions. Krois’s insistence on (...) a similar point supports this analysis. Their perspectives are grounded in the concept that the feelings within perception are elicited by analogue formal structures in the world and in the arts. This leads to the conclusion that – dependent on the logical and carefully designed formal structure of an artist´s composition and its living interpretation by its recipient – the artistic creation can be identified as a meaningful statement of the creator, which generates an affirmative or critical reply of his consumer. In such a way, on the basis of formal aesthetics and iconology the arts can be affirmed to be relevant for cultural processes: they form parts of the communicative processes that constitute life. (shrink)
The concept of medicine as a profession in the English-language literature of medical ethics is of recent vintage, invented by the Scottish physician and medical ethicist, JohnGregory (1724-1773). Gregory wrote the first secular, philosophical, clinical, and feminine medical ethics and bioethics in the English language and did so on the basis of Hume's principle of sympathy. This paper provides a brief account of Gregory's invention and the role that Humean sympathy plays in that invention, with (...) reference to key texts in Gregory's work. The paper also considers two interesting and perhaps provocative ways in which Hume can be read through Gregory: first, sympathy as a principle of scientific discovery in Hume's science of man and moral physiology; and sympathy as gendered feminine in Hume's moral philosophy. Hume's principle of sympathy is at the core of Gregory's medical ethics and the histories of Western medical ethics and bioethics pivot on Gregory - and, therefore, on Hume - as it does on few other figures. (shrink)
For John M. Anderson philosophy, as the love of wisdom, is a concern for what is ultimate. The essays in this volume take to heart this understanding of philosophy, and are therefore responses to the ultimate. The first four essays by Kaelin, Schrag, Baillif and Johnstone, deal with Anderson's own account of ultimacy as it is presented in his reflections on the aesthetic occasion, the experience of the sublime, on freedom and on insight. The concern for what is ultimate (...) is formulated differently by each of the other eight essays. Desmond articulates ways of our encounter with the ultimate by means of what he calls essential perplexity. Gendlin reflects on Aristotle's characterization of thinking as an activity that is ultimate. Biemel and Lingis present death as an aspect of the ultimate. Hersch sees our loss of meaning and value as the result of our refusal of finitude and thus of our denial of the ultimate which reveals itself in this finitude. Ginsberg initiates us into the ultimacy of the human encounter that is dialogue. Verene speaks of the ultimate through his account of the fool. For Kockelmans philosophy, unlike science, deals with what-is as it manifests itself in our encounter with our lived world which is a source of meaning, and in that sense an ultimate. Finally, John M. Anderson writes of the awareness of our becoming more than we are, and does so by bespeaking the origin of the dialogue we are. (shrink)
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