An ecumenical effort, sensitive to both the scriptural and dogmatic issues, and directed at laying open the often overlooked, historical and doctrinal affinities underlying Protestant and Catholic Marian theology. As O'Meara correctly points out, while Luther and Calvin did indeed remove Mary from some aspects of the Church, it was some of their later followers who removed her entirely from any essential involvement with the mystery of Christ and the Church. But as in all ecumenical discussions worthy of that (...) name, genuine difficulties are not glossed over. In particular O'Meara questions the prevailing, either/or tendency in Protestant theology not to admit the possibility of a middle range of worship, i.e., hyperdulia, as falling between latria and dulia. While the treatment is for the most part scrupulously fair, O'Meara's defense of the traditional Catholic exegesis of the "I know not man" passage, which is crucial for the Catholic teaching on the virginity of Mary, seems to place an unfair burden of proof on the Protestant interpretation, which is prima facie the more obvious one.—J. J. O. (shrink)
Living kidney donation provides a promising opportunity in situations where the scarcity of cadaveric kidneys is widely acknowledged. While many patients and their relatives are willing to accept its benefits, others are concerned about living kidney programs; they appear to feel pressured into accepting living kidney transplantations as the only proper option for them. As we studied the attitudes and views of patients and their relatives, we considered just how actively health care professionals should encourage living donation. We argue that (...) active interference in peoples’ personal lives is justified - if not obligatory. First, we address the ambiguous ideals of non-directivity and value neutrality in counselling. We describe the main pitfalls implied in these concepts, and conclude that these concepts cannot account for the complex reality of living donation and transplantation. We depict what is required instead as truthful information and context-relative counselling. We then consider professional interference into personal belief systems. We argue that individual convictions are not necessarily strong, stable, or deep. They may be flawed in many ways. In order to justify interference in peoples’ personal lives, it is crucial to understand the structure of these convictions. Evidence suggests that both patients and their relatives have attitudes towards living kidney donation that are often open to change and, accordingly, can be influenced. We show how ethical theories can account for this reality and can help us to discern between justified and unjustified interference. We refer to Stephen Toulmin’s model of the structure of logical argument, the Rawlsian model of reflective equilibrium, and Thomas Nagel’s representation of the particularistic position. (shrink)
In middle childhood, boys show more avoidant attachments and girls more ambivalent attachments as a prelude to gender differentiation in reproductive strategies. However, we have failed to find systematic and method-independent gender differences in middle or late childhood attachments, nor in adult attachment representations. We conclude that Del Giudice's model rests on a brittle empirical basis.
In this paper we argue that moral behaviour is largely situation?specific. Genetic make?up, neurobiological factors, attachment security and rearing experiences have only limited influence on individual differences in moral performance. Moral behaviour does not develop in a linear and cumulative fashion and individual morality is not stable across time and situations. To illustrate our position we present two studies on children?s willingness to donate their money to a charity (UNICEF) as a prime example of pro?social behaviour. In two samples of (...) seven?year?old children we found no evidence for a role of attachment, temperament or parenting. Using a twin design we did not find any evidence for a genetic component either. The most striking finding in both studies was that very few children were inclined to donate any money after viewing a promotional UNICEF film about children suffering from poverty. Only after gentle probing by an experimenter were most children willing to donate some of their money. The situation appeared to be a much more powerful determinant of donating behaviour than any other factor. These findings are discussed in the broader context of evidence for situational canalisation of moral behaviour. We conclude that moral competence may be a universal human characteristic, but that it takes a situation with specific demand?characteristics to translate this competence into actual prosocial performance. (shrink)
Strategic games require reasoning about other people’s and one’s own beliefs or intentions. Although they have clear commonalities with psychological tests of theory of mind, they are not clearly related to theory of mind tests for children between 9 and 10 years of age “Flobbe et al. J Logic Language Inform 17(4):417–442 (2008)”. We studied children’s (5–12 years of age) individual differences in how they played a strategic game by analyzing the strategies that they applied in a zero, first, and (...) second-order reasoning task. For the zero-order task, we found two subgroups with different accuracy levels. For the first-order task, subgroups of children applied different suboptimal strategies or an optimal strategy. For the second-order task only suboptimal strategies were present. Strategy use for all tasks was related to age. The 5- and 6-year old children were additionally tested on theory of mind understanding and executive functioning. Strategy-use in these children was related to working memory, but not to theory of mind after correction for age, verbal ability and general IQ. (shrink)
Alice Crary has recently developed a radical reading of J. L. Austin's philosophy of language. The central contention of Crary's reading is that Austin gives convincing reasons to reject the idea that sentences have context-invariant literal meaning. While I am in sympathy with Crary about the continuing importance of Austin's work, and I think Crary's reading is deep and interesting, I do not think literal sentence meaning is one of Austin's targets, and the arguments that Crary attributes to Austin or (...) finds Austinian in spirit do not provide convincing reasons to reject literal sentence meaning. In this paper, I challenge Crary's reading of Austin and defend the idea of literal sentence meaning. (shrink)
J. L. Schellenberg’s Philosophy of Religion argues for a specific brand of sceptical religion that takes ‘Ultimism’ – the proposition that there is a metaphysically, axiologically, and soteriologically ultimate reality – to be the object to which the sceptical religionist should assent. In this article I shall argue that Ietsism – the proposition that there is merely something transcendental worth committing ourselves to religiously – is a preferable object of assent. This is for two primary reasons. First, Ietsism is far (...) more modest than Ultimism; Ietsism, in fact, is open to the truth of Ultimism, while the converse does not hold. Second, Ietsism can fulfil the same criteria that compel Schellenberg to argue for Ultimism. (shrink)
In Heidegger’s Being and Time certain concepts are discussed which are central to the ontological constitution of Dasein. This paper demonstrates the interesting manner in which some of these concepts can be used in a reading of T.S. Eliot’s The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock. A comparative analysis is performed, explicating the relevant Heideggerian terms and then relating them to Eliot’s poem. In this way strong parallels are revealed between the two men’s respective thoughts and distinct modernist sensibilities. Prufrock, (...) the protagonist of the poem, and the world he inhabits illustrate poetically concepts such as authenticity, inauthenticity, the ‘they’, idle talk and angst, which Heidegger develops in Being and Time. (shrink)
This paper is a detailed examination of some parts of J. P. Moreland's book on "the argument from consciousness". (There is a companion article that discusses the parts of the book not taken up in this critical notice.).
La metafísica después de ser ignorada por años ha regresado al centro de la escena en la filosofía contemporánea. Tomás de Aquino ha vivido una historia muy parecida, lo que dio nacimiento al tomismo analítico. A pesar de los trabajos desarrollados en esta línea de investigación, la metafísica del Aquinate ha sido fuertemente ignorada. Sin embargo, la metafísica de Tomás de Aquino tiene una ventaja, poco discutida entre los tomistas y tomasinos, y es la de ser una metafísica esencialista. Así, (...) en armonía con el trabajo del metafísico E. J. Lowe, quien presenta su metafísica como “esencialista seria”, se quiere mostrar que la metafísica del Aquinate tiene las mismas virtudes del “esencialismo serio”, lo que permite postularla como una posición válida y plausible para la metafísica contemporánea. (shrink)
In his new book, "The Romantic Conception of Life: Science and Philosophy in the Age of Goethe," Robert J. Richards argues that Charles Darwin's true evolutionary roots lie in the German Romantic biology that flourished around the beginning of the nineteenth century. It is argued that Richards is quite wrong in this claim and that Darwin's roots are in the British society within which he was born, educated, and lived.