This collection of ground-breaking essays considers the many dimensions of prayer: how prayer relates us to the divine; prayer's ability to reveal what is essential about our humanity; the power of prayer to transform human desire and action; and the relation of prayer to cognition. It takes up the meaning of prayer from within a uniquely phenomenological point of view, demonstrating that the phenomenology of prayer is as much about the character and boundaries of phenomenological analysis as it is about (...) the heart of religious life.The contributors: Michael F. Andrews, Bruce Ellis Benson, Mark Cauchi, Benjamin Crowe, Mark Gedney, Philip Goodchild, Christina M. Gschwandtner, Lissa McCullough, Cleo McNelly Kearns, Edward F. Mooney, B. Keith Putt, Jill Robbins, Brian Treanor, Merold Westphal, Norman Wirzba, Terence Wright and Terence and James R. Mensch. Bruce Ellis Benson is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Wheaton College. He is the author of Graven Ideologies: Nietzsche, Derrida, and Marion on Modern Idolatry and The Improvisation of Musical Dialogue: A Phenomenology of Music. Norman Wirzba is Associate Professor and Chair of the Philosophy Department at Georgetown College, Kentucky. He is the author of The Paradise of God and editor of The Essential Agrarian Reader. (shrink)
In this paper, we argue for a particular informative and unified analysis of normative reasons. According to this analysis, a fact F is a reason to act in a certain way just in case it is evidence that one ought to act in that way. Similarly, F is a reason to believe a certain proposition just in case it is evidence for the truth of this proposition. Putting the relatively uncontroversial claim about reasons for belief to one side, we present (...) several arguments in favor of our analysis of reasons for action. We then turn to consider a series of objections to the analysis. We conclude that there are good reasons to accept the analysis and that the objections do not succeed. (shrink)
This paper is a response to two sets of published criticisms of the 'Reasons as Evidence’ thesis concerning normative reasons, proposed and defended in earlier papers. According to this thesis, a fact is a normative reason for an agent to Φ just in case this fact is evidence that this agent ought to Φ. John Broome and John Brunero have presented a number of challenging criticisms of this thesis which focus, for the most part, on problems that it appears to (...) confront when it comes to the topic of the weighing of reasons. Our paper responds to all of the criticisms that these critics have provided, shedding fresh light on this interesting topic in the process. (shrink)
The so-called Direct Argument for the incompatibility of moral responsibility and causal determinism depends on a rule of inference called Rule A, a rule that says no one is even partly morally responsible for a necessary truth. While most philosophers think that Rule A is valid, Stephen Kearns has recently offered several alleged counterexamples to the rule. In the paper, I show that Kearns’ counterexamples are unsuccessful.
Alfred Mele’s zygote argument for incompatibilism is based on a case involving an agent in a deterministic world whose entire life is planned by someone else. Mele’s contention is that Ernie (the agent) is unfree and that normal determined agents are relevantly similar to him with regards to free will. In this paper, I examine four different ways of understanding this argument and then criticize each interpretation. I then extend my criticism to manipulation arguments in general. I conclude that the (...) zygote argument is no threat to compatibilism. (shrink)
The paper challenges Williamson’s safety based explanation for why we cannot know the cut-off point of vague expressions. We assume throughout (most of) the paper that Williamson is correct in saying that vague expressions have sharp cut-off points, but we argue that Williamson’s explanation for why we do not and cannot know these cut-off points is unsatisfactory. -/- In sect 2 we present Williamson's position in some detail. In particular, we note that Williamson's explanation relies on taking a particular safety (...) principle ('Meta-linguistic belief safety' or 'MBS') as a necessary condition on knowledge. In section 3, we show that even if MBS were a necessary condition on knowledge, that would not be sufficient to show that we cannot know the cut-off points of vague expressions. In section 4, we present our main case against Williamson's explanation: we argue that MBS is not a necessary condition on knowledge, by presenting a series of cases where one's belief violates MBS but nevertheless constitutes knowledge. In section 5, we present and respond to an objection to our view. And in section 6, we briefly discuss the possible directions a theory of vagueness can take, if our objection to Williamson's theory is taken on board. (shrink)
Why might someone consider the answer to the titular question to be trivial? Perhaps because she has read some mereology and understands that mereologists distinguish between parthood on the one hand and proper parthood on the other. She understands that, at least when talking in the language of mereology, a thing is necessarily not a proper part of itself, but is necessarily a part of itself. Whether the English word “part” expresses parthood or proper parthood does not seem too important, (...) seeing as either can be taken as primitive and one defined in terms of the other. Thus, whether something is part of itself or not is indeed a trivial matter of definition. If by “part” one means parthood, everything is part of itself. If by “part” one means proper parthood, nothing is part of itself. (shrink)
It is commonly held that no one can be morally responsible for a necessary truth. In this paper, I will provide various examples that cast doubt on this idea. I also show that one popular argument for the incompatibility of moral responsibility and determinism (van Inwagen’s Direct Argument) fails given my examples.
This presentation of a system of propositional logic is a foundational paper for systems of illocutionary logic. The language contains the illocutionary force operators '' for assertion and ' ' for supposition. Sentences occurring in proofs of the deductive system must be prefixed with one of these operators, and rules of take account of the forces of the sentences. Two kinds of semantic conditions are investigated; familiar truth conditions and commitment conditions. Accepting a statement A or rejecting A commits a (...) person to accepting some statements (the symbol '' marks this value), to rejecting some statements (), and will leave the person uncommitted with respect to others (). Commitment valuations assign the values to sentences of ; such a valuation is conceived as reflecting the beliefs/knowledge of a particular person. This paper explores the relations between truth conditions and commitment conditions, and between semantic concepts defined in terms of these conditions. (shrink)
Diagnostic self-testing devices are being developed for many illnesses, chronic diseases and infections. These will be used in hospitals, at point-of-care facilities and at home. Designed to allow earlier detection of diseases, self-testing diagnostic devices may improve disease prevention, slow the progression of disease and facilitate better treatment outcomes. These devices have the potential to benefit both the individual and society by enabling individuals to take a more proactive role in the maintenance of their health and by helping society improve (...) health and reduce health costs. However, the full implications of future home-based diagnostic technology for individuals and society remain unclear due to their novelty. We argue that the development of diagnostic tools, especially for home use, will heighten a number of ethical challenges. This paper will explore some of the ethical implications of home-based self-testing diagnostic devices for the autonomous and relational dimensions of the person. This will be facilitated by examining the impact of diagnostic devices for individual autonomy, for the delivery of accurate diagnosis and for the personal significance of the information for the user. The latter will be examined using Charles Taylor's view of personhood and his emphasis on human agency and interpretation. While the ethical issues are not necessarily new, the development of home-based self-testing diagnostic devices will make issues regarding autonomy, accuracy of information and personal significance more and more demanding. This will be the case particularly when an individual's autonomous choices come into conflict with the person's relational responsibilities. (shrink)
This paper uses the resources of illocutionary logic to provide a new understanding of the Liar Paradox. In the system of illocutionary logic of the paper, denials are irreducible counterparts of assertions; denial does not in every case amount to the same as the assertion of the negation of the statement that is denied. Both a Liar statement, (a) Statement (a) is not true, and the statement which it negates can correctly be denied; neither can correctly be asserted. A Liar (...) statement, more precisely, an attempted Liar statement, fails to fulfill conditions essential to statements, but no linguistic rules are violated by the attempt. Ordinary language, our ordinary practice of using language, is not inconsistent or incoherent because of the Liar. We are committed to deny Liars, but not to accept or assert them. This understanding of the Liar Paradox and its sources cannot be fully accommodated in a conventional logical system, which fails to mark the distinction between sentences/statements and illocutionary acts of accepting, rejecting, and supposing statements. (shrink)
This paper explores Church's Thesis and related claims madeby Turing. Church's Thesis concerns computable numerical functions, whileTuring's claims concern both procedures for manipulating uninterpreted marksand machines that generate the results that these procedures would yield. Itis argued that Turing's claims are true, and that they support (the truth of)Church's Thesis. It is further argued that the truth of Turing's and Church'sTheses has no interesting consequences for human cognition or cognitiveabilities. The Theses don't even mean that computers can do as much (...) as peoplecan when it comes to carrying out effective procedures. For carrying out aprocedure is a purposive, intentional activity. No actual machine does, orcan do, as much. (shrink)
The main aim of the book is to provide a good understanding of a range of semantic phenomena and issues in semantics, adopting a truth-conditional account of meaning, but without using a compositional formalism. The book assumes no particular background in linguistics of philosophy, and all the technical tools used are explained as they are introduced. They style is accessible, with numerous examples.
This paper seeks to contribute to the discussion on national corporate social responsibility plans from the perspectives of the three logics as articulated in Caritas in Veritate, by using the Irish national CSR plan as an example. Good for Business, Good for the Community: Ireland’s National Plan on Corporate Social Responsibility 2014–2016 maintains that CSR activities can enable organisations to build relationships and trust with communities. One of the consequences of the 2008 financial crisis was the decrease in trust in (...) banking systems and in business more broadly. It is well recognised that relationships of trust are essential to the life of the market, the state and civil society. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s Caritas in Veritate contends that corresponding to the life of the market, the state and civil society are three logics: the logic of exchange, the logic of public obligation and the logic of gift. This paper proposes that the normative framework of the three logics of Caritas in Veritate can be read into the Irish national CSR plan. This paper argues that the examples of CSR initiatives proffered by the plan could point organisations in the direction of the logic of gift and therefore enable the rebuilding of relationships of trust with citizens and communities. (shrink)
This paper further develops the system of illocutionary logic presented in ?Propositional logic of supposition and assertion? (Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic 1997, 38, 325-349) to accommodate an ?I believe that? operator and resolve Moore's Paradox. This resolution is accomplished by providing both a truth-conditional and a commitment-based semantics. An important feature of the logical system is that the correctness of some arguments depends on who it is that makes the argument. The paper then shows that the logical system (...) can be expanded to resolve the surprise execution paradox puzzle. The prisoner's argument showing that he can't be executed by surprise is correct but his beliefs are incoherent. The judge's beliefs (and our beliefs) about this situation are not incoherent. (shrink)
This article reflects on the relevance and applicability of the Belmont Report nearly four decades after its original publication. In an exploration of criticisms that have been raised in response to the report and of significant changes that have occurred within the context of biomedical research, five primary themes arise. These themes include the increasingly vague boundary between research and practice, unique harms to communities that are not addressed by the principle of respect for persons, and how growing complexity and (...) commodification in research have shed light on the importance of transparency. The repercussions of Belmont's emphasis on the protection of vulnerable populations is also explored, as is the relationship between the report's ethical principles and their applications. It is concluded that while the Belmont Report was an impressive response to the ethical issues of its day, the field of research ethics involving human subjects may have outgrown it. (shrink)
We hope—even as we doubt—that the environmental crisis can be controlled. Public awareness of our species’ self-destructiveness as material beings in a material world is growing—but so is the destructiveness. The practical interventions needed for saving and restoring the earth will require a collective shift of such magnitude as to take on a spiritual and religious intensity.This transformation has in part already begun. Traditions of ecological theology and ecologically aware religious practice have been preparing the way for decades. Yet these (...) traditions still remain marginal to society, academy, and church. With a fresh, transdisciplinary approach, Ecospirit probes the possibility of a green shift radical enough to permeate the ancient roots of our sensibility and the social sources of our practice. From new language for imagining the earth as a living ground to current constructions of nature in theology, science, and philosophy; from environmentalism’s questioning of postmodern thought to a garden of green doctrines, rituals, and liturgies for contemporary religion, these original essays explore and expand our sense of how to proceed in the face of an ecological crisis that demands new thinking and acting. In the midst of planetary crisis, they activateimagination, humor, ritual, and hope. (shrink)
This pioneering book demonstrates the crucial importance of Wittgenstein's philosophy of mathematics to his philosophy as a whole. Marion traces the development of Wittgenstein's thinking in the context of the mathematical and philosophical work of the times, to make coherent sense of ideas that have too often been misunderstood because they have been presented in a disjointed and incomplete way. In particular, he illuminates the work of the neglected 'transitional period' between the Tractatus and the Investigations.
Ryle (1949, Chapter V) discusses a range of predicates which in different ways exemplify a property I shall call quasi-duality - they appear to report two actions or events in one predicate. Quasi-duality is the key property of predicates Ryle classed as achievements. Ryle's criteria for classification were not temporal or aspectual, and Vendler's subsequent adoption of the term achievement for the aktionsart of momentary events changes the term - Rylean achievements and Vendlerian achievements are in principle different classes. Nevertheless, (...) I shall argue in this paper that certain kinds of quasi-duality do have aspectual significance. This paper examines a number of quasi-dual predicates which are not generally discussed in the aktionsart literature, including break a promise, miscount, and cure the patient. Two types of quasi-dual predicates are identified and dubbed criterion predicates and causative upshot predicates. It is shown that both types of quasi-dual predicate lack process progressives, despite being durative, and it is argued that the lack of process progressives identifies these predicates as (aspectual) achievements. They are termed durative achievements to distinguish them from canonical, momentary achievements. It is argued that these predicates lack process progressives, and hence are achievements, because they express individual-level predicates on the event argument. A process progressive is stage-level for the event, and hence is incompatible with a predicate which is lexically individual-level for the event. (shrink)