This book explores the themes and symbols of classical myth and literature reflected in Alfred Hitchcock’s films. Mark W. Padilla examines the classical resonances of four movies, one from each of the filmmaker’s first decades.
This book treats six beloved films of Hitchcock: The 39 Steps, Saboteur, and North by Northwest, plus Dial M for Murder, Rear Window, and To Catch a Thief. Padilla reviews their production histories with an eye to classical influences, and then analyzes their links with Greek art, poetry, and philosophy.
This project continues our interdisciplinary research into computational and cognitive aspects of narrative comprehension. Our ultimate goal is the development of a computational theory of how humans understand narrative texts. The theory will be informed by joint research from the viewpoints of linguistics, cognitive psychology, the study of language acquisition, literary theory, geography, philosophy, and artiﬁcial intelligence. The linguists, literary theorists, and geographers in our group are developing theories of narrative language and spatial understanding that are being tested by the (...) cognitive psychologists and language researchers in our group, and a computational model of a reader of narrative text is being developed by the AI researchers, based in part on these theories and results and in part on research on knowledge representation and reasoning. This proposal describes the knowledge-representation and natural-language-processing issues involved in the computational implementation of the theory; discusses a contrast between communicative and narrative uses of language and of the relation of the narrative text to the story world it describes; investigates linguistic, literary, and hermeneutic dimensions of our research; presents a computational investigation of subjective sentences and reference in narrative; studies children’s acquisition of the ability to take third-person perspective in their own storytelling; describes the psychological validation of various linguistic devices; and examines how readers develop an understanding of the geographical space of a story. This report is a longer version of a project description submitted to NSF. This document, produced in May 2007, is a L ATEX version of Technical Report 89-07 (Buffalo: SUNY Buffalo Department of Computer Science, August 1989), with slightly.. (shrink)
Theistic metaethics usually places one key restriction on the explanation of moral facts, namely: every moral fact must ultimately be explained by some fact about God. But the widely held belief that moral truths are necessary truths seems to undermine this claim. If a moral truth is necessary, then it seems like it neither needs nor has an explanation. Or so the objection typically goes. Recently, two proponents of theistic metaethics — William Lane Craig and Mark Murphy — (...) have argued that this objection is flawed. They claim that even if a truth is necessary, it does not follow that it neither needs nor has an explanation. In this article, I challenge Craig and Murphy’s reasoning on three main grounds. First, I argue that the counterexamples they use to undermine the necessary truth objection to theistic metaethics are flawed. While they may provide some support for the notion that necessary truths can be explained, they do not provide support for the notion that necessary moral truths can be explained. Second, I argue that the principles of explanation that Murphy and Craig use to support theistic metaethics are either question-begging (in the case of Murphy) or improperly motivated (in the case of Craig). And third, I provide a general defence of the claim that necessary moral truths neither need nor have an explanation. (shrink)
Augustine and William James both argue that religious faith can be both practical and rational even in the absence of knowledge. Augustine argues that religious faith is trust and that trust is a normal, proper, and even necessary way of believing. Beginning with faith, we then work towards knowledge by means of philosophical contemplation. James’ “The Will to Believe” makes pragmatic arguments for the rationality of faith. Although we do not know (yet) whether God exists, faith is a choice (...) between the risk of believing something false and the risk of not believing something true, and in the absence of convincing evidence we may decide for ourselves which risk we prefer. We may be able to experience God in the future and thereby gain knowledge, yet this may be contingent on our willingness to believe. There are key differences, however. Augustine is a Christian with a neo-Platonic bent, James an empiricist defending the religion of your choice. These differences may be less significant than they first appear. After explaining Augustine and then James I draw out the major points of comparison and contrast and suggest a few reasons their insights might be at least partially synthesized. -/- This is the accepted version of the following article: Mark J. Boone, “Augustine and William James on the Rationality of Faith,” The Heythrop Journal (online edition December 2018), which has been published in final form at [See First URL]. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with the Wiley Self-Archiving Policy [See Second URL]. (shrink)
While some scholars neglect the theological component to William James’s ethical views in “The Moral Philosopher and the Moral Life,” Michael Cantrell reads it as promoting a divine command theory (DCT) of the foundations of moral obligation. While Cantrell’s interpretation is to be commended for taking God seriously, he goes a little too far in the right direction. Although James’s view amounts to what could be called (and what Cantrell does call) a DCT because on it God’s demands are (...) necessary and sufficient for the highest obligations, this is a view with characteristics unusual for a DCT. It only holds for some obligations; on it moral obligation does not derive from God’s authority; it is not obvious that James believes the God required by it even exists; we do not know what God’s demands are; and, finally, since we do not know them, we cannot act on them. -/- (Lest there be any confusion, the titular phrase "taking God seriously, but not too seriously" describes William James' view of God and morality, not my own view.). (shrink)
The following interview of MarkWilliam Westmoreland with Anthony Paul Smith–well-known scholar and translator of François Laruelle –considers both implications and extensions of Laruelle's non-philosophy for contemporary thought. Smith has helped bring about a surge of interest in Laruelle due to his many translations of his texts as well as being the author or co-editor of several books on Laruelle. Discussed are in particular the difficulties and joys of translating and the usefulness of Laruelle's thought for Smith's own (...) work, especially in environmental and animal studies. Also considered are some themes of non-philosophy, the adaptability of Laruelle's thought for various disciplines, as well as new paths for Laruelle studies –new, unforeseen landscapes and uses of non-philosophy –that explore social phenomena such as race, racism, sexism, victim a.o. (shrink)
Bergson Remembered: A Roundtable Curated by MarkWilliam Westmoreland with Brien Karas Featuring Jimena Canales, Stephen Crocker, Charlotte De Mille, Souleymane Bachir Diagne, Michael Foley, Hisashi Fujita, Suzanne Guerlac, Melissa McMahon, Paulina Ochoa Espejo, and Frédéric Worms.
American Pragmatist philosopher William James and subcontinent Islamic philosopher Allama Iqbal both believe that religious experiences are an important class of those experiences with which empiricism is concerned. They both explain and defend religious belief on empirical grounds and argue that the ultimate empirical justification of a religious belief must come by looking at its fruits. This is no accident, for James influenced Iqbal on this very point. -/- However, they diverge in some matters. James defends the right to (...) diverse religious belief and eventually articulates his own account based on religious experience—an account which is intentionally philosophical and not reliant on any religious authority. Iqbal, however, reconsiders and defends Islam understood along largely traditional lines. -/- I compare and contrast James’ and Iqbal’s religious epistemologies in order to understand both of them better and, hopefully, enrich contemporary reflection on faith and reason through a better awareness of the past dialogue on the subject. (shrink)
Charles Darwin, in his species notebooks, engaged seriously with the quinarian system of William Sharp Macleay. Much of the attention given to this engagement has focused on Darwin’s attempt to explain, in a transmutationist framework, the intricate patterns that characterized the quinarian system. Here, I show that Darwin’s attempt to explain these quinarian patterns primarily occurred before he had read any work by Macleay. By the time Darwin began reading Macleay’s writings, he had already arrived at a skeptical view (...) of the reality of these patterns. What most interested Darwin, as he read Macleay, was not the quinarian system itself. Rather, Darwin’s notes on his reading primarily concerned certain background principles animating Macleay’s work, in particular: the non-existence of a saltus between human and animal minds, the difficulty of establishing boundaries between species and varieties, and Macleay’s method of variation. Darwin’s interest in the last of these left a mark on his discussion of taxonomic methodology in the Origin. (shrink)
In 1809 the radical English philosopher, novelist, and historian William Godwin published Essay on Sepulchres?a proposal to mark the burial sites of the morally great with a simple wooden cross. This paper explores Godwin's essay in terms of his evolution as moral philosopher and historian. While Godwin is commonly renowned as a utilitarian rationalist given to optimistic assertions on human perfectibility, this essay demonstrates the extent to which his moral theory depended on emotion and intuition and how he (...) came to posit an alternative mode of historical perception which queried the progressivist assumptions of ?Enlightenment? historiography. (shrink)
Auguste Comte et William Whewell sont contemporains. Tous les deux ont écrit sur de nombreux sujets : histoire et philosophie des sciences, astronomie, mécanique, philosophie morale et réflexions sur l’éducation. Leurs œuvres de philosophie des sciences sont parmi les plus importantes du XIXe siècle. Mais si celle du premier a marqué le siècle, celle du second n’a fait que de timides apparitions. C’est probablement par John Stuart Mill, à la fois disciple et sectateur de Comte et farouche opposant de (...) Whewell, que les deux philosophes ont connu chacun l’œuvre de l’autre. Leurs œuvres présentent des ressemblances dans la démarche et dans la méthode mais elles s’opposent sur de nombreuses questions de fond. On cherche à montrer la grandeur du philosophe britannique à qui l’histoire n’a pas fait la place que l’immensité de son œuvre aurait dû lui valoir.Auguste Comte and William Whewell are contemporaries. Both wrote on numerous topics : i.e. history, philosophy of sciences astronomy, mechanics, moral philosophy and thoughts on education. Their works are among the most important ones of the 19th century. But whereas those of the former left their mark on the century, those of the latter were but rather shyly prominent. It is most probably through John Stuart Mill, both a disciple and worshipper of Comte’s whilst a fierce opponent of Whewell’s that both philosophers both came across each other’s works. Both their works are similar in the methodological approach but they differ greatly on fundamental topics. One aims at showing the greatness of the British philosopher to whom history never gave the reputation he should have been granted by his works. (shrink)
William Tait's standing in the philosophy of mathematics hardly needs to be argued for; for this reason the appearance of this collection is especially welcome. As noted in his Preface, the essays in this book ‘span the years 1981–2002’. The years given are evidently those of publication. One essay was not previously published in its present form, but it is a reworking of papers published during that period. The Introduction, one appendix, and some notes are new. Many of the (...) essays will be familiar to the readers of this journal; indeed two first appeared here.It should be no surprise to those who know Tait's work that this is a very rich collection, with contributions on a wide variety of issues, both systematic and historical. That poses a problem for a reviewer, because a serious discussion of even all the major issues would be beyond the scope of a review.Before the essays in this collection, Tait's publications were almost all in mathematical logic, especially proof theory. He was a leading actor in the work on the revised Hilbert program stimulated after the war by Georg Kreisel, Kurt Schütte, and Gaisi Takeuti. Tait thus has an experience in mathematical research that is rare among those whose careers have been institutionally in philosophy. In the 1970s Tait became disillusioned with the proof-theoretic program on which he had worked. However, he draws on that background in several of these essays, and he has continued to work on mathematical questions. In particular, the set-theoretic project reflected in essay 6 is as much mathematical as philosophical.It is not easy to characterize Tait's philosophical viewpoint briefly. Both the title of the book and some of its content mark him as a rationalist. His hero in the earlier history …. (shrink)
In this review essay, I first set out and then subject to criticism the main claims advanced by William Talbott in his excellent recent book, “Which Rights Should be Universal?”. Talbott offers a conception of basic universal human rights as the minimally necessary and sufficient conditions to political legitimacy. I argue that his conception is at once too robustly liberal and democratic and too inattentive to key features of the rule of law to play this role. I suggest that (...) John Rawls’s conception of human rights comes closer to hitting the mark Talbott sets for himself and that Talbott incorrectly rejects Rawls’s view. I conclude that what likely divides Talbott and Rawls is that Rawls, but not Talbott, explicitly frames the inquiry into the minimally necessary and sufficient conditions to political legitimacy in terms of a liberal democratic people attempting to determine, as a matter of its just foreign policy, whether or not to recognize other organized polities as independent and self-determining within the international order. (shrink)
Works of William Godwin: Series II, Political and Philosophical Writings. General editor: Mark Philp. Volume editors: Pamela Clemit, Martin Fitzpatrick, Mark Philp. Researcher: Austin Gee. Consulting editor: William St Clair. Seven volumes. William Pickering. London, 1993. £395. ISBN: 1?85196?026?0 set.
William James and the early Jean-Paul Sartre share strikingly similar similar views on ethics, despite their radically divergent approaches and styles. The strengths and weaknesses of their ethical relativism and/or subjectivism are examined in an attempt to show that these positions are problematic, and tenable only with careful qualifications. This evaluation is a result of a critical, yet constructive assessment of their ethical views. ;Specifically, I question whether Sartre's phenomenological ontology in Being and Nothingness can imply an ethics, and (...) the extent to which his ontological terminology is itself meaningful or useful for developing his ontology, and for accepting his ethics. Sartre's major concepts of freedom, bad faith, consciousness, and relations with the Other are critically evaluated in order to show their ethical implications. I argue that his earlier views are a moral subjectivism, despite the possibility that freedom can be understood as an objective value. Sartre's descriptive ethics as existential psychoanalysis is discussed in such works as Anti-Semite and Jew. ;William James's ethical position is best presented in his essays, primarily "The Moral Philosopher and the Moral Life" and the Principles of Psychology. In that work, his strong empiricism serves as the foundation for his theory of consciousness and ethics, which has a subjectivist-relativist perspective. These views are examined through his positions on the free-will, social-political liberalism, theory of the stream of consciousness, pragmatism, and theory of universals. ;I contend that a meaningful and significant rapproachement can exist between these two philosophers because of their common ethical views and perspectives. This can have implications for future discourse between mainstream analytic philosophers and philosophers sympathetic to phenomenology. (shrink)
Stephen Tyman introduces the thought of the late philosopher John William Miller and the unique conception of idealism he contributed to the philosophical tradition. A longtime Mark Hopkins Professor of Intellectual and Moral Philosophy at Williams College featured prominently in Joseph Epstein’s _Masters_: _Portraits of_ _Great_ _Teachers, _John William Miller is now represented by five volumes, only one of which was published during his lifetime. The four posthumous volumes have been compiled by George Brockway, who has skillfully (...) edited certain of Miller’s archival writings into thematically structured works. The Miller Archive, housed in the library of Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts, is a massive collection of papers written for widely various occasions, often in the form of personal letters, and composed over the course of six decades. The collection includes many fragments, a great deal of occasional material, and much duplication. Tyman has based his study on the published writings and on his own extensive research in the Miller Archive. He places Miller firmly in the German idealist tradition of Kant and Hegel, while showing that Miller’s "historical idealism" furnishes a strikingly novel version of this philosophy. Tyman begins with Miller’s most original concept, that of the "midworld," which orients the entirety of Miller’s thinking and represents what may be the only successful resolution of the famous problem of "dualism" that has vexed modern philosophy since Descartes in the seventeenth century. Tyman offers a careful comparison of Miller’s ethics with that of Kant, which leads naturally into a similar treatment of Miller’s extensive reflections on "the philosophy of history." Throughout his discussion, Tyman emphasizes the aptness of Miller’s conception of idealism in relation to contemporary discussion on a wide range of problems, and particularly upon the historical background of the conceptual problems that, both within and without classical idealism, have motivated the questions that characterize the contemporary situation. He has organized the book into chapters that cover the areas that Miller himself had marked off as central, showing how and why this centrality is conceived, and how it constitutes a revision of long-standing cognitive attitudes that have led to an impasse between idealism and its opponents, to the detriment of each. In particular, conceptions of causality, of morality and free will, of metaphysics and epistemology are subjected to critical review, as a wholly new vantage point concerning the nature of the philosophical enterprise arises. (shrink)
This article approaches the issue of Matthew's theological context by examining Matthew's use of Mark, including through redaction and supplementation, in Matthew 1-4. This is undertaken in two parts: Matthew 1-2, which is largely additional material, and Matthew 3-4, followed by a concluding assessment. Issues addressed or alluded to in these chapters frequently find resonance in the remainder of Matthew's gospel and so give important clues about Matthew's concerns and their relevance for understanding its context. Such issues include the (...) importance of messiahship; continuity with Israel, but also with John the Baptist and the Church; defence against slander; heightened christological claims; soteriology; Gentile mission; the status of Torah; and Jesus as judge to come. The article suggests a location within a Jewish religious context with a Jewish self-understanding, separate from the synagogue, but claiming to belong where its opponents would claim it did not; and a Christian tradition where the approach of 'Q' to Torah is upheld in contrast to Mark's, while embracing and expanding Mark's Christology and restoring the common understanding of Gentile mission as a post-Easter phenomenon. (shrink)
Despite having been relegated to the realm of superstition during the dominant years of behaviorism, the investigation and discussion of consciousness has again become scientifically defensible. However, attempts at describing animal consciousness continue to be criticized for lacking independent criteria that identify the presence or absence of the phenomenon. William James recognized that mental traits are subject to the same evolutionary processes as are physical characteristics and must therefore be represented in differing levels of complexity throughout the animal kingdom. (...) James's proposals with regard to animal consciousness are outlined and followed by a discussion of 3 classes of animal consciousness derived from empirical research. These classes are presented to defend both James's proposals and the position that a theory of animal consciousness can be scientifically supported. It is argued that by using particular behavioral expressions to index consciousness and by providing empirical tests by which to elicit these behavioral expressions, a scientifically defensible theory of animal consciousness can be developed. 2012 APA, all rights reserved). (shrink)