This monograph treats the important topic of the epistemology of diagrams in Euclidean geometry. Norman argues that diagrams play a genuine justificatory role in traditional Euclidean arguments, and he aims to account for these roles from a modified Kantian perspective. Norman considers himself a semi-Kantian in the following broad sense: he believes that Kant was right that ostensive constructions are necessary in order to follow traditional Euclidean proofs, but he wants to avoid appealing to Kantian a priori intuition (...) as the epistemological background for these constructions.Norman's main argument is limited to the thesis that certain Euclidean arguments—in particular, that of Proposition 1.32, the internal-angle-sum theorem—require inferences from diagrams. Interestingly, Norman is not committed to the view that these arguments are proofs. This becomes clear only quite late in the book, when he distinguishes argument from proofs, remarking that the argument he has been focusing on is not rigorous, and so is not a proof. Norman does not, however, explicitly classify all Euclidean arguments as non-proofs. His view is that diagrammatic reasoning can in principle feature in rigorous proofs, but he is not committed to the thesis that any particular argument, Euclidean or otherwise, provides an example of this. Rather than proofs in particular, Norman is more interested in the general issue of justification in mathematics.The argument has three components. First, Norman argues against competing accounts of Euclidean arguments such as empiricism, and ‘Leibnizianism’—the view that diagrams play only a heuristic role. Second, he provides a more direct, or positive, argument that the way we actually follow the standard argument for 1.32 does appeal to the diagram. This is an appeal to the phenomenology of following the argument. Third, he articulates and defends his semi-Kantian position against some objections.The book has a very careful and …. (shrink)
This paper criticizes the conception of applied ethics as the top-down application of a theory to practical issues. It is argued that a theory such as utilitarianism cannot override our intuitive moral perceptions. We cannot be radically mistaken about the kinds of considerations which count as practical reasons, and it is the task of theoretical ethics to articulate the basic kinds of considerations which we appeal to in practical discussions. Dworkin's model of doing ethics ‘from the inside out’ is used (...) to illustrate the appropriate role for theory in a broader sense. In conclusion, some sceptical questions are raised about how far theoretical ethics can contribute to public policy, especially if this requires a consensus. (shrink)
The chief defect of all previous materialism is that things, reality, the sensible world, are conceived only in the form of objects of observation , but not as human sense activity , not as practical activity , not subjectively. Hence, in opposition to materialism, the active side was developed abstractly by idealism, which of course does not know real sense activity as such.
Norman Finkelstein, a prominent political scientist specializing in the Palestine-Israel conundrum, on which he has authored five highly praised books, was denied tenure at DePaul University by the President, Rev. Dennis H. Holtschneider, on June 8, 2007. After examining the particulars of the case, it strikes me as so obviously wrong to deny him tenure that the tenure procedure at DePaul constitutes a reductio ad absurdum of a university system which allows such a thing to happen.
ABSTRACT Norman Daniels suggests that the just distribution of resources between different age‐groups is determined by the choice a prudential agent would make in budgeting resources over the different temporal stages of a single life. He calls this view the “prudential lifespan account” of justice between age‐groups. Daniels thinks that the view recommends a rough kind of equality in resources between age‐groups. I argue that in the case of a single life prudence would choose an unequal distribution of resources. (...) Consequently, using prudence to model distribution between age‐groups might severely restrict the share of resources assigned to the elderly. If we think that extreme inequality between age‐groups would be unjust, we should continue to think of justice between age‐groups as a problem concerned with the relationship between different lives. But we should apply the requirement of equality to the temporal parts of lives, not just to complete lives. (shrink)
Several prominent writers including Norman Daniels, James Sabin, Amy Gutmann, Dennis Thompson and Leonard Fleck advance a view of legitimacy according to which, roughly, policies are legitimate if and only if they result from democratic deliberation, which employs only public reasons that are publicised to stakeholders. Yet, the process described by this view contrasts with the actual processes involved in creating the Affordable Care Act and in attempting to pass the Health Securities Act. Since the ACA seems to (...) be legitimate, as the HSA would have been had it passed, there seem to be counterexamples to this view. In this essay, I clarify the concept of legitimacy as employed in bioethics discourse. I then use that clarification to develop these examples into a criticism of the orthodox view–that it implies that legitimacy requires counterintuitively large sacrifices of justice in cases where important advancement of healthcare rights depends on violations of publicity. Finally, I reply to three responses to this challenge: that some revision to the orthodox view salvages its core commitments, that its views of publicity and substantive considerations do not have the implications that I claim and that arguments for it are strong enough to support even counterintuitive results. My arguments suggest a greater role for substantive considerations than the orthodox view allows. (shrink)
The banner of deliberative democracy is attracting increasing numbers of supporters, in both the world's older and newer democracies. This effort to renew democratic politics is widely seen as a reaction to the dominance of liberal constitutionalism. But many questions surround this new project. What does deliberative democracy stand for? What difference would deliberative practices make in the real world of political conflict and public policy design? What is the relationship between deliberative politics and liberal constitutional arrangements? The 1996 publication (...) of Amy Gutmann and Dennis F. Thompsons Democracy and Disagreement was a signal contribution to the ongoing debate over the role of moral deliberation in democratic politics. In Deliberative Politics an all-star cast of political, legal, and moral commentators seek to criticize, extend, or provide alternatives to Gutmann and Thompson's hopeful model of democratic deliberation. The essays discuss the value and limits of moral deliberation in politics, and take up practical policy issues such as abortion, affirmative action, and health care reform. Among the impressive roster of contributors are Norman Daniels, Stanley Fish, William A. Galston, Jane Mansbridge, Cass R. Sunstein, Michael Walzer, and Iris Marion Young, and the editor of the volume, Stephen Macedo. The book concludes with a thoughtful response from Gutmann and Thompson to their esteemed critics. This fine collection is essential reading for anyone who takes seriously the call for a more deliberative politics. (shrink)
Norman Daniels, in applying Rawls’ theory of justice to the issue of human health, ideally presupposes that society exists in a state of moderate scarcity. However, faced with problems like climate change, many societies find that their state of moderate scarcity is increasingly under threat. The first part of this essay aims to determine the consequences for Daniels’ theory of just health when we incorporate into Rawls’ understanding of justice the idea that the condition of moderate scarcity can fail. (...) Most significantly, I argue for a generation-neutral principle of basic needs that is lexically prior to Rawls’ familiar principles of justice. The second part of this paper aims to demonstrate how my reformulated version of Daniels’ conception of just health can help to justify action on climate change and guide climate policy within liberal-egalitarian societies. (shrink)
This article aims at exploring the connections between neoconservatism and American politics in the last half century. The specific focus on Irving Kristol and Norman Podhoretz sheds light on a crucial phase of U.S. history: the cultural and social changes that polarized the nation in the 1960s. One of the most lasting legacies of the decade was the rise of neoconservative intellectuals, who took the offensive in the public debate. They pointed with alarm at the elephantine proportions of bureaucracies (...) and government programs. Yet they did not disavow the principle of elitism and technocracy. Instead their aim was to offer a basis for rethinking the ways in which elites could shape and manage the masses’ patriotic sentiments. (shrink)
_Mini-set E: Radical Politics/The Socialist Tradition_ re-issues works by H B Acton, George Brenkert, Tom Campbell, Antony Cutler, Barry Hindess, Paul Hirst, Athar Hussain, Amlan Datta, J Jupp, Dennis Kavanagh, Norman MacKenzie, Patricia Pugh and Paul Thomas among others which discuss the history of socialism and the marxist and anarchist traditions.
In April 1939, G. E. Moore read a paper to the Cambridge University Moral Science Club entitled ‘Certainty’. In it, amongst other things, Moore made the claims that: the phrase ‘it is certain’ could be used with sense-experience-statements, such as ‘I have a pain’, to make statements such as ‘It is certain that I have a pain’; and that sense-experience-statements can be said to be certain in the same sense as some material-thing-statements can be — namely in the sense that (...) they can be safely counted on. When Moore later read his paper to Wittgenstein, Wittgenstein took violent exception to it, and the two entered into a heated exchange. The only known notes of this exchange are a previously unpublished verbatim record of part of it, taken by Norman Malcolm. This paper is an edition of Malcolm’s notes. These notes are valuable for both philosophical and scholarly reasons. They give us a glimpse of a sustained exchange between Wittgenstein and a real-life interlocutor; they contain a defence by Wittgenstein of the idea that a word’s use can illuminate its meaning; and they provide evidence of Wittgenstein’s philosophical engagement with the topic of certainty, and with Moore’s thought on it, long before he began to write the notes which make up On Certainty, in 1949. (shrink)
As someone who wishes his own book to succeed, I am grateful for a review with such high praise from a well-known classical liberal. As a critical rationalist who wishes to learn from his mistakes, I am grateful for Norman Barry’s thoughtful criticisms. The only way that I can hope to try to repay these and appreciate their full force is by doing my best to reply to them.
This article presents a response to Néron and Norman’s contention that the language of citizenship is helpful in thinking about the political dimensions of corporate responsibilities. We argue that Néron and Norman’s main conclusions are valid but offer an extension of their analysis to incorporate extant streams of literature dealing with the political role of the corporation. We also propose that the perspective on citizenship adopted by Néron and Norman is rather narrow, andtherefore provide some alternative ways (...) in which corporations and citizenship might be brought together. We conclude by suggesting that, rather than simply applying the concept of citizenship to corporations, we now need to go further in exploring how corporations might play an active role in reconfiguring the whole notion of citizenship itself. (shrink)
Dennis Gabor devised a new concept for optical imaging in 1947 that went by a variety of names over the following decade: holoscopy, wavefront reconstruction, interference microscopy, diffraction microscopy and Gaboroscopy. A well-connected and creative research engineer, Gabor worked actively to publicize and exploit his concept, but the scheme failed to capture the interest of many researchers. Gabor’s theory was repeatedly deemed unintuitive and baffling; the technique was appraised by his contemporaries to be of dubious practicality and, at best, (...) constrained to a narrow branch of science. By the late 1950s, Gabor’s subject had been assessed by its handful of practitioners to be a white elephant. Nevertheless, the concept was later rehabilitated by the research of Emmett Leith and Juris Upatnieks at the University of Michigan, and Yury Denisyuk at the Vavilov Institute in Leningrad. What had been judged a failure was recast as a success: evaluations of Gabor’s work were transformed during the 1960s, when it was represented as the foundation on which to construct the new and distinctly different subject of holography, a re-evaluation that gained the Nobel Prize for Physics for Gabor alone in 1971. This paper focuses on the difficulties experienced in constructing a meaningful subject, a practical application and a viable technical community from Gabor’s ideas during the decade 1947-1957. (shrink)
The cases of Norman the Clairvoyant and Mr. Truetemp form classic counterexamples to the process reliabilist's claim that reliability is sufficient for prima facie justification. I discuss several ways in which contemporary reliabilists have tried to deal with these counterexamples, and argue that they are all unsuccessful. Instead, I propose that the most promising route lies with an appeal to a specific kind of higher-order defeat that is best cashed out in terms of properly functioning monitoring mechanisms.
The editors comment that the core of this book is formed by the papers presented as a special session at the Ninth International Congress of Medieval Philosophy, honoring Norman Kretzmann’s contribution to the study of medieval philosophy. They decided to publish these papers with other essays devoted to issues in Aquinas’s moral theory specially commissioned from a group of Kretzmann’s colleagues, friends, and former students. The book, consisting of ten essays and a list of Kretzmann’s publications on Aquinas, is (...) dedicated to Kretzmann, who died just months before the volume appeared. (shrink)
Durocher and colleagues argue that Norman Daniels’s notion of just health could provide a useful framework for decreasing inequities in access to assistive technology. I argue that it would provide limited help for two reasons. First, Daniels’s reliance on normal species functioning as the goal of health care and his assumptions regarding the impact of normal species functioning on reasonable life projects create substantial difficulties for application to assistive technology. Second, although Daniels’s requirements for distributive justice provide a critical (...) starting point for any discussion of health equity, these requirements appear already met within current assistive technology funding schemes. (shrink)
Could age be a valid criterion for rationing? In Just health, Norman Daniels argues that under certain circumstances age rationing is prudent, and therefore a morally permissible strategy to tackle the problem of resource scarcity. Crucial to his argument is the distinction between two problem-settings of intergenerational equity: equity among age groups and equity among birth cohorts. While fairness between age groups can involve unequal benefit treatment in different life stages, fairness between birth cohorts implies enjoying approximate equality in (...) benefit ratios. Although both questions of fairness are distinct, the resolution of the one depends on resolution of the other. In this paper, I investigate whether Daniels’ account of age rationing could be defended as a fair way of setting limits to healthcare entitlements. I will focus on two main points. First, I will consider whether the age group problem could be resolved without appealing to a conception of the good. Second, I will demonstrate that the connection between the age group problem and the birth cohort problem runs deeper than Daniels initially thought—and that it ultimately suggests a method for prioritisation in problem solving strategies. (shrink)
We investigated the extent to which people could generate sequences of responses based on knowledge acquired from the Serial Reaction Time task, depending on whether it felt subjectively like the response was based on pure guessing, intuition, conscious rules or memories. Norman and Price argued that in the context of our task, intuition responses were the same as guessing responses. In reply, we argue that not only do subjects apparently claim to be experiencing different phenomenologies when saying intuition versus (...) guess, but also intuition and guess responses are associated with different behaviors. We found that people could control the knowledge when generating responses felt to be based on intuition but not those felt to be pure guessing. We present further evidence here that triplets associated with intuition but not guessing were also processed fluently. (shrink)
Norman in 1969 emphasised a linguistic difference between the Vedic compound yogakṣema- interpreted as a dvandva and the widely distributed Early Buddhist compound yogakkhema-, analysed as a tatpuruṣa “rest from exertion”. On the basis of our analysis of the relevant Pali sources and of the more ancient Vedic occurrences—some of which are quite far from the earliest denotation of the two cyclic phases of the assumed semi-nomadic Indo-Āryan life—we have undertaken a classification of the several meanings of this compound, (...) in order to distinguish their different facets and to enable us to easily bring about the comparison proposed by Norman in 1969 and in 1993 . Unlike Norman, we eventually postulated a common reading of this compound as a tatpuruṣa originally denoting an almost material target of welfare, from which both the Brāhmaṇic and the Buddhist usages, whose meaning is predominantly immaterial, might have developed. (shrink)
Norman Daniels is perhaps best known as one of America’s foremost champions of coherentist moral epistemology, and the justificatory method of wide reflective equilibrium in particular. The striking coherence of Daniels’s career itself is evident in this collection of sixteen of his essays, composed over an eighteen-year period. To a large extent, these essays extend the work of John Rawls—either by attempting to make greater theoretical sense of WRE, or by applying abstract Rawlsian arguments to concrete social problems in (...) applied ethics. These thoroughly engaging essays are uniformly of high calibre. They are tightly argued, carefully researched, and intellectually rich and rewarding. Daniels’s writing is a model of clarity, and, while his work genuinely breaks much new ground, he is refreshingly honest about the limitations of his findings, and cognizant of the force of opposing viewpoints. (shrink)
Norman Bowie wrote an article on the moral obligations of multinational corporations in 1987. This paper is a response to Bowie, but more importantly, it is designed to articulate the force and substance of the pragmatist philosophy developed by Richard Rorty. In his article, Bowie suggested that moral universalism (which he endorses) is the only credible method of doing business ethics across cultures and that cultural relativism and ethnocentrism are not. Bowie, in a manner surprisingly common among contemporary philosophers, (...) lumps Rorty into a bad guy category without careful analysis of his philosophy and ascribes to him views which clearly do not fit. I attempt to provide both a more careful articulation of Rorty's views, and to use his pragmatism to illustrate an approach to business ethics which is more fruitful than Bowie's. This brand of philosophy follows the Enlightenment spirit of toleration and attempts to set aside questions of Truth, whether religious or philosophical, and have ethics centered around what James called that which is good in the way of belief. Rather than looking for metaphysical foundations or some type of external justification, ethicists perform their craft from within the cultural traditions, narratives and practices of their society. (shrink)
Norman Malcolm Norman Malcolm was instrumental in elaborating and defending Wittgenstein’s philosophy, which he saw as akin to a kind of “ordinary language” philosophy, in America. He also defended a novel interpretation of Moore’s “common sense philosophy” as a version of ordinary language philosophy, although Moore himself disagreed. Malcolm criticized Descartes’ account of mind … Continue reading Malcolm, Norman →.
Darker skin correlates with reduced opportunities and negative health outcomes. Recent discoveries related to the genes associated with skin tone, and the historical use of cosmetics to conform to racist appearance standards, suggest effective skin-lightening products may soon become available. This article examines whether medical interventions of this sort should be permitted, subsidized, or restricted, using Norman Daniels's framework for determining what justice requires in terms of protecting health. I argue that Daniels's expansive view of the requirements of justice (...) in meeting health needs offers some support for recognizing a societal obligation to provide this kind of ‘enhancement,’ in light of the strong connections between skin tone and health outcomes. On balance, however, Daniels's framework offers compelling reasons to reject insurance coverage for skin-lightening medical interventions, including the likely ineffectiveness of such technologies in mitigating racial health disparities, and the danger that covering skin-lightening enhancements would undermine public support for cooperative schemes that protect health. In fact, justice may require limiting access to these technologies because of their potential to exacerbate the negative effects of racism. (shrink)
Perhaps the most remarkable event in social thought of the last twenty years has been the resurgence of various strands of individualism as political doctrines. The term ‘individualism’ is a kind of general rubric that encompasses elements of nineteenth century classical liberalism, laissez-faire economics, the theory of the minimal state, and an extreme mutation out of this intellectual gene pool, anarcho-capitalism. The term libertarianism itself is applied indiscriminately to all of those doctrines. It has no precise meaning, except that in (...) a general sort of way libertarianism describes a more rigorous commitment to moral and economic individualism and a more ideological approach to social affairs than conventional liberalism. I suspect that its current usage largely reflects the fact that the word with the better historical pedigree, liberalism, has been associated, in America especially, with economic doctrines that are alien to the individualist tradition. (shrink)
Recently some philosophers have proposed that the later philosophy of Wittgenstein tends towards idealism, or even solipsism. The solipsism is said to be of a peculiar kind. It is characterized as a ‘collective’ or ‘aggregative’ solipsism. The solipsism or idealism is also said to be ‘transcendental’. In the first part of this paper I will be examining a recent essay by Professor Bernard Williams, in which he presents what he takes to be the grounds for such an interpretation of Wittgenstein. (...) After that I will try to offer convincing evidence that no tendency towards any form of idealism is to be found in Wittgenstein's later philosophy. (shrink)
In the late 16th and early 17th centuries, a number of ‘liberal Jesuit scholastics’ produced the last great synthesis of Aristotelian psychology with Christian theology. In this magnificently sympathetic reconstruction of their systems of the soul, Dennis Des Chene rescues Toletus, Suarez, and the other ‘schoolmen’ from neglect which resulted from scornful dismissals by Descartes and his fellows. Deliberating bypassing the political and medical contexts of their work, and focusing almost exclusively on Jesuit rather than other, ‘dissident’ Renaissance Aristotelianisms, (...) Des Chene focusses intensely on intellectual history, what he calls at one point ‘the flurry of subtleties’ of these astonishing systematic commentaries on Aristotle. (shrink)
Norman et al. reported that participants exposed in succession to two artificial grammars could be able to learn implicitly about them, and could apply their knowledge strategically to select which string corresponds to one of these two grammars. In this commentary, I identify an artifact that could account for the learning obtained not only in this study, but also in some previous studies using the same procedures. I claim that more methodological control is needed before jumping to conclusions on (...) the kind of strategic control that could be achieved unconsciously. (shrink)
The philosophy of memory has been largely dominated by what could be called ‘the representative theory of memory’. In trying to give an account of ‘what goes on in one's mind’ when one remembers something, or of what ‘the mental content of remembering’ consists, philosophers have usually insisted that there must be some sort of mental image, picture, or copy of what is remembered. Aristotle said that there must be ‘something like a picture or impression’; William James thought that there (...) must be in the mind 'an image or copy’ of the original event; Russell said that ‘Memory demands an image’. In addition to the image or copy a variety of other mental phenomena have been thought to be necessary. In order for a memory image to be distinguished from an expectation image, the former must be accompanied by ‘a feeling of pastness’. One has confidence that the image is of something that actually occurred because the image is attended by ‘a feeling of familiarity’. And in order that you may be sure that the past event not merely occurred but that you witnessed it, your image of the event must be presented to you with a feeling of ‘warmth and intimacy’. When all the required phenomena are put together, the mental content of remembering turns out to be, as William James says, ‘a very complex representation’. (shrink)
According to Norman Daniels, the moral significance of health needs stem from their impact on the normal opportunity range: pathological conditions involve comparative disadvantage. In this paper I defend an alternative reading of the moral importance of healthcare, which focuses on non-comparative aspects of disease. In the first section I distinguish two contrasting perspectives on pathological conditions, viz a comparative versus a non-comparative. By using this distinction I introduce a related disparity regarding the moral importance of personal responsibility for (...) disease. I claim that people are usually prepared to disregard individual responsibility for disease, if it involves non-comparative harm, but not if it entails mere disadvantage. Since disadvantage means to have less than equal opportunities, Daniels’ conception of opportunity is vital for his theory. It is therefore scrutinised more closely. I try to show that he wavers between two interpretations of the notion of opportunity, which are again linked to the distinction between a comparative and a non-comparative point of view. Finally, I criticise Daniels’ supposition that persons have an interest in the normal opportunity range. (shrink)
We were a group of Christian friends searching for affirmations that lay at the heart of our faith and reached to the limits of our existence and moral authority. As we have reflected on our role in deciding whether and to what extent we could assist in allowing our terminally ill friend, seventy-nine-year-old, Norman to die, we were deeply troubled by the moral ambiguity of our involvement. Through a careful process of authority through communal discernment, our responsibility for (...) class='Hi'>Norman became clear: we were to assist him in living the life he embraced in baptism — a life which included a destiny that was conformed to the crucified and risen one. That was not the destiny we chose for Norman; it was the destiny he owned. We recognized with Norman that our lives are not our own to be guided by autonomy and liberty, but rather to be lived for the glory of Jesus the Christ. (shrink)
Norman Daniels argues that health is important for justice because it affects the distribution of opportunities. He claims that a just society should guarantee fair opportunities by promoting and restoring the “normal functioning” of its citizens, that is, their health. The scope of citizens' mutual obligations with respect to health is defined by a reasonable agreement that, according to Daniels, should be based on the distinction between normal functioning and pathology drawn by the biomedical sciences. This paper deals with (...) the question whether it is legitimate to ascribe the responsibility of defining this important moral boundary to the biomedical sciences, which Daniels regards as value neutral. Daniels appeals to Christopher Boorse's sophisticated bio-statistical theory (BST) to show the plausibility of a value-neutral distinction between normal functioning and pathology. Here I argue that a careful analysis of the concept of normal functioning, such as the one offered by the recent critique by Elselijn Kingma, shows that it depends from evaluative assumptions. This, I argue, implies that Daniels's theory must give up its naturalistic commitments. In the conclusion, the paper offers a detailed discussion and an objection to one of Daniels's arguments in favor of a moderate form of normativism that remains too close to Boorse's naturalism. (shrink)
The year 1066, touted in the British humor classic 1066 and All That as one of only two truly “historical” dates , has assumed for us the character of a watershed in English history, a crucial moment of change and transformation. Indeed, the date is so memorable that the number 1066 itself can stand on its own, metonymically implying the Battle of Hastings, the accession of William to the English throne, the Norman Conquest, the end of Anglo-Saxon culture, the (...) realignment of England in the geopolitical and cultural map of Europe from “Scandinavian” to “French,” and the linguistic transition from “Old” to “Middle” English. (shrink)
Dennis Des Chene's Physiologia: Natural Philosophy in Late Aristotelian and Cartesian Thought reconstructs the discourse of late scholastic natural philosophy, and assesses Descartes' agreements and disagreements. In a critical discussion, I offer a different interpretation of late scholastic theories of final causality and of God's concursus with created efficient causes. Fonseca's and Suárez' conceptions of final causality in nature depend on their claim that a single action can be the action of two agents at once--in particular, of God and (...) of a creature. I discuss both their theory of action and its implications for natural teleology. I then compare Descartes, emphasizing his demolition of the Aristotelian hierarchy of causes, with unmoved movers regulating the action of inferior moved movers. Aristotle argues that unmoved causes are needed to produce a stable world-order; he takes arts as his models of unmoved causes, and uses this model to support natural teleology. Descartes radically simplifies this system by denying all unmoved movers other than God, and denying anything analogous to an art in non-human nature. I explore the implications for Descartes' notion of concursus and his criticism of natural teleology, and discuss his resulting difficulties in explaining natural stability. (shrink)
The purpose of this paper is to discuss Norman Kretzmann's account of Aquinas's discussion of will in God. According to Kretzmann, Aquinas's reasoning seems to leave no place for choice on God's part, since, on Aquinas's account, God is not free not to will Himself. And so this leads to the problem about God's willing things other than Himself. On this, Kretzmann finds serious problems with Thomas's position. Kretzmann argues that Aquinas should have drawn necessitarian conclusions from his account (...) of divine will. Moreover, in light of one reading of De veritate, q. 24, a. 3, but one not accepted by the Leonine edition, Kretzmann also maintains that Aquinas practically conceded this necessitarian view of God's creative activity in that text. My purpose will be, after presenting Kretzmann's presentation and defence of Aquinas's attribution of will to God, to examine critically his claim that Thomas should have concluded that God is not free not to create, and to determine whether a stronger argument can be made in support of Aquinas's position in light of his texts. (shrink)
Norman Sieroka’s book is about “the systematic, structural relations between phenomenological and (neuro)physiological aspects of perception, consciousness, and time, with a specific focus on hearing” (p. 4), based on Leibniz’s and Husserl’s views. While Sieroka displays a great depth of knowledge in his discussions of these two philosophers, his main aims are not exegetic, but consist, rather, in casting new light on the said philosophical and interdisciplinary issues. However, the scope of his interpretative project is ambitious. There is, on (...) the one hand, Husserl, the founder of phenomenology, for whom perception is, first and foremost, conscious. On the other hand, there is Leibniz, the great rationalist metaphysician, who stands out in his era for bringing center-stage various kinds of unconscious perception. Sieroka effectively reconciles these seemingly very different perspectives, as he argues for numerous points of similarity between them and synthesizes them for mutual enrichment. (shrink)