On the text and translation of the De mysteriis -- Iamblichus the man -- The De mysteriis : a defence of theurgy, and an answer to Porphyry's letter to Anebo -- Iamblichus's knowledge of Egyptian religion and mythology -- The nature and contents of De mysteriis -- Iamblichus, De mysteriis : text and translation.
The breadth and depth of the Platonic tradition, from Antiquity through to the early Middle Ages, is evidenced by the studies gathered in this volume, written by an international team of contributors in honour of JohnDillon. The first papers, on Plato, include a discussion of the problem of evil and of the theme of love n the Symposium. There follows a section of the Middle-Platonists, dealing with how this tradition adapted and developed themes such as the world-soul (...) as a mirror and the notion of an intellible cosmos. Five papers then focus on aspects of the thought of Plotinus, and a final group covers the later Neoplatonic tradition, from Augustine to John Scotus Eriugena, including a survey by the late Henry Blumenthal on perception and memory. (shrink)
Scholars of later Greek philosophy will surely be indebted to JohnDillon for providing this translation of and commentary on the Didaskalikos. Late Greek thought has often been slighted by scholars, and middle Platonism may be the most neglected part of that neglected period. While none would champion the Didaskalikos as a treatise that itself profoundly influenced the course of Western thought, it is a synopsis of a philosophy that can claim to have had such an influence. As (...) an elementary handbook, it reveals an important brand of Platonism of the second-century A.D., which was a bridge between the philosophies of classical and Hellenistic Greece and the philosophies of Plotinus, Porphyry, and their successors. (shrink)
Although consumers are increasingly engaged with ethical factors when forming opinions about products and making purchase decisions, recent studies have highlighted significant differences between consumers' intentions to consume ethically, and their actual purchase behaviour. This article contributes to an understanding of this 'Ethical Purchasing Gap' through a review of existing literature, and the inductive analysis of focus group discussions. A model is suggested which includes exogenous variables such as moral maturity and age which have been well covered in the literature, (...) together with further impeding factors identified from the focus group discussions. For some consumers, inertia in purchasing behaviour was such that the decision-making process was devoid of ethical considerations. Several consumers manifested their ethical views through post-purchase dissonance and retrospective feelings of guilt. Others displayed a reluctance to consume ethically due to personal constraints, a perceived negative impact on image or quality, or an outright negation of responsibility. Those who expressed a desire to consume ethically often seemed deterred by cynicism, which caused them to question the impact they, as an individual, could achieve. These findings enhance the understanding of ethical consumption decisions and provide a platform for future research in this area. (shrink)
This work is a Festschrift to celebrate the philosophical and scholarly achievements of JohnDillon on the occasion of his sixtieth birthday on 15 September 1999. Such celebrations too often have little or no academic interest, but the editor is aware of this problem and has taken steps to prevent it from plaguing Traditions of Platonism. In order to avoid academic provincialism and to create a truly cosmopolitan collection of papers, contributed by some of the leading international experts (...) within the field of Platonic and Neoplatonic studies, Professor Cleary says that he has carefully selected the contributors for their expertise on the ancient traditions of Platonism and for their diversity of perspectives, languages and traditions of scholarship. (shrink)
The last thirty years has witnessed an explosion of scholarly books and articles on Locke which, claims Harpham, has "recast our most basic understanding of Locke as a historical actor and political theorist, the Two Treatises as a document, and liberalism as a coherent tradition of political discourse". The seven articles in this volume attempt to assess this "new scholarship," which is described as revisionist and historicist. This volume is now probably the best introduction to the "new scholarship." The introduction (...) by Edward Harpham, "Locke's Two Treatises in Perspective," and the bibliography provide a nice summary of key ideas, books, and articles. The essence of the new perspective is best stated by Richard Ascraft [[sic]] in "The Politics of Locke's Two Treatises of Government": "Locke's thought is thus both philosophically more conservative and politically more radical than we have hitherto supposed. In short, Locke is at once closer to Aristotle and Hooker and to the levelers and Sidney than the prevailing interpretations of his political thought maintain". Ashcraft attempts to separate Locke from the philosophy of Hobbes on such issues as resistance, toleration, justice and natural law, obligation; he directs his argument against Macpherson and Strauss, whose presences haunt the borders of the new scholarship. Eldon Eisenach, in his "Religion and Locke's Two Treatises of Government," interprets Locke's philosophy as marked by a deep skepticism regarding the reach of natural reason and informed by a "deep faith in the efficacy of biblical revelation" as the source of our moral and political duties. Eisenach comes close to dissenting from the new scholarship by wondering whether "Dunn and Ashcraft" are whistling in the dark concerning the coherence of Locke's "worldview"; but he closes ranks with the assertion that the Essay lays out a path to salvation. Eisenach concludes that Locke is not antireligious and secular, but a defender of biblical Christianity. The new scholarship must emphasize all the more a "spiritualist and assertively evangelical Locke". David Resnick, in "Rationality and the Two Treatises," attempts to recover the portrait of Locke as an antitraditionalist, committed to a critical rationalism. Resnick uses Weber's theory of rationality to render a consistent account of Locke's social analysis. Yet Resnick also insists that Locke's political philosophy is not self-interested and atomistic but is rooted in a fully Christian worldview: "Locke's deeply held theological convictions about the existence, benevolence and rationality of God ground his reasoning in a metaphysically stable framework". This religious assumption provides a basis for Locke's "rationality." But a new inconsistency is opened up by this resolution--a rationalism rooted in religious faith, by a philosopher who continually urged their distinction. Karen Iversen Vaughn, in "The Economic Background to Locke's Two Treatises of Government," attempts to correct the new scholarship's neglect of the economic premises of Locke's political philosophy; this neglect is part of an overreaction to Macpherson, but Vaughn offers a moderate economic interpretation of Locke. Vaughn shows the importance of rational self-interest in economic behavior, the necessity of political society to set conditions for economic pursuit: limit on sovereign power is an example of self-interest and evidence that "economic aspects of man's behavior permeated all aspects of life". Further, "civil society requires enforceable rules to contain the self-seeking actions of all men, so that life, liberty and property can be protected". Vaughn's essay opens the back door to the "self-interested" Locke of the "old scholarship." Ronald Hamowy, in "Cato's Letters, John Locke, and the Republican Paradigm," also seeks to redress the imbalance of the new scholarship, arguing that Locke's philosophy was not displaced by the civic humanist tradition and republican virtue. He offers a detailed analysis of Cato's Letters by John Tenchard and Thomas Gordon. Like Locke, "Cato" defines political authority in terms of inalienable rights. His analysis of liberty is strikingly Lockean, and not republican. Pocock's assessment of Locke's irrelevance to Whiggism and the American founding must be rejected. In the final essay, "Locke's Two Treatises and Contemporary Thought: Freedom, Community and the Liberal Tradition," Stephen L. Newman compares contemporary American libertarian and communitarian alternatives to the liberal welfare state. Newman offers a very trenchant criticism of libertarianism as decidedly non-Lockean by dint of its utter depoliticization of all behavior and its tendency to restore the execution of natural law to the private citizen and private groups. On the other hand, communitarianism fails to provide a sufficiently specific and robust notion of the common good, and more consistent writers like Walzer and Barber fall back not upon a teleological community, but autonomy mixed with participation. Locke's distinction of politics from economics, family, and social groups still provides the most workable and realistic account of politics available in the modern world; hence Newman concludes that libertarianism and communitarianism offer "impoverished" political theories. (shrink)
John Finnis is a pre-eminent legal, moral and political philosopher. This volume contains over 25 essays by leading international scholars of philosophy and law who critically engage with issues at the heart of Finnis's work.
JohnDillon presents an English translation of Alcinous' Handbook of Platonism, accompanied by an introduction and a philosophical commentary which explain the ideas in the work and show their intellectual and historical context. The Handbook purports to be an introduction to the doctrines of Plato, but in fact gives us an excellent survey of Platonist thought in the second century AD.
Iamblichus , successor to Plotinus and Porphyry, brought a new religiosity to Neoplatonism. This edition of the fragments of Iamblichus' major work on the soul, De Anima, is accompanied by the first English translation of the work and a commentary.
One of the most influential analytic philosophers of the late twentieth century, William P. Alston is a leading light in epistemology, philosophy of religion, and the philosophy of language. In this volume, twelve leading philosophers critically discuss the central topics of his work in these areas, including perception, epistemic circularity, justification, the problem of religious diversity, and truth.
Saul Kripke has been a major influence on analytic philosophy and allied fields for a half-century and more. His early masterpiece, _Naming and Necessity_, reversed the pattern of two centuries of philosophizing about the necessary and the contingent. Although much of his work remains unpublished, several major essays have now appeared in print, most recently in his long-awaited collection _Philosophical Troubles_. In this book Kripke’s long-time colleague, the logician and philosopher John P. Burgess, offers a thorough and self-contained guide (...) to all of Kripke’s published books and his most important philosophical papers, old and new. It also provides an authoritative but non-technical account of Kripke’s influential contributions to the study of modal logic and logical paradoxes. Although Kripke has been anything but a system-builder, Burgess expertly uncovers the connections between different parts of his oeuvre. Kripke is shown grappling, often in opposition to existing traditions, with mysteries surrounding the nature of necessity, rule-following, and the conscious mind, as well as with intricate and intriguing puzzles about identity, belief and self-reference. Clearly contextualizing the full range of Kripke’s work, Burgess outlines, summarizes and surveys the issues raised by each of the philosopher’s major publications. _Kripke_ will be essential reading for anyone interested in the work of one of analytic philosophy’s greatest living thinkers. (shrink)
What is the moral status of humans lacking the potential for consciousness? The concept of potentiality often tips the scales in life-and-death medical decisions. Some argue that all human embryos have the potential to develop characteristics—such as consciousness, intellect, and will—that we normally associate with personhood. Individuals with total brain failure or in a persistent vegetative state are thought to lack the potential for consciousness or any other mental function. Or do they? In Potentiality John Lizza gathers classic articles (...) alongside newly commissioned chapters from leading thinkers who analyze the nature of potentiality in bioethics, a concept central to a number of important debates. The contributors illustrate how considerations of potentiality and potential persons complicate the analysis of the moral consideration of persons at the beginning and end of life. A number of works explicitly uncover the Aristotelian background of the concept, while others explore philosophical issues about persons, dispositions, and possibility. The common assumption that potentiality is intrinsic to whatever has the potentiality is challenged by a relational view of persons, an extrinsic account of dispositions, and attention to how extrinsic factors affect realistic possibilities. Although potentiality has figured prominently in bioethical literature, it has not received a great deal of logical, semantic, and metaphysical analysis in contemporary philosophical literature. This collection will bring these thorny philosophical issues to the fore. Incorporating cutting-edge research on the topic of potentiality, this thought-provoking collection will interest bioethicists, philosophers, health care professionals, attorneys engaged in medical and health issues, and hospital and governmental committees who advise on policy and law concerning issues at the beginning and end of life. (shrink)