I explore some of the ways that assumptions about the nature of substance shape metaphysical debates about the structure of Reality. Assumptions about the priority of substance play a role in an argument for monism, are embedded in certain pluralist metaphysical treatments of laws of nature, and are central to discussions of substantivalism and relationalism. I will then argue that we should reject such assumptions and collapse the categorical distinction between substance and property.
I claim that Mill has a theory of poetry which he uses to reconcile nineteenth century associationist psychology, the tendency of the intellect to dissolve associations, and the need for educated members of society to desire utilitarian ends. The heart of the argument is that Mill thinks reading poetry encourages us to feel the feelings of others, and thus to develop pleasurable associations with the pleasurable feelings of others and painful associations with the painful feelings of others. Once the associations (...) are developed, they are supported and maintained by our natural capacity for sympathy and by external elements in society, and provide motivation for the pursuit of utilitarian ends. Further, the additional support causes the associations to be strengthened to the extent that they come to be seen as ‘natural and necessary’, and as such are immune from the dissolving force of the intellect. (shrink)
The ‘Problem of Evil’ has been the focus of a number of articles in Think. Here, Timothy Chambers offers an unusual perspective on this seemingly intractable difficulty facing theists. ‘Did not I weep for him whose day was hard? Was not my soul grieved for the poor? But when I looked for good, evil came; and when I waited for light, darkness came.’.
Spatial asymmetries are an intriguing feature of directed attention. Recent observations indicate an influence of temperament upon the direction of these asymmetries. It is unknown whether this influence generalises to visual orienting behaviour. The aim of the current study was therefore to explore the relationship between temperament and measures of spatial orienting as a function of target hemifield. An exogenous cueing task was administered to 92 healthy participants. Temperament was assessed using Carver and White's (1994) Behavioural Inhibition System and Behavioural (...) Activation System (BIS/BAS) scales. Individuals with high sensitivity to punishment and low sensitivity to reward showed a leftward asymmetry of directed attention when there was no informative spatial cue provided. This asymmetry was not present when targets were preceded by spatial cues that were either valid or invalid. The findings support the notion that individual variations in temperament influence spatial asymmetries in visual orienting, but only when lateral targets are preceded by a non-directional (neutral) cue. The results are discussed in terms of hemispheric asymmetries and dopamine activity. (shrink)
To claim that Hayden White has yet to be read seriously as a philosopher of history might seem false on the face of it. But do tropes and the rest provide any epistemic rationale for differing representations of historical events found in histories? As an explanation of White’s influence on philosophy of history, such a proffered emphasis only generates a puzzle with regard to taking White seriously, and not an answer to the question of why his efforts should be worthy (...) of any philosophical attention at all. For what makes his emphasis on narrative structure and its associated tropes of philosophical relevance? What, it may well be asked, did any theory that draws its categories from a stock provided by literary criticism contribute to explicating problems with regard to the warranting of claims about knowledge, explanation, or causation that represent those concerns that philosophy typically brings to this field? Robert Doran’s anthologizing of previously uncollected pieces, ranging as they do over a literal half-century of White’s published work, offers an opportunity to identify explicitly those philosophical themes and arguments that regularly and prominently feature there. Moreover, White’s essays in this volume demonstrate a credible knowledge of and interest in mainstream analytic philosophers of his era and also reveal White as deeply influenced by or well acquainted with other important philosophers of history. White thus invites a reading of his work as philosophy, and this volume presents the opportunity for accepting it as such. (shrink)
In this essay, I defend theology against a recent argument made by Peter Byrne. According to Byrne, any discipline of thought that can be interpreted realistically shows the accumulation of reliable or widespread belief about the reality it investigates. I challenge this claim, first, by showing how theology, so construed as an exercise of ‘faith seeking understanding’, can and should be interpreted realistically, even if it does not show the accumulation of reliable or widespread belief about divine reality. Second, I (...) give a plausible account of why theology is beset by internal disagreement and division, even if the goal of theological enquiry is to overcome such disagreement and division. (shrink)
From the point of view of a saint's life, the article addresses the question of integrating holiness and business dealings. By analyzing the heavy involvement of Vincent de Paul, a seventeenth century French saint, in the world of finance and politics as he ministered to the poor of his day, the study attempts to show that it is both possible and beneficial to join together the world of business with that of a religiously inspired ethic. The spiritually grounded manner (...) in which Vincent de Paul approached his institutional tasks and the ways in which those endeavors gave body to his spirituality present an unitary, non-dualistic instance of how business and morality can interact. (shrink)
The purpose of _Towards a Revival of Analytical Philosophy of History: Around Paul A. Roth's Vision of Historical Sciences_ is to discuss the revival of analytical philosophy of history proposed by Paul A. Roth. The authors characterize the status of philosophy of history and discuss its ontological, epistemological and explanatory dimensions.
Žižek’s intellectual endeavor aims at relocating political subjectivity as the foundation of communal life. As a Leninist he anchors the possibility of a revolution in Heidegger’s ‘decisionism’ and in the practice of St Paul,whose conversion is the bottom line of a revolutionary attitude. Current consumerism avoids this subject and in that sense a-voids or empties subjectivity. The revolutionary subject is the very act of affirmatively a-voiding one's current ethical system in order to radically change the coordinates of the system.
The contribution focuses on philosophical issues of justice of positive law in the light of the social teaching of John Paul II. The analyses start with consideration of anthropological foundations of justice as virtue, develop with the reflexion upon justice of actions realizing justice and finally arrive at examination of the criteria of justice of law. -/- It is argued that relations between a human being and goods (ends of actions) form ontological basis of natural law and justice of (...) actions – orders and prohibitions are secondary in respect to these relations. An aim of just law (and natural law) is not preservation or restoration of abstractly understood moral order based on norms – orders and prohibitions) but integral development (good) of a person – a being possessing dignity. John Paul’s II philosophy of law takes advantage primarily of Thomas Aquinas’ approach to law and combines it with constructions which are typical for modern human rights protection. John Paul’s II conception of natural law is anthropocentric and bases on subjective rights thinking. Human dignity and human rights which derive from it provide basic criteria for the justice of law. Human rights as subjective rights disclose natural law which is understood as a set of goods for a human person. These goods are ends of actions and as such they determine actions and their forms. This point of view is compatible with Aquinas’ definition: “law is nothing but a rational plan of operation, and … the rational plan of any kind of work is derived from the end” (Summa contra gentiles, lib. 3, cap. 114, n. 5). -/- Positive (human) law which is not just has no normative power in this sense that it does not in itself provide reasons for concrete actions of a concrete actor. Sometimes there are moral reasons for following unjust law, however if its norm prescribes actions which are wrong in themselves (internally wrong) there is moral obligation to act contrary to such a legal norm. -/- Zasadniczym przedmiotem opracowania jest filozoficzna refleksja Jana Pawła II nad sprawiedliwością prawa stanowionego. Analizy przebiegają od zagadnienia antropologicznych podstaw sprawiedliwości poprzez problematykę działań realizujących sprawiedliwość do zagadnienia sprawiedliwości prawa stanowionego. Opracowanie zamykają uwagi wskazujące na kontekst teologiczny istotny dla problematyki sprawiedliwości, którego analiza wykracza jednak poza podjęte zamierzenie koncentrujące się na problematyce filozoficznoprawnej. Argumentuje się, że u podstaw tej refleksji leży namysł nad relacją człowieka do dobra, która stanowi ontologiczną podstawę prawa naturalnego i sprawiedliwości – nakazy i zakazy są wtórne wobec tej relacji. Celem prawa i sprawiedliwości jest dobro konkretnego, obdarzonego godnością człowieka, a nie np. przywracanie abstrakcyjnie pojętego porządku moralnego. Od strony konstrukcji teoretycznej, filozofia prawa Jana Pawła II jest osadzona przede wszystkim na koncepcji Tomasza z Akwinu łączonej z konstrukcjami typowymi dla współczesnej ochrony praw człowieka. To w godności i wynikających z niej prawach człowieka poszukiwać trzeba zasadniczych treściowych kryteriów sprawiedliwości prawa. Prawa człowieka jako prawa podmiotowe są podstawowym wyrazem prawa naturalnego, stanowiącego ontyczną podstawę sprawiedliwości i które pojmowane jest jako zespół dóbr dla osoby, zatem i celów kształtujących działanie. Perspektywa pojmowania prawa naturalnego jest antropocentryczna. Prawo stanowione, które nie jest sprawiedliwe, nie ma „mocy prawa”, przede wszystkim w takim sensie, że nie stanowi samo w sobie racji działania. Niekiedy, ze względów moralnych, niesprawiedliwe prawo wymaga posłuszeństwa. Jeśli jednak prawo stanowione daje uprawnienia do czynów wewnętrznie złych i nakazuje takie czyny, to nie tylko nie obowiązuje w sumieniu i nie jest racją działania, ale obowiązkiem jest postępowanie wbrew takiemu prawu. (shrink)
I approach the study of echo chambers from the perspective of veritistic social epistemology. A trichotomous belief model is developed featuring a mechanism by which agents will have a tendency to form agreement in the community. The model is implemented as an agent-based model in NetLogo and then used to investigate a social practice called Impartiality, which is a plausible means for resisting or dismantling echo chambers. The implementation exposes additional factors that need close consideration in an evaluation (...) of Impartiality. In particular, resisting or dismantling echo chambers requires the selection of sufficiently low levels of doxastic entrenchment, but this comes with other tradeoffs. (shrink)
Paul Boyer shared a Nobel Prize in 1997 for his work on the mechanism of ATP synthase. His earlier work, though (which contributed indirectly to his triumph), included major errors, both experimental and theoretical. Two benchmark cases offer insight into how scientists err and how they deal with error. Boyer's work also parallels and illustrates the emergence of bioenergetics in the second half of the twentieth century, rivaling achievements in evolution and molecular biology.
El documento expone los antecedentes sugeridos por Paul Ricoeur sobre lo que podría denominarse “la polémica epistemológica en ciencias sociales”, referidos a la formulación de un método legítimo para la investigación en dichas ciencias que responda a las particularidades propias de su objeto de estudio. En este sentido, se rastrea la cuestión en la tradición hermenéutica romántica, concretamente en el pensamiento de Wilhelm Dilthey, pasando por la teoría estructural de estudio del texto escrito y la formulación de una teoría (...) de la acción anglosajona, para finalmente terminar en la ricoeurtiana consideración hermenéutica de la acción significativa, que asume al texto como paradigma y propuesta de superación de los escollos en torno a la referida polémica. (shrink)
Søren Kierkegaard used his literary, philosophical, and theological voice to reintroduce Christianity to Christendom. In this effort, he repeatedly uses the Apostle Paul's first letter to the church in Corinth. Though some have noted the importance of 1 Corinthians for Kierkegaard, they have not explained this importance nor this letter's role in Kierkegaard's corpus. This essay seeks to fill this gap in Kierkegaard scholarship by explaining the role this letter plays in Kierkegaard's Climacean authorship. Paul's battle with the (...) Corinthian view of wisdom and Kierkegaard's battle with Hegelian philosophy, which seeks to go beyond faith through speculative thinking, share similarities that engender both their works. In their battles with their respective foes, both develop a Christocentric epistemology that displaces the import of human understanding and cognitive content with the person Jesus who inverts their opponents' epistemic values by salvifically redefining wisdom and knowledge. This epistemology of a different kind is an offense, foolishness, and absurd to their opponents because it cannot be intellectually grasped by human understanding, but rather in and through the passion of faith, which places the individual in relation with Jesus. For both authors, this relation is the essential point for the Christian life. (shrink)
Este trabalho pretende acompanhar o trajeto ricoeuriano em O si- mesmo como um outro em busca de uma interpretação ontológica dos resultados alcançados com a hermenêutica do si-mesmo. A ontologia de Paul Ricoeur possui como centro o agir humano, ainda que pretenda preservar a polissemia do ser, isto é, manter-se plural em meio aos muitos modos de dizer o si. Acompanhamos, deste modo, a proposta ontológica de Paul Ricoeur dotada de um caráter fragmentário que passa por filosofias como (...) as de Aristóteles, Heidegger, Spinoza, Lévinas e Husserl. O declarado caráter especulativo de sua proposta ontológica se direciona principalmente ao entendimento da manutenção de si a partir da relação com a alteridade. (shrink)
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)
This book studies the philosophies of Paul Tillich. Its focus is on justice, covering two dimensions of justice. The first is the social dimension, manifested in human relationships. The second dimension is at the individual level, seen in each person's struggle to feel a secure sense of selfhood.
How do we form aesthetic judgements? And how should we do so? According to a very prominent tradition in aesthetics it would be wrong to form our aesthetic judgements about a particular object on the basis of anything other than first-hand acquaintance with the object itself (or some very close surrogate) and, in particular, it would be wrong to form such judgements merely on the basis of testimony. Further this tradition presupposes that our actual practice of forming aesthetic judgements typically (...) meets, or at least approximates, this ideal. In this paper I target this descriptive claim and argue—by appeal to some empirical work concerning belief polarization and echo chambers in aesthetics—that our actual practice of forming aesthetic judgements is heavily dependent on social sources such as testimony. I then briefly consider what normative implications this descriptive claim may have. (shrink)
This dialogue between Paul Ricoeur and Sorin Antohi took place in Budapest on March 10, 2003 at Pasts, Inc., Center for Historical Studies, which is affiliated with Central European University . Ricoeur was the honorary president of Pasts, Inc., and its spiritus rector. On March 8, he had given a lecture on “History, Memory, and Forgetting” in the context of an international conference entitled “Haunting Memories? History in Europe after Authoritarianism,” and organized by Pasts Inc. and the Körber Foundation. (...) On March 9, Ricoeur had received the first Honoris Causa doctorate ever granted by CEU. Ricoeur had already visited Hungary in 1933. At the time, he was participating in a Boy Scouts European jamboree at Gödöllö . After WWII, he went back to Hungary to meet with Lukács. Mona Antohi has transcribed and edited the recording of the dialogue. The two interlocutors have then made some minor revisions. The original text, in French, is available on the website of Pasts, Inc. . This English version, translated and annotated by Gil Anidjar, will be included in Sorin Antohili’s book, Talking History. Making Sense of Pasts, forthcoming in 2006 from CEU Press. His own Romanian translation of the dialogue was published in the Iasi-based journal, Xenopoliana , as was the Hungarian translation by Réka Toth, which appeared in the Budapest-based journal, 2000. (shrink)
The purpose of Pope John Paul''s encyclicalCentesimus Annus (CA) is to propound the foundations of a just economic order and to sketch its essential characteristics. As such he essentially provides an orientation or moral compass for the political economy rather than a precise road map. This article first reviews the principal components of CA and then analyzes and evaluates its central contentions on both cultural and economic grounds.
Cormac McCarthy’s novel The Road confronts readers with a question: what is there to live towards after apocalypse? McCarthy locates his protagonists in the aftermath of the world’s fiery destruction, dramatizing a relationship between a father and a son, who are, as McCarthy puts it, “carrying the fire.” This essay asserts that the body carrying the fire is a sacred, incandescent body that connects to and with the world and the other, unifying the human and the divine. This essay will (...) consider the body as a sacred connection in The Road. Paul Ricoeur’s hermeneutics and Julia Kristeva’s psychoanalytic approach will help to explore what is sacred. In addition, their works elucidate the body as a present site of human connection and sacredness while calling attention to what is glaringly absent yet hauntingly present in McCarthy’s text: the mother. In the aftermath of destruction, primitive, sacred connections become available through the sensual body, highlighting what is at stake in the novel: the connection of body and spirit. The essay will attempt to show that McCarthy’s rejection of a redemptive framework, or hope in an otherworldly reality, shrouds spirit in physicality symbolized by the fire carried by the body. This spirit offers another kind of hope, one based on the body’s potential to feel and connect to the other. The thought and works of Ricoeur and Kristeva will broaden a reading of McCarthy’s novel, especially as a statement about the unification of body and spirit, contributing a multidimensional view of a contemporary problem regarding what sustains life after a cataclysmic event. (shrink)
In this expensive but invaluable book, students and scholars of Whitehead's philosophy and those more generally interested in the intersections of philosophy and science will find a treasure trove for gleaning the development, breadth, and depth of Whitehead's thought. This work, which consists of three independent sets of course notes from the previously unpublished lectures that Whitehead gave in his first year at Harvard in 1924–1925, is the first volume in a new and richly important series by Edinburgh University Press: (...) The Edinburgh Critical Edition of the Complete Works of Alfred North Whitehead, overseen by series editors George R. Lucas Jr. and Brian G. Henning. This initial volume, which was skillfully... (shrink)
In 1926, John Dewey called Alfred North Whitehead's book Science and the Modern World "the most significant restatement for the general reader of the present relations of science, philosophy and the issues of life which has yet appeared." While within Pragmatism, such praise by Dewey was praise indeed, Whitehead's influence on the philosophical debate waned quickly after his death in 1947, owed mainly to the fact that we had a better text of Plato's Republic than of his magnum opus, Process (...) and Reality, as was often quipped.In 1978, Donald Sherburne and David Griffin published the Corrected Edition of Process and Reality, a major achievement of scholarship. And indeed—the Corrected Edition has become a cornerstone... (shrink)
Critical theory is construed in very broad terms in Leone, Potter, and Shackel's discussion. It is not restricted to the "critical theory" associated with the Frankfurt school or, latterly, with Habermas. It encom-passes any research program that adopts a critically self-conscious attitude toward its constituent presuppositions: as they describe it, "critical theory asks of any set of conclusions from what point of view they are constructed." To press for such reflexiveness is crucially important, but a number of important things drop (...) out or are left unspecified when "critical theory" is construed this broadly. For example, what is the standpoint of the critical theorist, and to what criteria of acceptability is the exercise of unmasking answerable? What sort of commentary does the unmasking provide on contemporary contexts, and how is one to determine when it is accurate in what it reveals about the conditions and interests informing practice? Leone et al. stop at the point where the most interesting and difficult questions arise. This is not to fault their analysis or their recommendations but to suggest what seem some important avenues for development of their critical initiative that remain to be explored. (shrink)
We examine Paul Halmos’ comments on category theory, Dedekind cuts, devil worship, logic, and Robinson’s infinitesimals. Halmos’ scepticism about category theory derives from his philosophical position of naive set-theoretic realism. In the words of an MAA biography, Halmos thought that mathematics is “certainty” and “architecture” yet 20th century logic teaches us is that mathematics is full of uncertainty or more precisely incompleteness. If the term architecture meant to imply that mathematics is one great solid castle, then modern logic tends (...) to teach us the opposite lesson, namely that the castle is floating in midair. Halmos’ realism tends to color his judgment of purely scientific aspects of logic and the way it is practiced and applied. He often expressed distaste for nonstandard models, and made a sustained effort to eliminate first-order logic, the logicians’ concept of interpretation, and the syntactic vs semantic distinction. He felt that these were vague, and sought to replace them all by his polyadic algebra. Halmos claimed that Robinson’s framework is “unnecessary” but Henson and Keisler argue that Robinson’s framework allows one to dig deeper into set-theoretic resources than is common in Archimedean mathematics. This can potentially prove theorems not accessible by standard methods, undermining Halmos’ criticisms. (shrink)
In his recent article in Sophia, Benedikt Paul Göcke concluded that ‘as long as we do not have a sound argument entailing the necessity of the world, panentheism is not an attractive alternative to classical theism’ : 75). As the article progresses, Göcke clarifies his view of what panentheism is, essentially identical to Göcke’s view of classical theism in every way, except in the world’s modal relation to God. This concept is vastly different to many of the panentheistic notions (...) that are more commonly held. While it is not initially made transparent—especially with the label Göcke chooses to use—it becomes increasingly clear that Göcke critiques a God concept of his own making. More common variations of panentheism are contrasted with Göcke’s version, in order to provide a broader and more accurate view of the ancient concept, and to demonstrate that Göcke’s view of panentheism is idiosyncratic. It is finally explained that even if Göcke’s view of panentheism were definitive, he has not successfully argued for the relative unattractiveness of the concept, relative to his view of classical theism. (shrink)