This study offers students of religion and philosophy introductory chapters concerning the concept of natural religion. It holds that we can’t engage in useful discussion about the present concept of religion without a knowledge of the philosophical history that has shaped that concept. This is discussed with reference to the notion of natural religion to illustrate certain aspects of deism and its legacy. Originally published in 1989.
This paper surveys the argument that a secular world-view that is committed to a neo-Darwinian account of human origins generates a vicious form of moral skepticism. The argument turns around the claim that Darwinism entails the unreliability of moral sense or conscience. This argument is analyzed and found wanting. It rests on a major error about the scope of evolutionary biology in explaining human thought.
The theme of this paper can be introduced in this way: does a pluralist approach to religion entail a pluralist approach to religion? My theme is not that odd, because I have two notions of pluralism in mind. There is what I will call ‘tolerant pluralism’ and what I will call ‘religious pluralism’. And thus my question is ‘Does tolerant pluralism re religion entail religious pluralism?’.
This article explores and defends some of f r leavis's ideas about the nature of reasoning in literary criticism. In particular, It examines leavis's contention that the validity of literary criticism does not wait upon a theoretical defence of its canons of judgments of standards. It aims to show that this eschewal of theoretical thought is rationally justifiable and that the form of reasoning leavis advocates for literary criticism has respectable parallels elsewhere, Not least in philosophy itself. Throughout, Reference is (...) made to the work of wittgenstein and john wisdom for elucidation and justification of leavis's point of view. (shrink)
The paper comments on Scott Dunbar's "An obstructed death and medical ethics," arguing contra Dunbar that we should not view truth-telling to the terminally ill as primarily governed by principles of veracity and respect for autonomy. All such rules are of limited value in medical ethics. We should instead turn to an ethics deriving from the centrality of moral relationships and virtues. A brief analysis of the connections between moral relationships and moral rules is offered. Such an ethics would lower (...) the value that philosophical fashion places on truth-telling and autonomy and leave decisions about truth-telling and the terminally ill more dependent on the circumstances of particular cases. (shrink)
The paper aims to move the debate between Alston and critics of Perceiving God forward by asking if Alston’s book establishes a case for a realist interpretation of Christian mystical perception. It is argued that critical comments on Alston’s paper in Philosophy and Phenomenological Research by Richard Gale point, when reinterpreted, to a crucial disparity between mystical perception and sense perception. A realist interpretation of the former is not prima facie warranted but a realist interpretation of the latter is. Alston (...) confuses the question of whether mystical perception yields true outputs with the question of its realist status. (shrink)