A conversation with PeterRollins, questions from the editors of Stance. PeterRollins is a writer, philosopher, storyteller and public speaker who has gained an international reputation for overturning traditional notions of religion and forming “churches” that preach the Good News that we can’t be satisfied, that life is difficult, and that we don’t know the secret. Challenging the idea that faith concerns questions relating to belief, Peter’s incendiary and irreligious reading of Christianity attacks the (...) distinction between the sacred and the secular. It blurs the lines between theism and atheism and it sets aside questions regarding life after death to explore the possibility of life before death. (shrink)
Prologue: The caretaker's trial -- Introduction: What would Judas do? -- The Word of God -- The betrayer, the betrayed, or the beloved? -- Abraham as the Father of Faith(ful betrayal) -- The biblical whole -- The being of God -- The name of God -- Eclipsing God -- Beyond God -- The event of God -- The intervention of God -- The miracle of Christian faith -- Forging faith communities without God -- Conclusion: Crossing out God for the sake (...) of God. (shrink)
Strangers to Nature brings together many of the leading scholars who are working to redefine and expand the discourse on animal ethics. This volume will engage both scholars and lay-people by revealing the breadth of theorizing about the human/non-human animal relationship that is currently taking place.
The authors of this essay have been committed practitioners and teachers of Philosophy for Children in a variety of educational settings, from pre-schools through university doctoral programs and in adult community and religious education programs. The promotion of critical thinking has always been a primary goal of this movement. But communal practices of critical thinking need to include other kinds of democratic conversation that prompt us to see others as full-fledged persons and to be curious about how our being in (...) community with them makes growth and self-correction possible. As we continue to experiment and innovate in new contexts we see ourselves continuing the inquiry around expanding the inclusivity of conversations about basic human concerns. In this essay we describe an inclusive strategy called the story circle, that was first developed as a method of popular education in Denmark and was then adapted as a tool of social change among poor and dis-empowered American citizens in Appalachia. Story circles were later utilized in a philosophical living-learning community and most recently coupled with Lipman and Sharp’s dialogue method of the community of philosophical inquiry. The authors of this paper have combined story circles with the community of philosophical inquiry in a variety of contexts. In each iteration, telling one’s own story and listening carefully to the stories of others can be equally revelatory actions. (shrink)
The Emerging Church is one of the more interesting new movements in the religious landscape of the United States today. The Emerging Church has come out of US Evangelicalism, which has found itself in crisis, with a diminishing number of young people remaining in the church and a general popular impression of being intolerant, judgmental, and right-wing. Many in the Emerging Church are attempting to construct a vision of Christianity that addresses these problems. However, the Emerging Church is not a (...) monolith; it includes a variety of perspectives and positions. What I will argue in this article is that there is, among several different perspectives within the movement, a critique of the US political and economic system that provides an interesting and new way of thinking about the relationship between Christianity, politics, economics, and identity that may serve to create a challenge to the hegemonic system of the United States. For the purposes of this article I use three examples to illustrate my point: Shane Claibourne’s “New Monasticism”/”red Letter Christians” movement; Brian McLaren’s recent work, Why did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha and Mohammed Cross The Road; and PeterRollins as a self-proclaimed inheritor of the radical tradition. I will show that the Emerging Church thinkers, by challenging the theological constructions of US Evangelicalism, are likewise providing fodder, to varying degrees, for a critique of the US political and economic system. Whether this will coalesce into a real significant challenge or will ultimately be reabsorbed by the status quo and/or marginalized remains to be seen. (shrink)
Genetic modification leads to several important moral issues. Up until now they have mainly been discussed from the viewpoint that only individual living beings, above all animals, are morally considerable. The standpoint that also collective entities such as species belong to the moral sphere have seldom been taken into account in a more thorough way, although it is advocated by several important environmental ethicists. The main purpose of this article is to analyze in more detail than often has been done (...) what the practical consequences of this ethical position would be for the use of genetic engineering on animals and plants. The practical consequences of the holistic standpoint (focused on collective entities) of Holmes Rolston, III, is compared with the practical consequences of the individualistic standpoints (focused on individual living beings) of Bernard E. Rollin and Philipp Balzer, Klaus Peter Rippe, and Peter Schaber, respectively. The article also discusses whether the claim that species are morally considerable is tenable as a foundation for policy decisions on genetic engineering. (shrink)
This book presents a radical and intuitive argument against the notion that intentional action, agency and autonomy are features belonging only to humans. Using evidence from research into the minds of non-human animals, it explores the ways in which animals can be understood as individuals who are aware of themselves, and the consequent basis of our moral obligations towards them. The first part of this book argues for a conception of agency in animals that admits to degrees among individuals and (...) across species. It explores self-awareness and its various levels of complexity which depend on an animals’ other mental capacities. The author offers an overview of some established theories in animal ethics including those of Peter Singer, Tom Regan, Bernard Rollin and Lori Gruen, and the ways these theories serve to extend moral consideration towards animals based on various capacities that both animals and humans have in common. The book concludes by challenging traditional Kantian notions of rationality and what it means to be an autonomous individual, and discussing the problems that still remain in the study of animal ethics. (shrink)
The Animal Ethics Reader is an acclaimed anthology containing both classic and contemporary readings, making it ideal for anyone coming to the subject for the first time. It provides a thorough introduction to the central topics, controversies and ethical dilemmas surrounding the treatment of animals, covering a wide range of contemporary issues, such as animal activism, genetic engineering, and environmental ethics. The extracts are arranged thematically under the following clear headings: Theories of Animal Ethics Nonhuman Animal Experiences Primates and Cetaceans (...) Animals for Food Animal Experimentation Animals and Biotechnology Ethics and Wildlife Zoos and Aquariums Animal Companions Animal Law and Animal Activism Readings from leading experts in the field including Peter Singer, Bernard E. Rollin and Jane Goodall are featured, as well as selections from Tom Regan, Jane Goodall, Donald Griffin, Temple Grandin, Ben A. Minteer, Christine Korsgaard and Mark Rowlands. Classic extracts are well balanced with contemporary selections, helping to present the latest developments in the field. This revised and updated _Third Edition_ includes 31 new readings on a range of subjects, including animal rights, captive chimpanzees, industrial farm animal production, genetic engineering, keeping cetaceans in captivity, animal cruelty, and animal activism. The _Third Edition _also is printed with a slightly larger page format and in an easier-to-read typeface. Featuring contextualizing introductions by the editors, study questions and further reading suggestions as the end of each chapter, this will be essential reading for any student taking a course in the subject. With a new foreword by Bernard E. Rollin. (shrink)
The Animal Ethics Reader is the first comprehensive, state-of-the-art anthology of readings on this substantial area of study and interest. A subject that regularly captures the headlines, the book is designed to appeal to anyone interested in tracing the history of the subject, as well as providing a powerful insight into the debate as it has developed. The recent wealth of material published in this area has not, until now, been collected in one volume. Readings are arranged thematically, carefully presenting (...) a balanced representation of the subject as it stands. It will be essential reading for students taking a course in the subject as well as being of considerable interest to the general reader. Articles are arranged under the following headings: Theories of Animal Ethics; Animal Capacities; Animals for Food; Animal Experimentation; Genetic Engineering of Animals; Ethics and Wildlife; Zoos, Aquaria, and Animals in Entertainment; Companion Animals; Legal Rights for Animals. Readings from leading experts in the field including Peter Singer, Mary Midgley and Bernard Rollin are featured as well as selections from Donald Griffin, Mark Bekoff, Jane Goodall, Raymond Frey, Barbara Orlans, Tom Regan, and Baird Callicott. There is an emphasis on balancing classic and contemporary readings with a view to presenting debates as they stand at this point in time. Each chapter is introduced by the editors and study questions feature at the end. The foreword has been written by Bernard Rollin. (shrink)
The Animal Ethics Reader is the first comprehensive, state-of-the-art anthology of readings on this substantial area of study and interest. A subject that regularly captures the headlines, the book is designed to appeal to anyone interested in tracing the history of the subject, as well as providing a powerful insight into the debate as it has developed. The recent wealth of material published in this area has not, until now, been collected in one volume. Readings are arranged thematically, carefully presenting (...) a balanced representation of the subject as it stands. It will be essential reading for students taking a course in the subject as well as being of considerable interest to the general reader. Articles are arranged under the following headings: Theories of Animal Ethics Animal Capacities Animals for Food Animal Experimentation Genetic Engineering of Animals Ethics and Wildlife Zoos, Aquaria, and Animals in Entertainment Companion Animals Legal Rights for Animals Readings from leading experts in the field including Peter Singer, Mary Midgely and Bernard Rollin are featured as well as selections from Donald Griffin, Mark Bekoff, Jane Goodall, Raymond Frey, Barbara Orlans, Tom Regan, and Baird Callicott. There is an emphasis on balancing classic and contemporary readings with a view to presenting debates as they stand at this point in time. Each chapter is introduced by the editors and study questions feature at the end. The foreword has been written by Bernard Rollin. This will be appropriate reading for students taking courses in philosophy, ethics, zoology, animal science, psychology, veterinary medicine, law, environmental science and religion. (shrink)
Define ‘het’ as a predicate that truly applies to itself if and only if it does not truly apply to itself and which also truly applies to any predicate that does not truly apply to its own name. We know that the attempted definition of ‘hes’ is a failure, and so a fortiori is that of ‘het’. Similarly, there is no Qussell class which contains itself as a member if and only if it does not contain itself as a member, (...) so a fortiori there is no Russell Class which contains itself as a member if and only if it does not contain itself as a member and which also contains all and only non-self-membered classes (such as the class of dogs). The second conjunct in both the definition of ‘het’ and of the Russell class cannot revive a definition doomed to failure. Likewise, the ‘definition’ of n as ‘n > 1 iff n < 1’ fails, and the attempted definition of m as ‘m > 1 iff m < 1 and m is prime’ is hopeless too; its final clause buys it no respectability. (shrink)
This book offers a systematic and critical discussion of Peter Winch's writings on the philosophy of the social sciences and is essential reading for those studying the development of philosophy in the twentieth century.
For thirty years, Peter Singer's Practical Ethics has been the classic introduction to applied ethics. For this third edition, the author has revised and updated all the chapters and added a new chapter addressing climate change, one of the most important ethical challenges of our generation. Some of the questions discussed in this book concern our daily lives. Is it ethical to buy luxuries when others do not have enough to eat? Should we buy meat from intensively reared animals? (...) Am I doing something wrong if my carbon footprint is above the global average? Other questions confront us as concerned citizens: equality and discrimination on the grounds of race or sex; abortion, the use of embryos for research and euthanasia; political violence and terrorism; and the preservation of our planet's environment. This book's lucid style and provocative arguments make it an ideal text for university courses and for anyone willing to think about how she or he ought to live. (shrink)
In an oft-quoted passage from The Principles of Morals and Legislation, Jeremy Bentham addresses the issue of our treatment of animals with the following words: ‘the question is not, Can they reason? nor, can they talk? but, Can they suffer?’ The point is well taken, for surely if animals suffer, they are legitimate objects of our moral concern. It is curious therefore, given the current interest in the moral status of animals, that Bentham's question has been assumed to be merely (...) rhetorical. No-one has seriously examined the claim, central to arguments for animal liberation and animal rights, that animals actually feel pain. Peter Singer's Animal Liberation is perhaps typical in this regard. His treatment of the issue covers a scant seven pages, after which he summarily announces that ‘there are no good reasons, scientific or philosophical, for denying that animals feel pain’. In this paper I shall suggest that the issue of animal pain is not so easily dispensed with, and that the evidence brought forward to demonstrate that animals feel pain is far from conclusive. (shrink)
Peter Abelard (1079 – 21 April 1142) [‘Abailard’ or ‘Abaelard’ or ‘Habalaarz’ and so on] was the pre-eminent philosopher and theologian of the twelfth century. The teacher of his generation, he was also famous as a poet and a musician. Prior to the recovery of Aristotle, he brought the native Latin tradition in philosophy to its highest pitch. His genius was evident in all he did. He is, arguably, the greatest logician of the Middle Ages and is equally famous (...) as the first great nominalist philosopher. He championed the use of reason in matters of faith (he was the first to use ‘theology’ in its modern sense), and his systematic treatment of religious doctrines are as remarkable for their philosophical penetration and subtlety as they are for their audacity. Abelard seemed larger than life to his contemporaries: his quick wit, sharp tongue, perfect memory, and boundless arrogance made him unbeatable in debate — he was said by supporter and detractor alike never to have lost an argument — and the force of his personality impressed itself vividly on all with whom he came into contact. His luckless affair with Héloïse made him a tragic figure of romance, and his conflict with Bernard of Clairvaux over reason and religion made him the hero of the Enlightenment. For all his colourful life, though, his philosophical achievements are the cornerstone of his fame. (shrink)
In 1972, the young philosopher Peter Singer published "Famine, Affluence and Morality," which rapidly became one of the most widely discussed essays in applied ethics. Through this article, Singer presents his view that we have the same moral obligations to those far away as we do to those close to us. He argued that choosing not to send life-saving money to starving people on the other side of the earth is the moral equivalent of neglecting to save drowning children (...) because we prefer not to muddy our shoes. If we can help, we must--and any excuse is hypocrisy. Singer's extreme stand on our moral obligations to others became a powerful call to arms and continues to challenge people's attitudes towards extreme poverty. Today, it remains a central touchstone for those who argue we should all help others more than we do. As Bill and Melinda Gates observe in their foreword, in the age of today's global philanthropy, Singer's essay is as relevant now as it ever was. This attractively packaged, concise edition collects the original article, two of Singer's more recent popular writings on our obligations to others around the world, and a new introduction by Singer that discusses his current thinking. (shrink)
This volume critically and constructively discusses philosophical questions which have particular bearing on the formulation of educational aims. The book is divided into three major parts: the first deals with the nature of education, and discusses the various general aims, such as 'mental health', 'socialization' and 'creativity' which have been thought to characterize it; the second section is concerned with the nature of reason and its relationship to feeling, will and action; finally the development of different aspects of reason in (...) an educational context is considered. (shrink)
Peter Hanks defends a new theory about the nature of propositional content, according to which the basic bearers of representational properties are particular mental or spoken actions. He explains the unity of propositions and provides new solutions to a long list of puzzles and problems in philosophy of language.
In a well-known text called ‘The Communist Hypothesis’, first published in 2007, the renowned philosopher Alain Badiou breathed fresh life into the idea of communism as an intellectual representation that provides a critical perspective on existing politics and offers a systemic alternative to capitalism. Now, in the course of this wide-ranging conversation with Peter Engelmann, Alain Badiou explains why he continues to value the idea of communism against the background of current social crises and despite negative historical experiences. From (...) the anticipation of a communism without a state to the problem of the concept of democracy and an analysis of capitalism as a system, the two thinkers discuss the key political issues of our time. Whilst explaining his political philosophy, Badiou also reflects on current socio-political developments such as the turmoil in the Middle East and the situation in China. This compelling dialogue is both a highly topical contribution to the question of how we might organize our societies differently and an accessible introduction to Badiou's philosophical thinking. (shrink)
Since its publication in 1959, Individuals has become a modern philosophical classic. Bold in scope and ambition, it continues to influence debates in metaphysics, philosophy of logic and language, and epistemology. Peter Strawson's most famous work, it sets out to describe nothing less than the basic subject matter of our thought. It contains Strawson's now famous argument for descriptive metaphysics and his repudiation of revisionary metaphysics, in which reality is something beyond the world of appearances. Throughout, Individuals advances some (...) highly influential and controversial ideas, such as 'non-solipsistic consciousness' and the concept of a person a 'primitive concept'. (shrink)
Histories of philosophy frequently depict the later eleventh century as the scene of a series of bouts between dialecticians and anti-dialecticians — Berengar vs. Lanfranc, Roscelin vs. Anselm — preliminaries to the twelfth century welterweight contest between Abelard and St. Bernard and — dare one say? — the thirteenth century heavy-weight championship between St. Thomas and St. Bonaventure.The bouts took place — no question about that — but whether the contestants can properly be characterized as dialecticians and anti-dialecticians is less (...) certain. Dialectics is logic, the third part of the trivium, and increasingly cultivated in the eleventh century; men like Berengar and Roscelin were plainly eager to apply the logical tools with which they had been equipped to the solution of intellectual problems. In particular they undertook the solution of certain central problems of theology — Berengar that of the Eucharist and Roscelin that of the Trinity — and it was this, we are told, that aroused the ire of the anti-dialecticians: if the aim of the dialecticians was to lay bare the mysteries of faith to the light of reason that of the anti-dialecticians was to protect those same mysteries from profanation. (shrink)
How do we go about weighing evidence, testing hypotheses, and making inferences? According to the model of _Inference to the Best Explanation_, we work out what to infer from the evidence by thinking about what would actually explain that evidence, and we take the ability of a hypothesis to explain the evidence as a sign that the hypothesis is correct. In _Inference to the Best Explanation_, Peter Lipton gives this important and influential idea the development and assessment it deserves. (...) The second edition has been substantially enlarged and reworked, with a new chapter on the relationship between explanation and Bayesianism, and an extension and defence of the account of contrastive explanation. It also includes an expanded defence of the claims that our inferences really are guided by diverse explanatory considerations, and that this pattern of inference can take us towards the truth. This edition of _Inference to the Best Explanation_ has also been updated throughout and includes a new bibliography. (shrink)
The Centered Mind offers a new view of the nature and causal determinants of both reflective thinking and, more generally, the stream of consciousness. Peter Carruthers argues that conscious thought is always sensory-based, relying on the resources of the working-memory system. This system enables sensory images to be sustained and manipulated through attentional signals directed at midlevel sensory areas of the brain. When abstract conceptual representations are bound into these images, we consciously experience ourselves as making judgments or arriving (...) at decisions. However, our amodal propositional attitudes are never actually among the contents of this stream of conscious reflection. Our beliefs, goals, and decisions are only ever active in the background of consciousness, working behind the scenes. They are never themselves conscious.Drawing on extensive knowledge of the scientific literature on working memory and related topics, Carruthers challenges the central assumptions of many philosophers. In addition to arguing that non-sensory propositional attitudes are never conscious, he also shows that they are never under direct intentional control. Written with his usual clarity and directness, The Centered Mind will be essential reading for all philosophers and cognitive scientists interested in the nature of human thought processes. (shrink)
Peter Abelard was one of the most influential writers and thinkers of the twelfth century, famed for his skill in logic as well as his romance with Heloise. His Collationes - or Dialogue between a Christian, a Philosopher, and a Jew - is remarkable for the boldness of its conception and thought.
Claims about consciousness in animals are often made in support of their moral standing. Peter Carruthers argues that there is no fact of the matter about animal consciousness and it is of no scientific or ethical significance. Sympathy for an animal can be grounded in its mental states, but should not rely on assumptions about its consciousness.
The relationship of part to whole is one of the most fundamental there is; this is the first and only full-length study of this concept. This book shows that mereology, the formal theory of part and whole, is essential to ontology. Peter Simons surveys and criticizes previous theories, especially the standard extensional view, and proposes a more adequate account which encompasses both temporal and modal considerations in detail. 'Parts could easily be the standard book on mereology for the next (...) twenty or thirty years.' Timothy Williamson, Grazer Philosophische Studien. (shrink)
Quantification is a topic which brings together linguistics, logic, and philosophy. Quantifiers are the essential tools with which, in language or logic, we refer to quantity of things or amount of stuff. In English they include such expressions as no, some, all, both, many. Peters and Westerstahl present the definitive interdisciplinary exploration of how they work - their syntax, semantics, and inferential role.
_From the ethicist the _New Yorker_ calls “the most influential living philosopher,” a new way of thinking about living ethically__ "Singer’s argument is powerful, provocative and, I think, basically right. The world would be a better place if we were as tough-minded in how we donate money as in how we make it."—Nicholas Kristof, ___New York Times___ "Bold, fresh, inspired, reasoned, optimistic."—Walter M. Bortz II, MD, ___Huffington Post Blog__ Peter Singer’s books and ideas have been disturbing our complacency ever (...) since the appearance of _Animal Liberation_. Now he directs our attention to a new movement in which his own ideas have played a crucial role: effective altruism. Effective altruism is built upon the simple but profound idea that living a fully ethical life involves doing the "most good you can do." Such a life requires an unsentimental view of charitable giving: to be a worthy recipient of our support, an organization must be able to demonstrate that it will do more good with our money or our time than other options open to us. Singer introduces us to an array of remarkable people who are restructuring their lives in accordance with these ideas, and shows how living altruistically often leads to greater personal fulfillment than living for oneself. _The Most Good You Can Do _develops the challenges Singer has made, in the _New York Times _and _Washington Post_, to those who donate to the arts, and to charities focused on helping our fellow citizens, rather than those for whom we can do the most good. Effective altruists are extending our knowledge of the possibilities of living less selfishly, and of allowing reason, rather than emotion, to determine how we live. _The Most Good You Can Do _offers new hope for our ability to tackle the world’s most pressing problems. (shrink)
Peter Singer is probably the best-known and most controversial ethicist in the world today. He rigorously applies utilitarian moral theory to issues such as world poverty, the environment, abortion, euthanasia and, most famously, animal welfare. He has also written a book about his grandfather, David Oppenheim, who died in Theresienstadt concentration camp. He is Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University.