In two of his great poems, “Ambulances” and “The Building,” Philip Larkin considers a deep fear about human individuality. The fear is that the human self is contingent and disjunctive, lacking any integrity or unity. The arrival of an ambulance on an urban curb and a visit to the hospital are the occasion of reflection on this form of human fragility. But more significant, the ambulance and the hospital are imagined as contexts in which the contingency of the human (...) individual is brought out and laid before us. (shrink)
This paper aims at analyzing Philip Kitcher's naturalistic epistemology, particularly its normative features, which are viewed as a sort of response to negative assessments made by radical naturalists on the plurality of epistemic values. According to them such values are ineffective for normative ends, e.g. theory choice. Differently from that quite excessive evaluation, Kitcher argues rather for explanatory unity as the most important and universal epistemic value. Even though Kitcher's arguments are sound, there remains some serious gaps as regards (...) his attempts; there are also serious doubts about the desirability of achieving such a value. (shrink)
The paper offers a discussion of Philip Merlan's contributions (in "From Platonism to Neoplatonism, The Hague 1960, e in some papers of his, now included in his "Kleine Philosophische Schriften", Hildesheim 1976) to the understanding of Aristotle's metaphysics, with particular reference to the science of being qua being.
Philip Hefner's understanding of humans as “created co-creators” has played a key role in the science and religion field, particularly as scholars consider the implications of emerging technologies for the human future. Hefner articulates his “created co-creator” framework in the form of scientifically testable hypotheses supporting his core understanding of human nature, adopting the structure of Imre Lakatos's scientific research programme. This article provides a brief exposition of Hefner's model, examines his hypotheses in order to assess their scientific character, (...) and evaluates them against the relevant findings of contemporary science. While Hefner's model is largely commensurate with contemporary science, he at times makes claims that cannot be scientifically falsified or corroborated. Hefner's accomplishments in demonstrating the scientific compatibility of many theological notions is admirable; however, his overall position would be strengthened with a more tacit acknowledgment of the limitations of scientific knowledge. His anthropology draws also from extrascientific commitments and is all the richer for it. (shrink)
This brief opening for a special issue of Tradition and Discovery: The Polanyi Society Periodical on Philip Clayton’s thought and its connection with that of Michael Polany introduces Clayton’s essay and the responses by Martinez Hewlett, Gregory R. Peterson, Andy F. Sanders and Waler B. Gulick.
Philip Quinn, John A. O’Brien Professor at the University of Notre Dame from 1985 until his death in 2004, was well known for his work in the philosophy of religion, political philosophy, and core areas of analytic philosophy. Although the breadth of his interests was so great that it would be virtually impossible to identify any subset of them as representative, the contributors to this volume provide an excellent introduction to, and advance the discussion of, some of the questions (...) of central importance to Quinn in the last years of his working life. Paul J. Weithman argues in his introduction that Quinn’s interest and analyses in many areas grew out of a distinctive and underlying sensibility that we might call “liberal faith.” It included belief in the value of a liberal education and in rigorous intellectual inquiry, the acceptance of enduring religious, cultural, and political pluralism, along with a keen awareness of problems posed by pluralism, and a deeply held but non-utopian faith in liberal democratic politics. These provocative essays, at the cutting edge of epistemology, the philosophy of religion, philosophical theology, and political philosophy, explore the tenets of liberal faith and invite continuing engagement with the philosophical issues. “Philip Quinn was admired enormously throughout the world of professional philosophy.... His reputation for rigor, his tireless service to the profession, and his essentially ‘non-dogmatic,’ but philosophically sophisticated faith is widely admired... The essays in this volume are first-rate contemporary philosophy along with an excellent introduction to Quinn’s work.” —_Charles Taliaferro, St. Olaf College_ "The papers that form _Liberal Faith_ give insightful treatments of three types of questions: first, how can we conscientiously believe something when there are many people we admire who do not believe it, and what is the underlying relation here between justification and rationality; second, what does it mean to desire union with God, and can Christians properly believe in the possibility of eternal self-annihilation; third, how should liberal democracy accommodate the religious convictions of its members, whether some comprehensive doctrine such as a religion is required to justify a commitment to human equality, and whether there is an absolute moral prohibition on the state use of torture. The volume has an unusually good introduction putting the papers into dialog with each other and with the work of Philip Quinn. The papers are cohesive because the central themes of Philip Quinn's work hold together into a picture of how Christianity and Liberal Democracy fit together." —_John Hare, Noah Porter Professor of Philosophical Theology, Yale Divinity School _ “This is a collection of high quality essays dealing with various topics related to Philip Quinn’s work. The book makes an original contribution by virtue of its individual papers, each of which is new. These essays will be of interest to scholars and students who followed Quinn’s work, especially in philosophy of religion and political philosophy.“ —_John Greco, The Leonard and Elizabeth Eslick Chair in Philosophy, Saint Louis University _. (shrink)
Philip Kitcher argued that the freedom to pursue one's version of the good life is the main aim of Mill's argument for freedom of expression. According to Kitcher, in certain scientific fields, political and epistemological asymmetries bias research toward conclusions that threaten this most important freedom of underprivileged groups. Accordingly, Kitcher claimed that there are Millian grounds for limiting freedom of inquiry in these fields to protect the freedom of the underprivileged. -/- I explore Kitcher's argument in light of (...) the interpretation Helen Longino gave to Mill's argument. She argued that free critical dialogue in the community allows bias to be overcome, through intersubjective criticism of hypotheses and the background assumptions that frame them. I suggest that Longino's approach allows for the identification of the fundamental problems of the research programs Kitcher targeted, and for the rejection of their claims to knowledge. Thus it is possible to address Kitcher's problem without limiting freedom of speech. (shrink)
In Science, Truth, and Democracy, Philip Kitcher develops the notion of well-ordered science: scientific inquiry whose research agenda and applications are subject to public control guided by democratic deliberation. Kitcher's primary departure from his earlier views involves rejecting the idea that there is any single standard of scientific significance. The context-dependence of scientific significance opens up many normative issues to philosophical investigation and to resolution through democratic processes. Although some readers will feel Kitcher has not moved far enough from (...) earlier epistemological positions, the book does represent an important addition to literature on science, society, and values. (shrink)
Genetic determinism is the idea that many significant human characteristics are rendered inevitable by the presence of certain genes. The psychologist Susan Oyama has famously compared arguing against genetic determinism to battling the undead. Oyama suggests that genetic determinism is inherent in the way we currently represent genes and what genes do. As long as genes are represented as containing information about how the organism will develop, they will continue to be regarded as determining causes no matter how much evidence (...) exists to the contrary. Philip Kitcher has strongly disputed Oyama’s diagnosis, arguing that the conventional ‘interactionist’ perspective on development is the correct framework for understanding the role of the genes in development. While acknowledging the legitimacy of many of Kitcher’s observations, I believe that Oyama’s view is substantially correct. In this paper I provide several lines of support for support the Oyama diagnosis. (shrink)
En este artículo me propongo analizar el punto de partida epistemológico de un reciente libro de Philip Kitcher (The Advancement of Science) a través de su discusión con las concepciónes ‘escépticas’. Podemos distinguir entre dos tipos de escepticismo en Ia trama deI libro de Kitcher: uno débil y otro radical. Intentamos difinir el tipo de realismo que Kitcher defiende, para finalmente mostrar que tal tipo de realismo es posible para Kitcher en Ia medida que no toma en cuenta el (...) escepticismo en su versión radical. En efecto, Kitcher sólo se enfrenta al escepticismo débil. Y es precisamente debido a esta restricción que es capaz de mantenerse al margen de una alternativa que sigue siendo crucial: realismo fuerte o realismo “de espíritu kantiano”.The purpose of this article is to carry out an analysis of the epistemologic standpoint on a recent book by Philip Kitcher (The Advancement of Science) by discussing the sceptic ideas which are dealt with there. We can discriminate between two kinds of scepticism appearing on Kitcher’s book: a weak and a radical one. Then we work towards a definition of the kind of realism held by this author and, finally, we try to show that such a viewpoint as Kitcher’s is possible to hold provided that we do not take the radical scepticism into account for that question. Kitcher only objects by means of the weak scepticism. And it is precisely because of that restriction that he is capable of not giving a definition of a crucial alternative: strong realism or realism in “Kantian spirit”. (shrink)
Philosophy is often conceived in the Anglophone world today as a subject that focuses on questions in particular ‘‘core areas,’’ pre-eminently epistemology and metaphysics. This article argues that the contemporary conception is a new version of the scholastic ‘‘self-indulgence for the few’’ of which Dewey complained nearly a century ago. Philosophical questions evolve, and a first task for philosophers is to address issues that arise for their own times. The article suggests that a renewal of philosophy today should turn the (...) contemporary conception inside out, attending to and developing further the valuable work being done on the supposed ‘‘periphery’’ and attending to the ‘‘core areas’’ only insofar as is necessary to address genuinely significant questions. (shrink)
A recent focus of Philip Kitcher’s research has been, somewhat surprisingly in the light of his earlier work, the philosophical analyses of literary works and operas. Some may see a discontinuity in Kitcher’s oeuvre in this respect – it may be difficult to see how his earlier contributions to philosophy of science relate to this much less mainstream approach to philosophy. The aim of this paper is to show that there is no such discontinuity: Kitcher’s contributions to the philosophy (...) of science and his more recent endeavors into the philosophy of literature and of music are grounded in the same big picture attitude towards the human mind – an attitude that he would undoubtedly call ‘pragmatic’: one that emphasizes the importance of those mental processes that are not (or not entirely) rational. (shrink)
“Skhandas my ass! Even that” Alan Watts, in his oft-quoted 1958 Chicago Review essay “Beat Zen, Square Zen, and Zen,”3 fails to mention Philip Whalen—whose “Sourdough Mountain Lookout” appeared in truncated form in the same issue—even though he takes Gary Snyder, Jack Kerouac, and Allen Ginsberg to task. In fact, toward the beginning of his essay, Watts even makes a statement about Confucianism and Taoism that sounds similar to the dynamics one finds at play in Whalen’s poetry. The ancient (...) Chinese practitioners possessed, according to Watts, “a universal vision of life as the Tao or way of nature in which the good and evil, the creative and the destructive, the wise and the foolish are the .. (shrink)
In Nietzsche and the Horror of Existence, Philip J. Kain makes a compelling case for taking Nietzsche’s concern with the subject of horror seriously and then challenges his conclusions about it. A corollary of existence, horror is an ineliminable part of being human. Our experience of horror prompts reflection on life and the act of philosophizing. Arguing it is a formative yet often overlooked theme in Nietzsche’s oeuvre, Kain recognizes that the experience of horror is central to “Nietzsche’s vision” (...) of life, truth, beauty, and knowledge (1). Kain examines Nietzsche’s interrogation of philosophical responses to horror, tracing his approach from his innovative reinterpretation of the function of tragic .. (shrink)
Despite the bad reputation of the legal profession, law remains king in America. A highly diverse society relies on the laws to maintain a working sense of the dignity and inviability of each individual. And a persistent element in contemporary debates is the fear that naturalistic theories of the human person will erode our belief that we have a dignity greater than that of other natural objects. Thus the endurance of the creation vs. evolution debate is due less to the (...) arguments of creationists, or to the continued influence of the book of Genesis, than to the reading of the evidence provided by Phillip E. Johnson of the University of California, Berkeley, Law School. (shrink)
This paper engages the philosophical concepts of subjectification and acknowledgment in conversation with Philip Pullman’s young adult novel, Northern Lights. Our particular focus is Lyra Belacqua, Pullman’s central character. Precarious in her vulnerability and in her unknown significance, we read Lyra as usefully negotiating the dangerous transition from childhood to adolescence. In her negotiation of this complex liminality, we argue that Lyra models those difficult-to-define moments encountered by children as they learn to be in and of the world. Situating (...) our reading in a Philosophy of Education discourse, we draw theoretically from the work of Gert Biesta and Stanley Cavell. With Biesta as the primary focus of our paper, we generalize beyond Northern Lights to argue that the reading of fiction constitutes “a weak educational event” in Biesta’s intriguing understanding of that phrase. Partly as a theoretical framing for the Pullman text, we begin with an outline of Biesta’s philosophy. (shrink)
Philip Kitcher's The Advancement of Science sets out, programmatically, a new naturalistic view of science as a process of building consensus practices. Detailed historical case studies--centrally, the Darwinian revolution--are intended to support this view. I argue that Kitcher's expositions in fact support a more conservative view, that I dub 'Legend Naturalism'. Using four historical examples which increasingly challenge Kitcher's discussions, I show that neither Legend Naturalism, nor the less conservative programmatic view, gives an adequate account of scientific progress. I (...) argue for a naturalism that is more informed by psychology and a normative account that is both more social and less realist than the views articulated in The Advancement of Science. (shrink)
If someone abstains from meat-eating for reasons of taste or personal economics, no moral or philosophical question arises. But when a vegetarian attempts to persuade others that they, too, should adopt his diet, then what he says requires philosophical attention. While a vegetarian might argue in any number of ways, this essay will be concerned only with the argument for a vegetarian diet resting on a moral objection to the rearing and killing of animals for the human table. The vegetarian, (...) in this laense, does not merely require us to change or justify our eating habits, but to reconsider our attitudes and behaviour towards members of other species across a wide range of practices. (shrink)
In this essay I describe seven central characteristics of Philip Quinn's approach to the epistemic challenge of religious diversity as they surface in his responses to other contemporary approaches. In the process an assessment is given of Quinn's contribution, and continued relevance, to the contemporary discussions about this topic. The first three sections describe Quinn's confrontations with Alvin Plantinga, William Alston, and John Hick. The next section presents critical comments on Quinn's unique notion of thinning.
Se discute el proyecto de la naturalización de la filosofía de la ciencia, a través de las teorías de Ronald Giere y Philip Kitcher. Ambas tienen en común la atención preferente que prestan a los procesos de decisión de los científicos individuales y la defensa de una concepción realista y racionalista de la ciencia. La comparación se lleva a cabo desde una triple perspectiva: su consideración como teorías darwinianas del desarrollo científico, su referencia a los modelos de la psicología (...) cogni tiva, y su posible coherencia con la tesis de la simetría defendida por los sociólogos de la escuela de Edimburgo. (shrink)
Philip Kitcher brings his own inclusive and liberatory purposes to bear in Preludes to Pragmatism: Toward a Reconstruction of Philosophy, including in several chapters in which he criticizes William James’s defense of religious belief in “The Will to Believe” and Varieties of Religious Experience, while affirming John Dewey’s emphasis on a “religious” orientation toward community and nature in A Common Faith. These chapters in Kitcher’swide-ranging and beautifully written book contain many insights and imaginative proposals for advancing a “post-religion”secular humanism (...) that he hopes may be able to stabilize the evolution and widen the effective reach of a deep and enduring human impulse toward altruism that he .. (shrink)
On April 26, 2013, Philip Kitcher met with a line-up of six critics at the New York Pragmatist Forum to learn what they thought about his latest large book, Preludes to Pragmatism: Toward a Reconstruction in Philosophy (Oxford University Press, 2012). The following contributions, as well as Kitcher’s reply, originated in this meeting, with each author taking into account Kitcher’s initial responses while further developing his or her arguments.As S. Joshua Thomas notes below, our purpose as critics has been (...) two-fold: first, to offer fair criticisms that avoid the kind of “tribalist” response Philip Kitcher often receives as an internationally well-known philosopher moving between two philosophical traditions that .. (shrink)
Philip Kitcher is a leading figure in the philosophy of science, and he is part of a growing community of scholars who have turned their attention from the field’s long-time focus on questions of logic and epistemology to the relation between science and society. Kitcher’s book Science, Truth, and Democracy (2001) charted a course between relativism and realism, arguing that the aims of science emerge from not only scientific curiosity but also practical and public concerns. The book also drew (...) on John Rawls’s A Theory of Justice (1999) to develop an ideal of “well-ordered science,” and then applied the ideal to various aspects of the scientific research agenda. Ten years later, complex public issues like climate change have grown more urgent, and with many people questioning mainstream science on climate change, evolutionary biology, vaccines, stem cell research, and other topics, the tensions between science and democracy seem more pronounced than ever. Kitcher’s Science in a Democrat. (shrink)
In Science, Truth, and Democracy, Philip Kitcher challenges the view that science has a single, context‐independent, goal, and that the pursuit of this goal is essentially immune from moral critique. He substitutes a context‐dependent account of science’s goal, and shows that this account subjects science to moral evaluation. I argue that Kitcher’s approach must be modified, as his account of science ultimately must be explicated in terms of moral concepts. I attempt, therefore, to give an account of science’s goal (...) that is free of direct moral entanglements but still makes this goal context‐dependent and leaves the choice of which projects to pursue subject to moral scrutiny. (shrink)
Se discute el proyecto de la "naturalización de la filosofía de la ciencia", a través de las teorías de Ronald Giere y Philip Kitcher. Ambas tienen en común la atención preferente que prestan a los procesos de decisión de los científicos individuales y la defensa de una concepción realista y racionalista de la ciencia. La comparación se lleva a cabo desde una triple perspectiva: su consideración como teorías darwinianas del desarrollo científico, su referencia a los modelos de la psicología (...) cognitiva, y su posible coherencia con la "tesis de la simetría" defendida por los sociólogos de la escuela de Edimburgo. (shrink)
I assess the ethical content of Philip Roth's account of his father's final years with, and death from, a tumor. I apply this to criticisms of the nature and content of case reports in medicine. I also draw some implications about modernism, postmodernism and narrative understandings.
The problem which motivates this paper bears on the relationship between Marxism and morality. It is not the well-established question of whether the Marxist's commitments undermine an attachment to ethical standards, but the more neglected query as to whether they allow the espousal of political ideals. The study and assessment of political ideals is pursued nowadays under the title of theory of justice, the aim of such theory being to provide a criterion for distinguishing just patterns of social organization from (...) unjust ones. The main rivals in the field represent justice respectively as legitimacy, welfare and fairness. Marxism does not put forward a distinctive conception of justice itself and the question is whether the Marxist is free to choose as he thinks fit among the candidates on offer. (shrink)
Kam-por Yu, Julia Tao, and Philip J. Ivanhoe (eds.), Taking Confucian Ethics Seriously: Contemporary Theories and Applications Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-6 DOI 10.1007/s11712-011-9253-y Authors Karyn Lai, School of History of Philosophy, The University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia Journal Dao Online ISSN 1569-7274 Print ISSN 1540-3009.
In response to various difficulties that confront John Hick’s pluralistic hypothesis, Philip Quinn proposes a recipe for developing more satisfactory pluralistic hypotheses. In this short exploratory paper I examine Quinn’s proposal, identify some problems that it faces, and consider some alternatives.
(2013). Critical notice of On the people's terms: a Republican theory and model of democracy, by Philip Pettit, Cambridge University Press, 2012, xii+333pp. Canadian Journal of Philosophy: Vol. 43, No. 4, pp. 494-513.
This essay explores a relatively unknown and previously unstudied Newman work, The Life of St. Philip: Arranged for the Days of the Year, that he prepared for the use of his nascent English Oratorian community.
From what has already been said it will be clear that Alcaeus of Messene, like the anonymous author of Anth. Pal. xvi. 6, was a supporter of Philip V at least until 201 B.C., that is, until the Second Macedonian War. The view that his breach with Philip followed the Messenian events of 215–214 has, however, been so frequently upheld that it deserves consideration. It appears to be based on one or more of the following assumptions. Philip's (...) activities in Messene resulted in driving that state into the Aetolo-Spartan camp: Alcaeus, as a loyal Messenian, will have followed the official Messenian policy. Further, Alcaeus wrote a poem accusing Philip of poisoning his guests: this is to be connected with the death of Aratus, in which the Achaean himself professed to see the hand of Philip. Finally, it is assumed that Alcaeus had already started his literary career at the time of the Messenian events of 215–214, since he has left an epigram celebrating the threefold victory at the Isthmus of the famous Cleitomachus of Thebes, whose floruit, it is claimed, was 216–212 . None of these arguments is really cogent: a very good case can be, and has been, made out for dating Cleitomachus’ success towards the end of the third century; the poisoning referred to is undoubtedly that of Callias and Epicrates which, being itself undated, cannot be used as a chronological index; and politically Alcaeus, as we shall see, was far from being an orthodox Messenian. (shrink)
It has become fashionable to try to prove the impossibility of there being a God. Findlay's celebrated ontological disproof has in the past quarter century given rise to vigorous controversy. More recently James Rachels has offered a moral argument intended to show that there could not be a being worthy of worship. In this paper I shall examine the position Rachels is arguing for in some detail. I shall endeavor to show that his argument is unsound and, more interestingly, that (...) the genuine philosophical perplexity which motivates it can be dispelled without too much difficulty. (shrink)
This article addresses shared themes in the writing of Saint Paul and the work of the science fiction writer Philip K. Dick. Much recent philosophical interest in Saint Paul focuses on his contemporary significance as a radical political thinker, following Jacob Taubes' influential late work, The Political Theology of Paul. Assessments of Paul's writing in this context highlight the various ways in which he uses fictionalizing, for example in setting up the tension between the present world and a messianic (...) future, in the role he assigns to faith, and in the importance he assigns to the counter-factuality of resurrection. Yet the common thread of fictionalizing running through these themes has not been explicitly discussed. Meanwhile, the supposed `religious turn' in Dick's late writing has often been taken to have less political significance than his earlier science fiction. Considering Paul alongside Philip K. Dick, this article will attempt to bring out this central role of fictionalizing in the religious experiences of both. Like Paul, Dick experienced a visionary encounter with a God-like entity that shaped his interests and writing for the remainder of his life, and developed his own soteriology in response to what he perceived as the continued existence of Empire in modernity. Bringing out the mutual complementarity of Dick and Paul is facilitated by a framework derived from Henri Bergson's Two Sources of Religion, which theorizes the relation between mechanization as a human tendency characterizing both imperialism and industrialization, and fabulation as a human faculty for using fiction for the jointly immanent-transcendent purposes of survival/salvation. In this context, the diverse modes of fictionalizing employed by both Dick and Paul, including their unconsciously produced visions, may be understood as part of an ongoing, continually renewed strategy of revolutionary transformation of both self and world. (shrink)
While the earlier work of Philip Kitcher, in particular The Advancement of Science (1993), continues to inform his more recent studies, such as Science, Truth, and Democracy (2001), there are significant "changes of opinion" from those articulated in the 1990s. One may even speak of two different stages in the configuration of epistemological proposals. An analysis, from an empiricist standpoint, of the shifts between one and the other indicates further evolution towards realist positions but much more modest ones than (...) those previously endorsed. Kitcher qualifies former individualism with an ensuing defence of pluralism, vital to his effort to develop a social epistemology. The present centrality of the achievement of a well-ordered science , one that promotes the common good within the context of democracies, encapsulates recent variation in the work of Kitcher and may be considered one of the author's most defendable proposals, even including its classically empiricist resonance. (shrink)
One of the most enigmatic figures in Macedonian history is Alexander of Lyncestis, son of Aeropus and son-in-law of the great Antipater. During the reign of his royal namesake he achieved sensational prominence, deposed from his command of the élite Thessalian cavalry under suspicion of treasonable correspondence with the Persian court. Still more sensational, however, is his involvement in the murder of Philip II. Our sources are unanimous that together with his brothers, Heromenes and Arrhabaeus, he was party to (...) the murder, but secured pardon by his immediate recognition of Alexander as king.The immediate recognition is certain, the participation in the murder much less so. (shrink)
In a recent paper, Robert A. Oakes argues that a doctrine central to, and partially constitutive of, classical theism implies a certain sort of pantheism. The doctrine in question is a modal form of the claim that God conserves in existence the world of contingent things; alternatively, it is the view that all contingently existing things are necessarily continuously dependent upon God for their existence. And the variety of pantheism at stake is a modal form of the thesis that all (...) contingent things are, in some sense, included within the being of God. (shrink)