The thesis of this article is that there has never been any ground for the controversy between the doctrine of free will and determinism, that it is based upon a misapprehension, that the two assertions are entirely consistent, that one of them strictly implies the other, that they have been opposed only because of our natural want of the analytical imagination. In so saying I do not tamper with the meaning of either phrase. That would be unpardonable. I mean free (...) will in the natural and usual sense, in the fullest, the most absolute sense in which for the purposes of the personal and moral life the term is ever employed. I mean it as implying responsibility, merit and demerit, guilt and desert. I mean it as implying, after an act has been performed, that one " could have done otherwise " than one did. I mean it as conveying these things also, not in any subtly modified sense but in exactly the sense in which we conceive them in life and in law and in ethics. These two doctrines have been opposed because we have not realised that free will can be analysed without being destroyed, and that determinism is merely a feature of the analysis of it. And if we are tempted to take refuge in the thought of an "ultimate ", an "innermost" liberty that eludes the analysis, then we have implied a deterministic basis and constitution for this liberty as well. For such a basis and constitution lie in the idea of liberty. -/- The thesis is not, like that of Green or Bradley, that the contending opinions are reconciled if we adopt a certain metaphysic of the ego, as that it is timeless, and identifies itself with a desire by a " timeless act". This is to say that the two are irreconcilable, as they are popularly supposed to be, except by a theory that delivers us from the conflict by taking us out of time. Our view on the contrary is that from the natural and temporal point of view itself there never was any need of a reconciliation but only of a comprehension of the meaning of terms. (The metaphysical nature of the self and its identity through time is a problem for all who confront memory, anticipation, etc.; it has no peculiar difficulties arising from the present problem.) -/- I am not maintaining that determinism is true; only that it is true insofar as we have free will. That we are free in willing is, broadly speaking, a fact of experience. That broad fact is more assured than any philosophical analysis. It is therefore surer than the deterministic analysis of it, entirely adequate as that in the end appears to be. But it is not here affirmed that there are no small exceptions, no slight undetermined swervings, no ingredient of absolute chance. All that is here said is that such absence of determination, if and so far as it exists, is no gain to freedom, but sheer loss of it; no advantage to the moral life, but blank subtraction from it. -- When I speak below of "the indeterminist" I mean the libertarian indeterminist, that is, him who believes in free will and holds that it involves indetermination. (shrink)
Although the style is a bit flamboyant, this entry in the Studies in Modern European Literature provides a valuable introduction to Buber's I and Thou and an extended study of his relation to Hasidism. --R. R. E.
Moser investigates the relevance of metaphysics to contemporary natural science and technology. He includes an analysis of the Aristotelian and scholastic concept of metaphysics, a discussion of Heidegger and Hartmann, and an exploration of a possibility of a metaphysics of nature and technology along Aristotelian lines. --R. R. E.
A detailed exposition of Kant's theory of perceptual objects and persons, from the point of view of contemporary analysis. The attempt is made to clarify Kant's theory for readers who approach Kant from that point of view. Of special value are the criticisms of phenomenalist interpretations of Kant's doctrine of physical objects, and the comparison with Strawson's account of persons.--R. R. E.
J. Krishnamurti (1895-1986) was thought by many to be a modern-day equivalent of the Buddha. In fact, he was once even considered to be the second coming of Christ. While many think it wonderful to live and work in close proximity with such a person, it's difficult to understand the depth of what this means and how challenging this might be. In Knocking at the Open Door, author R.E. Mark Lee provides an ordinary person view of what being close-up and (...) working together with such a man means, how it challenges one at every turn, and how it causes one to question ceaselessly, even more deeply than one ordinarily would. Lee offers an insightful, candid, and heartfelt narrative that reveals various unknown facets of the eminent world teacher J. Krishnamurti and highlights his distinctive vision for education worldwide. This comprehensive volume brings alive the practical and everyday interactions Lee had with Krishnamurti during a twenty-year period in India and the United Sates. Knocking at the Open Door shares a clear and honest account that demonstrates the challenges of working with Krishnamurti in running a school that is true to the teaching and yet able to function in the reality of modern parental, student, and educational establishment expectations. (shrink)
“To whom is the Consecration of Medal, Stature or even Pyramid more jusly due, than to … the late Illustraious Boyle? … for the happy Improvement of Otto Guericks Magdeburg Exhausterm and for his Profound and Noble Researches into all the abstruser Parts and Recesses of the most useful Philosophy … I have named the Illustrious Boyle, and fix his Trophy here.”John Evelyn, Numismata, 1697.
Open peer commentary on the article “The Circular Conditions of Second-order Science Sporadically Illustrated with Agent-based Experiments at the Roots of Observation” by Manfred Füllsack. Upshot: I follow the general tenor of Füllsack’s target article but I have some basic reservations as to the utilization of the thermodynamics involved.
This volume contains papers from a 1962 Symposium in the Philosophy of Mind held at Wayne State University. There are seven essays, each accompanied by lengthy and usually quite astute comments, and followed by a shorter rejoinder. Chisholm contributes a refinement of his much discussed criteria for intentional connectives: "On Some Psychological Concepts and the 'Logic' of Intentionality." The scare quotes are well-placed around "Logic," as it is Chisholm's intuitive rather than formal logical perspicacity which carries the weight of the (...) argument. Ayer's paper, "The Concept of a Person," has already been published in his book of the same name. The most deliberate exercise in epistemic logic is Castañeda's paper, "Consciousness and Behavior: Their Basic Connections." This essay deserves close scrutiny, as it represents a disciplined attempt to rehabilitate more traditional conceptions of consciousness and, particularly, self-consciousness. Putnam has some more to say about minds and machines in "The Mental Life of Some Machines." In what is possibly the best paper in the volume, Sellars develops the dialectic that runs from phenomenalism, through various forms of realism, to a critical scientific realism mediated by a Kantian-style phenomenalism. Aune's comments on the paper are very illuminating. Alston, owing to the delay in publication of the Symposium, joins a bit late the list of those who are criticizing and rejecting the logical barrier between reasons and causes that has been erected by Melden et al. Finally, Firth tries to delimit our concept of seeing by arguing in a manner more suggestive than definitive for causal criteria for the use of the term. The general tone of the volume is exploratory.—E. A. R. (shrink)
Addis contributes the slightly longer essay, "Ryle's Ontology of Mind," while Lewis's contribution is titled "Moore's Realism," in this, the second volume of the Iowa Publications in Philosophy. After overcoming an initial wave of incredulity that it would ever occur to anyone to include mention of Ryle, Moore, and ontology in the same breath, the reader—with an apprehensive eye on the place of publication—might resign himself to wading through the carnage created by the wild wielding of a metaphysical ax whetted (...) on a Bergmannian stone. Happily, this is not the case. Both authors are convinced that Moore and Ryle need an ontology to solve the problems they have set their analyses to work upon ; and neither author has any compunction about attributing an implicit substance ontology to both Moore and Ryle. It need hardly be added that Lewis and Addis do Moore and Ryle the courtesy of explicitating this ontology and subsequently showing its inadequacies from a basically Bergmannian point of view. But all of this is carried out in a deft and scholarly fashion, as with a scalpel and not an ax. The net results are a penetrating critique of two important philosophers and a challenging display of the virtues of a method of analysis that does not stop at a linguistic or phenomenological level.—E. A. R. (shrink)