Stephen RAPP has embarked on a very ambitious project – to investigate Georgian cultural contacts with the Byzantine and Iranian worlds through Georgian historial writing from its beginnings to medieval times. This involves nothing less than a presentation in English of all the relevant texts, save where a recent translation has already made them accessible, a survey of modern scholarship in Georgian as well as western languages, and a critical assessment of the dates of composition of the various works, their (...) motivation and reception. The volume under review is the first of a planned trilogy. Based on research dating back over a decade, it concentrates on those texts in the Georgian “Chronicles” which predate the political unification of the country. The second volume will tackle the literary dimension of Georgia's conversion to Christianity, the invention of a native script, and the beginnings of ecclesiastical literature; while the third volume will study the reorientation of the Georgian élite from their original Iranian background towards the Byzantine world as this is reflected in local historiography. All in all, this massive undertaking will update, expand and carry forward the work of Cyril TOUMANOFF reflected in his Studies in Christian Caucasian History, which was published exactly forty years before R.'s first volume appeared. (shrink)
Claims about ‘the meaning of life’ have tended to be made and discussed in conjunction with bold metaphysical and theological affirmations. For life to have meaning, there must be a comprehensive divine plan to give it meaning, or there must be an intelligible cosmic process with a ‘telos’ that a man needs to know if his life is to be meaningfully orientated. Or, it is thought to be a condition of the meaningfulness of life, that values should be ultimately ‘conserved’ (...) in some way, that no evil should be unredeemable and irrational. And it may be claimed that if death were to end our experience, meaninglessness would triumph. (shrink)
There are numerous ‘solutions’ to the problem of evil, from which theists can and do freely take their pick. It is fairly clear that any attempt at a solution must involve a scaling-down of one or more of the assertions out of whose initial conflict the problem arises – either by a downward revision of what we mean by omnipotence, or omniscience, or benevolence, or by minimizing the amount or condensing the varieties of evil actually to be found in the (...) universe. And indeed, in one or more of these different ways, the charge of logical inconsistency can no doubt always be vouchsafed at least a formal answer. Unfortunately, the mere ironing-out of formal inconsistencies does not of itself go very far towards providing a solution to this central problem of theism which will be morally, religiously, and intellectually convincing and acceptable as well as logically impeccable. Everything depends on how the inconsistencies are ironed out. For every attempt at a solution of the problem of evil has to be made at a price, in keeping with the scale and type of conceptual or ethical readjustments which it requires of us. And if the solutions which are generally offered seldom seem to carry much conviction, this is because the price they require us to pay nearly always seems far too high. A ‘solution’ to the problem of evil that is to count as a genuine solution must not require us to make any conceptual or ethical readjustments which it would not on independent grounds be entirely reasonable to make. A ‘solution’ that was finally to count as the solution of the problem of evil would presumably need to be that particular one which required us to make only those conceptual and ethical readjustments which were on independent grounds the ones that it was the most reasonable to make. What follows is offered as a solution, in the above sense, of the problem of evil. However, I shall not here attempt to argue that it is the solution. (shrink)
Fr. Bernard Lonergan's writings have not so far received much discussion in British philosophical journals, although they contain one of the most fully-developed contemporary presentations of Catholic Christianity and have a substantial and distinctive philosophical content. They have not lacked theological commentators, both in print and in conferencediscussions. The present article has three aims: to draw attention to Lonergan's work and its philosophical relevance; to notice the publication of his latest book, Method in Theology , and to venture some critical (...) comments on certain arguments about the intelligibility of being, being and the good, and God, in his book Insight . These arguments are central to Lonergan's account of theism, a theism which, in its orthodox Roman Catholic form, is presupposed by Method in Theology . The books are organically interrelated. One admirer of Lonergan described the newer book as ‘the book [Lonergan] originally set out to write’. (shrink)
In an important article in the opening issue of Religious Studies , Professor H. H. Price states that: ‘Epistemologists have not usually had much to say about believing “in”, though ever since Plato's time they have been interested in believing “that”’ . We are all considerably in debt to Professor Price for his extremely lucid analysis which will, I think, go a very long way towards filling the lacuna to which he points. As I find myself in agreement with almost (...) every point which Price has made, my purpose here is not to make a ‘reply’ to his article in the usual sense but to suggest that his analysis of believing is curiously and disappointingly incomplete. I shall offer some reasons of my own in support of this suggestion, not so much in criticism of Price's thesis as in hopes of finding some way out of the difficulties which, I take it, forced Price to stop short just where he did. It will be the burden of my argument to show that a more complete and satisfactory account of believing must include a description of its ‘metaphysical element’ as well as of its epistemological and psychological conditions. For it is at the point of what I shall call the ‘metaphysics of believing’ that Price's analysis and description of belief ‘in’ and belief ‘that’ stops short. 1. (shrink)
It is by no means unusual in works of philosophy for writers to make use of examples from literature or to bemoan the lack of literary examples in the work of other philosophers. Nor is it unusual for philosophers to write substantial tomes without ever mentioning any work of literature or to condemn the use of literary examples as a threat to clarity of thought. This contradiction in practice and principle might lead us to suspect that what we are here (...) dealing with is at least to some extent a philosophical disagreement, and I believe this to be the case. Unfortunately, what is extremely unusual is any direct discussion of the philosophical issues involved, that is to say any discussion of what philosophers are doing when they appeal in their writings to works of literature, and of what if anything is lost by those who fail to do so. (shrink)
There is always a danger in philosophy, that what is intended initially as simply one explanation of some form of activity, should come to be regarded as the only possible form of explanation. Nor does this danger seem to be diminished where a philosopher's aim is itself that of attacking limited notions of what is possible as an explanation. This is one, though not the only, reason why it is often the case that what at first appears as a revolutionary (...) and illuminating solution of certain philosophical difficulties, later gives rise to even more intractable problems of its own. (shrink)
Art is without doubt a powerful agent in determining how nature appears to us. Andrew Forge describes seeing tree leaves in sunlight, and ‘thinking Pissarro’. ‘I am wrapped round by Impressionism and the leaves look like brush strokes’. To Harold Osborne, once one has been impressed by Van Gogh's painting of certain objects, ‘it is difficult ever again to see the objects uninfluenced by Van Gogh's vision of them’.
Charting significant growth in science production over the 20th century in four European Union member states, this neo-institutional analysis describes the development and current state of universities and research institutes that bolster Europe’s position as a key region in global science. On-going internationalization and Europeanization of higher education and science has been accompanied by increasing competition as well as collaboration. Despite the policy goals to foster innovation and further expand research capacity, in cross-national and historical comparison neither the level of (...) R&D investments nor country size accounts completely for the differential growth of scientific productivity. Based on a comprehensive historical database from 1900 to 2010, this analysis uncovers both stable and dynamic patterns of production and productivity in Germany, France, Belgium, and Luxembourg. Measured in peer-reviewed research articles collected in Thomson Reuters’ Science Citation Index Expanded, which includes journals in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, and Health, we show the varying contributions of different organizational forms, especially research universities and research institutes. Comparing the institutionalization pathways that created the conditions necessary for continuous and strong growth in scientific productivity in the European center of global science emphasizes that the research university is the key organizational form across countries. (shrink)
This book provides a collection of sources, many of them fragmentary and previously scattered and hard to access, for the development of Peripatetic philosophy in the later Hellenistic period and the early Roman Empire. It also supplies the background against which the first commentator on Aristotle from whom extensive material survives, Alexander of Aphrodisias (fl. c. AD 200), developed his interpretations which continue to be influential even today. Many of the passages are here translated into English for the first time, (...) including the whole of the summary of Peripatetic ethics attributed to 'Arius Didymus'. (shrink)
A discussion of Aristotle’s thought on determinism and culpability, _Necessity, Cause, and Blame_ also reveals Richard Sorabji’s own philosophical commitments. He makes the original argument here that Aristotle separates the notions of necessity and cause, rejecting both the idea that all events are necessarily determined as well as the idea that a non-necessitated event must also be non-caused. In support of this argument, Sorabji engages in a wide-ranging discussion of explanation, time, free will, essence, and purpose in nature. He also (...) provides historical perspective, arguing that these problems remain intimately bound up with modern controversies. “_Necessity, Cause and Blame_ would be counted by all as one of Sorabji’s finest. The book is essential for philosophers—both specialists on the Greeks and modern thinkers about free will—and also compelling for non-specialists.”—Martha Nussbaum “Original and important... The book relates Aristotle’s discussions to both the contemporary debates on determinism and causation and the ancient ones. It is especially detailed on Stoic arguments about necessity... and on the social and legal background to Aristotle’s thought.”—_Choice_ “It is difficult to convey the extraordinary richness of this book.... A Greekless philosopher could read it with pleasure... At the same time, its learning and scholarship are enormous.”—G. E. M. Anscombe, _Times Literary Supplement _. (shrink)
This publication of the proceedings of the first of a new series of colloquia to be held at the University of Western Ontario contains an opening address on existence and quantification by W. V. Quine and three symposia. The paper discussed in the first of these symposia, "Descartes' Ontological Argument" by Anthony Kenny, follows closely one chapter of Kenny's recent book on Descartes. Kenny's paper contains both an interesting account of Descartes' views and some challenging remarks about ontological arguments in (...) general. His paper is discussed in separate commentaries by Norman Malcolm and Terence Penelhum. An interesting feature of this volume is that some comments from the floor are recorded and included along with the regular commentaries. Ernest Sosa and Bernard Williams comment on Kenny's paper along with Malcolm and Penelhum. Kenny responds to all four commentators. The other two symposia follow a similar format. The second, "On Events and Event-descriptions," features a paper by R. M. Martin which focuses on the logic of event descriptions and their role in scientific explanation. Events for Martin are extensional entities, unlike facts, but like facts they are "fictitious in the sense of being handled on virtually." His views are discussed by Donald Davidson, R. J. Butler and Wesley Salmon. In the third symposium on "Existence Assumptions in Practical Thinking," Stephan Körner elaborates on his view of effective choice, relating his account to those of Hume, Kant, and Peirce on the specific topic of the relationship of choice and natural necessity. The commentaries of J. J. Thomson and Bernard Williams are helpful here in getting Körner to clarify his interesting views. In sum, this first colloquium at the University of Western Ontario features genuine philosophical communication on some important issues.--R. H. K. (shrink)
One of the most enduring criticisms of John Dewey's political thought is that it is unsuspicious of power. This essay responds to this critique by advancing the claim that power is an integral but implicit element of Dewey's conception of human experience. Given Dewey's indirect treatment of power, this essay has two primary tasks. First, it reconstructs and develops an explicit conception of power for Deweyan pragmatism. Second, it evaluates the extent that Dewey's political and social philosophy is able to (...) criticize power relations. Taken together, I aim to provide a more coherent and realistic defense of the political dimensions of Dewey's democratic theory. This defense moves Deweyan pragmatism toward a democratic politics that neither elides conflict nor evades power. (shrink)
The Hellenistic philosophers and schools of philosophy are emerging from the shadow of Plato and Aristotle and are increasingly studied for their intrinsic philosophical value. They are not only interesting in their own right, but also form the intellectual background of the late Roman Republic. This study gives a comprehensive and readable account of the principal doctrines of the Stoics, Epicureans and various sceptical traditions from the death of Alexander the Great in 323 B.C. to around 200 A.D. Discussions are (...) arranged topically in order to address underlying issues and to make clear what the different schools have in common and how they differ. At the same time the coherence of each system as a whole is emphasized. (shrink)
The Cambridge Histories of philosophy, extending from Thales to the seventeenth century, are not a formal series. Nevertheless, they have a distinctive character: authoritative accounts that combine general coverage of a period with the individual contributions of their authors and indicate scholarly controversies. This volume is a worthy continuation of the tradition.
This study describes the level of moral sensitivity among nursing students enrolled in a traditional baccalaureate nursing program and a master’s nursing program. Survey responses to the Modified Moral Sensitivity Questionnaire for Student Nurses from 250 junior, senior, and graduate students from one nursing school were analyzed. It was not possible to draw conclusions based on the tool. Moral category analysis showed students ranked the category structuring moral meaning highest and interpersonal orientation second. The moral issue ranking highest was honesty, (...) respect for the patient second, and third was responsibility to know the patient’s situation. Seniors agreed more often about the need to focus on patient safety. As students progress through the baccalaureate program and into the graduate program, their perspectives increasingly recognize the contextuality of moral issues. The results show a need to further develop a tool to measure moral sensitivity, using student understanding and perceptions of moral issues. (shrink)