This extended essay presents the meditations of an eminent scholar on medieval philosophical theology. Beginning with a discussion of faith and reason, Ramon M. Lemos argues that we can be practically justified in accepting certain religions even though we may not know that their central claims are true. Lemos moves on to his operational definition of God, based on St. Anselm's concept of God as a being that which no greater can be conceived. From this ground, he considers various medieval (...) arguments for the existence of God and refutes the ability of the major arguments to succeed in demonstrating God's existence. He concludes that it is impossible to demonstrate the existence of God philosophically. This provocative book addresses the fundamental issues in the philosophy of religion—from a Christian perspective—while maintaining the necessary intellectual distance between revealed theology and philosophy. (shrink)
The relativist contends that one has a duty to do something if and only if one's society holds that one does. The subjectivist maintains that one has a duty to do something if and only if one believes that one does. The objectivist argues that men have objective duties which are sometimes independent of what either they or their societies believe they are. My object is to indicate what seem to be some obvious, Yet fatal, Objections to relativism and subjectivism, (...) And to show how objectivists can take account of certain of the insights of relativists and subjectivists. I seek to show that relativists and subjectivists misunderstand the import of their insights, And that it is because of this that they suppose that these insights provide support for relativism or subjectivism when in fact they do not, And can be, Indeed need to be, Incorporated into a sound objectivist position. (shrink)
This is a work in speculative metaphysics in the grand manner. The type of absolute idealism Sprigge endeavors to vindicate is monistic panpsychism. This he does not only by means of detailed sustained argument but also by informed discussions, manifesting admirable erudition, of recent analytic philosophers such as Russell, Feigl, Quine, Armstrong, and Williams and of philosophers such as Spinoza, Leibniz, Berkeley, Hume, Kant, Fichte, Schopenhauer, Bradley, Royce, James, Santayana, Husserl, Whitehead, and Hartshorne.
One of the author's central theses in this admirable book is that in order to explain adequately the role of desire in practical reasoning and the explanation of action, it is necessary to distinguish between a broad sense of "desire," which "might be called the philosopher's sense," according to which the term applies to whatever moves a person to act, and a narrower, "more ordinary sense," according to which a person can decide to do things he has no desire to (...) do and also decide not to do other things he does have a desire to do. Since, Schueler argues, we do sometimes do things which we do not want to do, and we do not do other things which we do want to do and can do, the first sense of "desire" is too broad to enable us to explain how this is possible. This is because those who use "desire" only in the broad sense fail to distinguish between what Schueler terms "pro attitudes" and "desires proper" and in effect maintain that it is only desires proper, never pro attitudes by themselves, that move us to act. Thus, to use an example from Schueler, my belief that I have a duty to do something, such as attend a meeting at my son's school, might lead me to have a pro attitude toward attending it and to decide to do so even though I do not want to do it but instead want to stay home and read. Schueler's distinction between pro attitudes and desires proper has obvious implications for moral philosophy, some of which he discusses briefly. (shrink)