Some of the most interesting recent work in philosophy of language and metaphysics is focused on questions about propositions, the abstract, truth-bearing contents of sentences and beliefs. The aim of this guide is to give instructors and students a road map for some significant work on propositions since the mid-1990s. This work falls roughly into two areas: challenges to the existence of propositions and theories about the nature and structure of propositions. The former includes both a widely discussed puzzle about (...) propositional designators as well as direct and indirect arguments against the existence of propositions. The latter is dominated by what is currently the central debate about the metaphysics of propositions, i.e. whether they are structured, composite entities or unstructured ontological simples. This issue has eclipsed older debates about whether propositions can be identified with sets of possible worlds or other kinds of sentence intensions. Author Recommends 1. Soames, Scott. 'Direct Reference, Propositional Attitudes, and Semantic Content.' Philosophical Topics 15 (1987): 47–87. Reprinted in Propositions and Attitudes . Eds. N. Salmon and S. Soames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. 197–239. Essential groundwork for more recent work on propositions. Soames gives a careful and exacting presentation of the case against identifying propositions with sets of possible worlds or other truth-supporting circumstances. Also contains a detailed statement of the Russellian conception of propositions on which propositions are ordered sets of objects, properties and relations. 2. King, Jeffrey. 'Designating Propositions.' The Philosophical Review 111 (2002): 341–71. Sometimes substituting a definite description for a corresponding 'that'-clause can lead to bizarre changes in truth-conditions: compare 'Bill fears that Hillary will be president' with 'Bill fears the proposition that Hillary will be president'. This puzzle about propositional designators threatens the relational analysis of propositional attitude reports, the view that 'believes' expresses a relation to the proposition designated by its 'that'-clause, and thereby poses an indirect threat to the existence of propositions. King's solution posits an ambiguity in verbs like 'fear' that embed both 'that'-clauses and definite descriptions. 3. Jubien, Michael. 'Propositions and the Objects of Thought.' Philosophical Studies 104 (2001): 47–62. A direct attack on the existence of propositions. Jubien deploys an analogue of the problem that Paul Benacerraf raised for set-theoretical reductions of numbers against metaphysical reductions of propositions. Just as numbers can be reduced to sets in many different ways, any reduction of propositions brings with it equally good variants, thus making any such reduction arbitrary and unmotivated. The only alternative is to treat propositions as abstract metaphysical primitives. As Jubien argues, however, abstract primitive entities are incapable of doing what propositions must do, i.e. represent objects and states of affairs on their own, without the input of thinking subjects. The upshot is the propositions cannot be reduced and they cannot be primitive, and so they must not exist. 4. Hanks, Peter. 'How Wittgenstein Defeated Russell's Multiple Relation Theory of Judgment.' Synthese 154 (2007): 121–46. Scepticism about propositions has recently led some philosophers, Jubien included, to resuscitate Russell's multiple relation theory of judgment, the idea that judgment is a many-place relation to objects, properties and relations. This paper explains why Russell himself abandoned that theory, and why the theory is still refuted by an objection due to Wittgenstein. 5. Hofweber, Thomas. 'Inexpressible Properties and Propositions.' Oxford Studies in Metaphysics . 2 vols. Ed. D. Zimmerman. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006. 155–206. An indirect attack on the existence of propositions. Hofweber argues that sentences like 'Bill believes something that Hillary asserted' do not commit us to the existence of propositions. His view is that propositional quantification is an instance of what he calls 'internal' or 'inferential role' quantification, a kind of quantification that carries no ontological implications. 6. Schiffer, Stephen. The Things We Mean . Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003. esp. chs 1–2. Schiffer defends his theory of pleonastic propositions, on which propositions are unstructured, have no parts, and are very finely grained. 7. Bealer, George. 'Propositions.' Mind 107 (1998): 1–32. Bealer defends his algebraic theory of propositions, which, like Schiffer's pleonastic account, treats propositions as unstructured metaphysical simples. 8. King, Jeffrey. The Nature of and Structure of Content . Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007. The best developed current theory of the structure in structured propositions. King identifies propositions with certain kinds of facts in which objects, properties and relations are bound together by amalgams of syntactic and semantic relations. 9. Hanks, Peter. 'Recent Work on Propositions.' Philosophy Compass 4 (2009): 1–18. A survey of work on propositions since the mid-1990s that complements this teaching and learning guide. Contains responses to Jubien's and Hofweber's arguments against propositions and critical discussions of Schiffer's pleonastic propositions and King's theory of propositional structure. Online Resources 1. http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/propositions/ Propositions (Matthew McGrath) 2. http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/propositions-structured/ Structured Propositions (Jeffrey King) 3. http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/propositions-singular/ Singular Propositions (Greg Fitch) Sample Partial Syllabus The following partial syllabus can be used as a unit on recent work on propositions in graduate level courses in philosophy of language or metaphysics. Week 1: A Substitution Puzzle About Propositional Designators King, Jeffrey. 'Designating Propositions'. Moltmann, Friederike. 'Propositional Attitudes Without Propositions.' Synthese 135 (2003): 77–118. Week 2: The Benacerraf Problem and Propositional Representation Benacerraf, Paul. 'What Numbers Could Not Be.' Philosophical Review 74 (1965): 47–73. Jubien, Michael. 'Propositions and the Objects of Thought.' Week 3: Propositional Quantification Hofweber, Thomas. 'Inexpressible Properties and Propositions'. Hofweber, Thomas. 'A Puzzle about Ontology.' Noûs 39 (2005): 256–83. Week 4: Schiffer on Pleonastic Propositions Schiffer, Stephen. 'Language-Created Language-Independent Entities.' Philosophical Topics 24 (1996): 149–67. Schiffer, Stephen. The Things We Mean , chs 1–2. Week 5: King on Structured Propositions King, Jeffrey. 'Structured Propositions and Complex Predicates.' Noûs , 29 (1995): 516–35. King, Jeffrey. The Nature and Structure of Content , chs 1–3. Focus Questions 1. Why does identifying propositions with sentence intensions, e.g. sets of possible worlds, 'require the attitudes to have a particular sort of closure under logical consequence, which they clearly don't have' (Mark Richard)? 2. How does the difference between (a) and (b) pose a threat to the existence of propositions? (a) Bill fears that Hillary will be president. (b) Bill fears the proposition that Hillary will be president. 3. What is the Benacerraf problem for metaphysical reductions of propositions? 4. Why must a proposition represent 'on its own cuff' (Michael Jubien)? Why is this a problem for the view that propositions are primitive abstract entities? 5. What does it mean to say that propositions are structured ? Give two different accounts of what propositional structure might be. (shrink)
Abstract This paper summarizes certain aspects of an assessment of the level of the moral judgement of three groups of children: mildly educationally subnormal children, ESN(M), who are also maladjusted; stable ESN(M) children; and stable children of approximately average intelligence. A minimum age of 12.0 years was stipulated; all the children attended secondary school with the oldest in the total sample being 15 years 9 months. The assessment procedure which, although owing much if not all of its rationale to Piaget, (...) is original in its mode of presentation and largely in its content, is described. The results of each of the three groups are compared. Also, the results are correlated with IQ. This enables a judgement to be arrived at as to the relative importance of (a) intelligence and (b) social adjustment in the making of mature moral decisions and choices. (shrink)
Demonstrating Richard Rorty’s breadth of scholarship and his influence on diverse issues across the social sciences and humanities, this comprehensive bibliography contains 1,165 citations. A unique reference work on neo-pragmatism, this bibliography is essential for anyone researching Rorty’s work and its impact on philosophy, literature, the arts, religion, the social sciences, politics, and education.
A descriptive polytheist thinks there are at least two gods. John Hick and Richard Swinburne are descriptive polytheists. In this respect, they are like Thomas Aquinas and many other theists. What sets Swinburne and Hick apart from Aquinas, however, is that unlike him they are normative polytheists. That is, Swinburne and Hick think that it is right that we, or at least some of us, worship more than one god. However, the evidence available to me shows that only Swinburne, (...) and not Hick, is a cultic polytheist: he actually worships more than one god. I conclude that only Swinburne is a polytheist par excellence. (shrink)
Arguably the most influential of all contemporary English-speaking philosophers, Richard Rorty has transformed the way many inside and outside philosophy think about the discipline and the traditional ways of practising it. Drawing on a wide range of thinkers from Darwin and James to Quine, Wittgenstein, Heidegger and Derrida, Rorty has injected a bold anti-foundationalist vision into philosophical debate, into discussions in literary theory, communication studies, political theory and education, and, as public intellectual, into national debates about the responsibilities of (...) America in the modern world. The essays in this volume offer a balanced exposition and critique of Rorty's views on knowledge, language, truth, science, morality and politics. The editorial introduction presents a valuable overview of Rorty's philosophical vision. Written by a distinguished team of philosophers, this volume will have an unusual appeal outside philosophy to students in the social sciences, literary studies, cultural studies and political theory. (shrink)
Abstract: In The Evolution of Morality, Richard Joyce argues there is good reason to think that the “moral sense” is a biological adaptation, and that this provides a genealogy of the moral sense that has a debunking effect, driving us to the conclusion that “our moral beliefs are products of a process that is entirely independent of their truth, … we have no grounds one way or the other for maintaining these beliefs.” I argue that Joyce's skeptical conclusion is (...) not warranted. Even if the moral sense is a biological adaptation, developed moralities (such as Aristotelian eudaimonism) can “co-opt” it into new roles so that the moral judgments it makes possible can come to transcend the evolutionary process that is “entirely independent of their truth.” While evolutionary theory can shed much light on our shared human nature, moral theories must still be vindicated, or debunked, by moral arguments. (shrink)
Interview with Richard Rorty, April 1997, Amsterdam. Occasion for the interview was Rorty being the occupant of the Spinoza Chair in 1997. The interview is mostly about Rorty's paper 'The Intellectuals and the Poor', in which he criticises the politics of left-wing academics.
Richard Rorty is one of the most influential and provocative figures in contemporary intellectual life. He argues that many of philosophy's traditional concerns are redundant, and that the goal of inquiry should not be truth but human betterment. In this collection a distinguished team of scholars grapples with the implications of his writings for social and political thought. Avoiding mindless adulation or ritual denunciation, they offer careful but critical investigations of the meaning of Rorty's work for a range of (...) important issues. Topics explored include anti-foundationalism; irony and commitment; justice; liberalism and utopianism; reason and aesthetics; humanism and anti-humanism; the Holocaust; the theory of international relations; social democracy and the pragmatist tradition. Each essay is followed by a reply written for this volume by Rorty. The volume also includes a substantial essay by Rorty on 'Justice as a Larger Loyalty'. This volume is indispensable for any reader interested in Rorty's work, or in contemporary debates in social, political or ethical theory. Contributors: Molly Cochran; Daniel Conway; Matthew Festenstein; Norman Geras; John Horton; David Owen; Richard Rorty; Kate Soper; Simon Thompson. (shrink)
Richard Rorty (1931–2007) developed a distinctive and controversial brand of pragmatism that expressed itself along two main axes. One is negative—a critical diagnosis of what Rorty takes to be defining projects of modern philosophy. The other is positive—an attempt to show what intellectual culture might look like, once we free ourselves from the governing metaphors of mind and knowledge in which the traditional problems of epistemology and metaphysics (and indeed, in Rorty's view, the self-conception of modern philosophy) are rooted. (...) The centerpiece of Rorty's critique is the provocative account offered in Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature (1979, hereafter PMN). In this book, and in the closely related essays collected in Consequences of Pragmatism (1982, hereafter CP), Rorty's principal target is the philosophical idea of knowledge as representation, as a mental mirroring of a mind-external world. Providing a contrasting image of philosophy, Rorty has sought to integrate and apply the milestone achievements of Dewey, Hegel and Darwin in a pragmatist synthesis of historicism and naturalism. Characterizations and illustrations of a post-epistemological intellectual culture, present in both PMN (part III) and CP (xxxvii-xliv), are more richly developed in later works, such as Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity (1989, hereafter CIS), in the popular essays and articles collected in Philosophy and Social Hope (1999), and in the four volumes of philosophical papers, Objectivity, Relativism, and Truth (1991, hereafter ORT); Essays on Heidegger and Others (1991, hereafter EHO); Truth and Progress (1998, hereafter TP); and Philosophy as Cultural Politics (2007, hereafter PCP). In these writings, ranging over an unusually wide intellectual territory, Rorty offers a highly integrated, multifaceted view of thought, culture, and politics, a view that has made him one of the most widely discussed philosophers in our time. (shrink)
Many global and national systems of regulation of blood donors and donor compensation rely for intellectual support on Richard Titmuss’s views, represented in The Gift Relationship. Based on selective interpretation of data from the 1960s, Titmuss engineered an ethical view pertaining to donors and, in so doing, created not only ongoing stereotypes, but created a cause for followers to perpetuate misunderstandings about the nature of such donations. In many cases, donors are, in fact compensated, but regulatory systems persevere in (...) using definitional fig leaves in order to perpetuate an ongoing political goal of diminishing private sector participation in health care. However, in more recent works, including new views of critical sociology and evolutionary psychology, the Titmuss worldview has been turned upside-down. Evidence readily available today proves the safety of compensated donation and the lives saved by encouraging policies for both compensated and non-compensated donation. (shrink)
Richard Koch first made his appearance in the 1920s with works published on the foundations of medicine. These publications describe the character of medicine as an action and the status of medicine within the theory of science. One of his conclusions is that medicine is not a science in the original sense of the word, but a practical discipline. It serves a practical purpose: to heal the sick. All medical knowledge is oriented towards this purpose, which also defines the (...) physician’s role. One kind of knowledge is diagnosis, which is strictly understood in relation to therapy, and is at the core of medical thinking. Diagnosis is not the assignment of a term of a species to a patient’s disease: this would not do justice to the individuality of a clinical manifestation and would fail to provide a reason for individual therapy. Nevertheless, the terms assigned to diseases, although fictitious, are not useless, but assist in differentiating various phenomena. These conclusions carry ethical consequences. Because the task of helping the sick constitutes medicine, morals not only set ethical limits: medicine originates in a moral decision. If there are no diseases but only individual sick people, disease can not be defined as an abnormality. The individual benefit to the patient must not necessarily be the complete restoration of health. With its object being incalculable, medicine cannot guarantee its own success. Here the physician has to develop principles that allow for the best possible response to the challenges faced in varying situations of conduct. (shrink)
Uno de los fenomenólogos de la nueva generación que sigue la línea de Husserl, Heidegger, Marion y Lévinas es Richard Kearney. Este filósofo irlandés, católico, propone una cuarta reducción fenomenológica, esto es, volver al eschaton enraizado en la existencia cotidiana: encontrar la voz y el rostro de lo más alto en lo más bajo. Es como la realización de aquella idea heideggeriana de que “Sólo aquello del mundo que es de poca monta llegará alguna vez a ser cosa.” . (...) En el lenguaje cotidiano, en la vida diaria, se encuentra una posibilidad de superar el escepticismo, la indiferencia y el hastío del mundo vuelto consumo y del hombre convertido en pieza del mercado. En el encuentro cara a cara se da la posibilidad de una revelación que hace de la relación con el otro, y especialmente con el extranjero, un maravillarse y nos implemente una duda, una sospecha y una desconfianza. (shrink)
Richard Rorty, with his tendency to shock, to provoke, and to seize on Continental fashions, might be thought an unlikely liberal. Nevertheless, Rorty illustrates very well some of the characteristic weaknesses of contemporary liberalism. To the extent that he draws upon postmodern and deconstructionist sources, he highlights, and radicalizes, the liberal urge to break out of frozen identities and to destabilize static roles and fixed stations in life. His distinctive version of pragmatism yields a (novel) way of drawing liberal (...) boundaries between private and public, culture and justice. And his antifoundationalism helps to legitimize a typical liberal reluctance to engage in any very ambitious social criticism. What distinguishes Rorty's liberalism is its higher degree of candor, which at least acknowledges that a liberal vision of things, far from being “neutral” toward rival ideas of the good, is implicated in the defense of a particular way of life. (shrink)
In a remarkable and utterly original work of philosophical history, Richard Allen revivifies David Hartley's Observations on Man, his Frame, his Duty, and his Expectations (1749). Though it includes a detailed and richly annotated chronology, this is not a straight intellectual biography, attentive as it might be to the intricacies of Hartley's Cambridge contacts, or the mundane rituals of his medical practice, or the internal development of the doctrine of association of ideas. Instead Allen brings Hartley's book, a psychological (...) epic with a mystical finale, sympathetically to life in a generous and ambitious historical gesture of mutual recognition. Late 20th-century readers "are in a better position to understand Hartley's work" than were earlier sympathizers like Joseph Priestley and John Stuart Mill; and in turn, Allen argues that "Hartley has something to say to us" about just how rich and strange a full mechanistic psychology might be. (shrink)
This volume comprises a number of letters between author Anindita Niyogi Balslev and philosopher Richard Rorty. The letters explore ways to generate a creative and critical crosscultural discourse not only by challenging stereotypes about cultures and subcultures in general and traditions of thought in particular, but by being careful not to abolish the common ground on which stereotypes can be addressed.
Richard Goldschmidt was one of the most controversial biologists of the mid-twentieth century. Rather than fade from view, Goldschmidt's work and reputation has persisted in the biological community long after he has. Goldschmidt's longevity is due in large part to how he was represented by Stephen J. Gould. When viewed from the perspective of the biographer, Gould's revival of Goldschmidt as an evolutionary heretic in the 1970s and 1980s represents a selective reinvention of Goldschmidt that provides a contrast to (...) other kinds of biographical commemorations by scientists. (shrink)
This article contrasts St. Thomas More's theoretical work on the role of faith and history in biblical exegesis with that of Fr. Richard Simon. I argue that, although Simon's work appears to be a critique of his more skeptical contemporaries like Hobbes and Spinoza, in reality he is carrying their work forward. I argue that More's union of faith and reason, theology and history, is more promising than Simon's for Catholic theological biblical exegesis.
_ Source: _Volume 53, Issue 2-4, pp 372 - 390 This paper investigates a series of Oxford _Obligationes_ texts, all of which can be associated with Richard Billingham. My study is based on eleven of the surviving manuscripts and two early printed texts. I focus on one aspect of their discussion, namely the rule for granting the initial _positum_ of an obligational disputation of the type called _positio_, and the six restrictions that could be placed on that rule. I (...) explain these restrictions with reference to several sophismata that were meant to illustrate the problems that the restrictions were intended to solve, and in particular, I discuss the fifth restriction ‘not inconsistent with the _positum_’. I also shed light on the final restriction, which has not always been well understood, namely the restriction ‘wherever there is no _obligatio_ relevant to the _positum_’. (shrink)
The English Puritan Richard Baxter (1615-1691) developed an account of forgiveness that resonates with twentieth-century virtue ethics. He understood forgiveness as one component of a larger disposition of character developed in community as human beings recognize themselves as sinful creatures engaged in complex relationships of dependency and responsibility, with both God and one another. In the midst of these relationships, persons experience divine and human forgiveness and discover opportunities to practice forgiveness in return. Baxter thus negotiated a distinctive relationship (...) between Christian hope for reconciliation and more stereotypical Puritan emphases on punishment, civil order, and justice. At the same time that recent moral reflection allows us to raise questions about some features of Baxter's argument (such as his treatment of anger), his work provides important resources for correlating dispositions with concrete obligations, establishing a place for forgiveness in the public realm, and counterbalancing the modern emphasis on individual rights. (shrink)
Richard Rorty, a neo-pragmatist well known for his anti-universalist philosophy, applies his anti-universalist approach to feminism in the paper titled “Feminism and Pragmatism” (1991). In this paper, Rorty claims that universalism is not helpful for feminists in making changes to a masculinist society. In contrast, the main point of my paper is to defend universalism as appropriate to feminism. It is not, however, argued in the form of advocacy for all versions of universalism. I will classify universalism into two (...) distinguished types, ahistoricist-essentialist universalism and historicist, anti-essentialist universalism, and I will defend the latter as consonant with feminism and with Rorty’s own pragmatist approach. (shrink)
Richard Falckenberg (1851-1920) in his book Grundzüge der Philosophie des Nicolaus Cusanus mit besonderer Berücksichtigung der Lehre vom Erkennen was among the first historians of philosophy to support the argument that Nicholas of Cusa was a modern philosopher because his innovative theory of knowledge. The Falckenberg's celebrity shall be reduced because he was later obscured by the most famous historians of philosophy as Ernst Cassirer and Joachim Ritter. In our paper we want to come back to the Falckenberg's book (...) and recover his main arguments about the proximity of Cusanus with the philosophies of Leibniz, Fichte and the positivists. (shrink)
This essay introduces a thematic issue focused on the contributions to clinical ethics and the philosophy of medicine by Richard M. Zaner. We consider the apparent divorce of Zaners philosophical roots from his recent narrative immersions into the blooming, buzzing confusions of clinical-moral lifeworlds. Our considerations of the Zanerian context and origins of the clinical encounter introduce the fundamental questions faced by Zaner and his commentators in this issue, questions about the role of ethics consultants, moral authority, and clinical (...) truths. (shrink)
In this essay, I reconstruct H. Richard Niebuhr's interpretation of George Herbert Mead's account of the social constitution of the self. Specifically, I correct Niebuhr's interpretation, because it mischaracterizes Mead's understanding of social constitution as more dialogical than ecological. I also argue that Niebuhr's interpretation needs completing because it fails to engage one of Mead's more significant notions, the I/me distinction within the self. By reconstructing Niebuhr's account of faith and responsibility as theologically self-constitutive through Mead's I/me distinction, I (...) demonstrate Niebuhr's deep yet unacknowledged agreement with Mead: the self is constituted by its participation in multiple communities, but responds to them creatively by enduring the moral perplexity of competing communal claims. I conclude by initiating a constructive account of conscience that follows from this agreement. Conscience is more ecological than dialogical because it regards our creative participation in multiple ecologies of social roles oriented by patterns of responsive relations. (shrink)
It is curious why a secular pragmatist like Richard Rorty would capitalize on the religiously-laden concept of redemption in his recent writings. But more than being an intriguing idea in his later work, this essay argues that redemption plays a key role in the historical development of Rorty’s thought. It begins by exploring the paradoxical status of redemption in Rorty’s oeuvre. It then investigates an overlooked debate between Rorty, Dreyfus and Taylor that first endorses the concept. It then contrasts (...) Rorty’s notions of essentialism and edification to link redemption to self-transformation. After providing a historical legitimation to the idea of redemption, the essay reconstructs Rorty’s modern version of the concept. Redemption for Rorty centers on human relationships and not religion or philosophy; it is also pluralist and liberal in character. Finally, it concludes that Rorty uses redemption—a primary component of religious language—to capture the salvific force of religion. This power is redirected toward the protection of secular, democratic hopes, which are demanding and fragile by nature. (shrink)
Quando consideramos a extensão da obra dramática de Richard Wagner, não causa estranheza que seus textos teóricos sejam praticamente desconhecidos. No entanto, um de seus escritos, intitulado Beethoven, influenciou decisivamente a elaboração de um livro famoso, hoje considerado um capítulo importante da história da estética, O nascimento da tragédia. Este artigo pretende analisar este escrito de Wagner na intenção de desvendar o que pode ter sido tão determinante na leitura que Nietzsche fez dele, e que o levou ao ponto (...) de citá-lo de modo efusivo no primeiro prefácio da sua obra de estréia, dedicado àquele que, até então, era seu grande mestre e amigo e, como veremos, uma influência não só musical, mas também teórica. (shrink)
Richard Rorty’s philosophy has two basic commitments: one to postmodernism and the other to liberalism. However, these commitments generate tension. As a postmodernist, he sharply criticizes the Enlightenment; as a liberal, he forcefully defends it. His postmodernist liberalism actually explains liberalism using irrationalism.
El neopragmatismo norteamericano en la actualidad integra una serie de discusiones que ponen en tela de juicio el carácter fundacionalista de la filosofía. Una de ellas es justamente que al repensar el arte y la estética desde la experiencia se repiensa también el papel de la filosofía actual. El mayor promotor de esta idea es Richard Shusterman quien inspirado por Dewey en este sentido, desarrolla su pensamiento en íntimo diálogo con la tradición continental en una abierta crítica a la (...) estética analítica y a las hermenéuticas universalistas, donde propone de paso la filosofía como forma de vida, la hermenéutica de la comprensión, la legitimidad del arte popular y la somaestética. (shrink)
This paper examines the four counterexamples offered by Lehrer and Richard in 'Remembering Without Knowing'. The analysis which Lehrer and Richard's purported counterexamples attempt to discredit is that remembering p requires knowing that p and believing that p. The counterexamples are considered individually and all are rejected as counterexamples to knowing as a necessary condition of remembering.
n a critical yet sympathetic examination of Richard Rorty's philosophy, the author uses the biblical figure of 'The Stranger' to explore some ethical tensions in Rorty's affirmation of a liberal polity.
ABSTRACT. Richard Hooker’s (1554-1600) adaptation of classical logos theology is exceptional and indeed quite original for its extended application of the principles of Neoplatonic apophatic theology to the concrete institutional issues of a particular time and place—the aftermath of the Elizabethan Religious Settlement of 1559. Indeed, his sustained effort to explore the underlying connections of urgent political and constitutional concerns with the highest discourse of hidden divine realities—the knitting together of Neoplatonic theology and Reformation politics—is perhaps the defining characteristic (...) of Hooker’s distinctive mode of thought. Hooker’s ontology adheres to a Proclean logic of procession and reversion (processio and redditus) mediated by Aquinas’s formulation of the so-called 'lex divinitatis' whereby the originative principle of law remains simple and self-identical as an Eternal Law while it emanates manifold, derivative and dependent species of law, preeminently in the Natural Law accessible to human reason and Divine Law revealed through the Sacred Oracles of Scripture. For Hooker, therefore, ‘all thinges’—including even the Elizabethan constitution in Church and Commonwealth, are God’s offspring: ‘they are in him as effects in their highest cause, he likewise actuallie is in them, the assistance and influence of his deitie is theire life.’. (shrink)
Richard Koch1 became known in the 1920s with works on basic medical theory. Among these publications, the character of medical action and its status within the theory of science was presented as the most important theme. While science is inherently driven by the pursuit of knowledge for its own sake, medicine pursues the practical purpose of helping the sick. Therefore, medicine must be seen as an active relationship between a helping and a suffering person. While elucidating this relationship, Koch (...) discusses the fundamental elements of medicine found in natural philosophy and the relationship of medicine to its own history. One of his aims is to unite natural history and the history of ideas without reducing intellectual processes to biological ones. Koch considers free will as something intuitively certain. It must serve as an axiom which will capture human as well as non-human reality. Based on the fact that human free will, considered a psychic quality, evolved out of inanimate matter, Koch grants matter (proto-) psychic qualities. They are evoked through specific constellations of matter. – With regard to history, Koch rejects the notion of constant progress. The history of medicine has provided insights that cannot be surpassed but can be obscured. Historical self-contemplation serves as a means for avoiding any deviations which may prevent medicine from fulfiling its ultimate purpose. Koch connects nature and history through the concept of a unity between natural history and the historical development of medicine. Medicine is considered an especially complex development of a purposive reaction to harmful stimuli, a reaction which can already be encountered in unicellular organisms. Without intending to reduce historical and mental processes to biological ones, Koch sets for himself the aim of gathering different phenomena and presenting them in one encapsulating unity. (shrink)
Richard Rorty's philosophy has two basic commitments: one to postmodernism and the other to liberalism. However, these commitments generate tension. As a postmodernist, he sharply criticizes the Enlightenment; as a liberal, he forcefully defends it. His postmodernist liberalism actually explains liberalism using irrationalism. /// 罗蒂哲学有两个基本承诺，一个是对后现代主义的承诺，一个是对自由主义 的承诺。但是这两种承诺之间存在着紧张关系: 作为后现代主义者，罗蒂对启蒙提 出了强烈的批评; 作为自由主义者，他又在极力地维护启蒙。罗蒂的后现代自由主 义实质上是以非理性主义来解释自由主义。.
In his writings, Richard Wagner imagines art as something natural. This paradox was only befitting for Wagner’s contradictory historical stance: that of an eminently modern artist loathing the modern world. For him, nature served as a yardstick apt to find the modern world deficient on all counts. But how can something ahistorical, nature, be used to judge a historical phenomenon, modernity? To arrive at the verdict Wagner was keen on, he had to fill his concept of nature with historical (...) content attributed to myth. (shrink)
Given modern technology's penetration of human behavior, it is reasonable to consider what this might mean ethically in the case of emerging technologies being used in association with human reproduction. The nature and reach of these technologies are unprecedented and can legitimately be said to pose serious challenges to traditional ethical assessments of the human good. ;In addressing these challenges, Richard A. McCormick, a moral theologian and bio-ethicist, has deployed a reformulated natural law ethic that derives from formal rather (...) than material norms and expresses itself, in particular, in terms of an evolving theological tradition, at the center of which is the whole person morally engaged in an unfolding world by means of proportionate reason. ;While McCormick acknowledges the impressive achievements of modern technology, he asserts that technological advance is more frequently than not ambiguous. Despite this, he also insists that God has committed the natural order to humans as intelligent and creative persons, thus enabling human potentialities by means of their innovative technologies. ;As McCormick views the unfolding of technology in the arena of human reproduction, he insists on focusing on future possibilities and directions in the aggregate and in the light of our overall convictions about what it means to be human. Otherwise there is the danger of identifying what is humanly and morally good with what is technologically possible. ;While this agenda goes some way to addressing the ethical challenges in emerging human reproductive technologies, it is hampered in McCormick's case by an incomplete understanding of the nature of technology and the relationship between modern science and modern technology . Adding to this limitation is the absence of an analytic method for relating various aspects of his ethical and scientific thought. ;Drawing upon the thinking of philosophers like Martin Heidegger and Jose Ortega y Gasset, theologian/scientists like Arthur Peacocke, and scientists like Jacques Monod, this study shows how a "thicker" understanding of technology and a method of assessing the moral basis of modern science from within can enrich McCormick's natural law ethic and avoid the possibility of undue theological rigidity to which it is otherwise liable. (shrink)
H. Richard Nieburh's major work, which he did not live to complete, was to be on theological ethics. Based on the published and unpublished writings that Niebuhr completed during the last decade of his life, Roots of Relational Ethics demonstrates that Niebuhr's conception of responsibility was the culmination of his thought about self, God, Christ, the church, ethics and decision-making, and social evil. R. Melvin Keiser examines the limitations and potential of Niebuhr's use of responsibility in comparison with relevant (...) themes in liberation and feminist theological ethics. He suggests that Niebuhr's mature work can contribute to the alleviation of environmental exploitation, sexism, anti-Judaism, war, racism, and classism. (shrink)
This distinctive collection by scholars from around the world focuses upon the cultural, educational, and political significance of Richard Rorty's thought. The nine essays which comprise the collection examine a variety of related themes: Rorty's neopragmatism, his view of philosophy, his philosophy of education and culture, Rorty's comparison between Dewey and Foucault, his relation to postmodern theory, and, also his form of political liberalism.
This volume collects a number of important and revealing interviews with Richard Rorty, spanning more than two decades of his public intellectual commentary, engagement, and criticism. In colloquial language, Rorty discusses the relevance and nonrelevance of philosophy to American political and public life. The collection also provides a candid set of insights into Rorty's political beliefs and his commitment to the labor and union traditions in this country. Finally, the interviews reveal Rorty to be a deeply engaged social thinker (...) and observer. (shrink)
Levins and Lewontin have contributed significantly to our philosophical understanding of the structures, processes, and purposes of biological mathematical theorizing and modeling. Here I explore their separate and joint pleas to avoid making abstract and ideal scientific models ontologically independent by confusing or conflating our scientific models and the world. I differentiate two views of theorizing and modeling, orthodox and dialectical, in order to examine Levins and Lewontin’s, among others, advocacy of the latter view. I compare the positions of these (...) two views with respect to four points regarding ontological assumptions: (1) the origin of ontological assumptions, (2) the relation of such assumptions to the formal models of the same theory, (3) their use in integrating and negotiating different formal models of distinct theories, and (4) their employment in explanatory activity. Dialectical is here used in both its Hegelian–Marxist sense of opposition and tension between alternative positions and in its Platonic sense of dialogue between advocates of distinct theories. I investigate three case studies, from Levins and Lewontin as well as from a recent paper of mine, that show the relevance and power of the dialectical understanding of theorizing and modeling. (shrink)