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)
This paper considers three horary quadrants of strikingly similar design and underlying mode of conception. Two are dated, 1398 and 1399, while the third, undated instrument can now be dated for the first time with some certainty to 1400. The parameters used in their construction are analysed, and the latitude for which they were made is elucidated. This shows that all three were made for use in London or southern England. One of the three, dated 1399, has previously been attributed (...) to the patronage of Richard II, King of England, by virtue of the badge decorating the quadrant. The badge on the second quadrant, dated 1398, for a long time also associated with Richard II, has now been established to have been used by Richard's half brother, John Holland, Duke of Exeter. The third quadrant undoubtedlybelongs to the group, but cannot be assigned to the patronage of any individual. (shrink)
. Michael Polanyi criticized the neo‐Darwinian synthesis on two grounds: that accidental hereditary changes bringing adaptive advantages cannot account for the rise of discontinuous new species, and that a Ideological ordering principle is needed to explain evolutionary advance. I commend the previous articles by John Apczynski and Richard Gelwick and also argue, more strongly than they, that Polanyi's critique of evolutionary theory is flawed. It relies on an inappropriate notion of progress and untenable analogies from the human process (...) of scientific discovery and the fact that in physical systems minimal potential energy is most stable. Yet within a life of commitment to transcendent values humans can directly experience purpose and meaning, and in developing this notion Polanyi makes his greatest contribution to teleology. (shrink)
This paper attempts a sympathetic comparison between John Dewey and Richard Rorty. In particular I establish the ways in which both Dewey's and Rorty's aesthetical modes require qualitative starting points (or some indeterminate-event trajectory) as a condition for any poetic/novel movement into the future. I show how Dewey's notions of "indeterminate situation," highlighted in his event-metaphysics, resonates with Rorty's notion of metaphor, and that finally Rorty does in fact (wittingly or not) harbor a place for the noncognitive and (...) nonlinguistic via, interestingly enough, a linguistic device. How Rorty uses his notion of metaphor (inspired by Donald Davidson's groundbreaking work) starts very much to take on the feel of what Dewey meant by "primary experience." My emphasis, then, falls on the necessity to both of their respective pragmatic positions of a qualitative starting point (QSP). In this way, the troubling dualism that has developed between experience and language starts to dissolve. (shrink)
What ought a political philosophy seek to achieve? How should political philosophy address itself to its subject matter? What is the relation between political philosophy and other forms of reflective inquiry? In answering these metaphilosophical questions, political philosophy has long been dominated by a roughly utopian self-image. According to this conception, the aim of political philosophy is the rigorous development of theoretical ideals of justice, state, and law. I show that leading political philosophers of the twentieth century, most notably (...) class='Hi'>John Rawls, have continued to perpetuate this utopian conception of the aims of political philosophy. I then explicate an emerging alternative metaphilosophical view of political philosophy which has recently emerged in two seemingly disparate strands of political philosophy: the first strand being Bernard Williams's realist conception of political critique and the second strand being Richard Rorty's pragmatist conception of cultural criticism. The views developed by Williams and Rorty leave to the side questions about political ideals and focuses instead on definite ways in which we can improve the situations in which we find ourselves. Such improvement, Williams and Rorty provocatively argue, does not require an ideal theory of best justice. (shrink)
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, from among these three, only Swinburne is a polytheist par excellence. (shrink)
In 1839 and 1840, Newman preached four Oxford University Sermons, which critiqued the evidential apologetics advocated by John Locke (1632-1704) and William Paley (1743-1805) and subsequently restated by Richard Whately (1787-1863). In response, Newman drew upon Whately’s earlier works on logic and rhetoric to develop an alternative account of the reasonableness of religious belief that was based on implicit reasoning from antecedent probabilities. Newman’s argument was a creative response to Whately’s contention that evidential reasoning is the only safeguard (...) against superstition and infidelity. (shrink)
Book Review. Eric Severson reviews Peter Gratton and John Panteleimon Manoussakis, eds. Traversing the Imaginary: Richard Kearney and the Postmodern Challenge . Evanston, Ill.: Northwestern University Press, 2007.
Crown under Law is an investigation of the constitutional idea through an exploration of the political thought of Richard Hooker and John Locke. It should appeal to academics within a number of disciplines including history of ideas, political philosophy, philosophy of law, and theology.
Contemporary conversations about religion and culture are framed by two reductive definitions of secularity. In one, multiple faiths and nonfaiths coexist free from a dominant belief in God. In the other, we deny the sacred altogether and exclude religion from rational thought and behavior. But is there a third way for those who wish to rediscover the sacred in a skeptical society? What kind of faith, if any, can be proclaimed after the ravages of the Holocaust and the many religion-based (...) terrors since? Richard Kearney explores these questions with a host of philosophers known for their inclusive, forward-thinking work on the intersection of secularism, politics, and religion. An interreligious dialogue that refuses to paper over religious difference, these conversations locate the sacred within secular society and affirm a positive role for religion in human reflection and action. Drawing on his own philosophical formulations, literary analysis, and personal interreligious experiences, Kearney develops through these engagements a basic gesture of hospitality for approaching the question of God. His work facilitates a fresh encounter with our best-known voices in continental philosophy and their views on issues of importance to all spiritually minded individuals and skeptics: how to reconcile God's goodness with human evil, how to believe in both God and natural science, how to talk about God without indulging in fundamentalist rhetoric, and how to balance God's sovereignty with God's love. (shrink)
The mind cannot be an object. An object can be conceived only as that which may possibly become an object to something else. Now what can the mind become an object to? Not to me for I am it and not to something else. Not to something else without again being denuded of consciousness.And how could we descend into the depths of our nervous system to ascertain what is the nature of the psychical correlative of the physiological bottom? If we (...) could, we could only describe that correlative psychical in terms of object-consciousness, which would be a pseudo description of it.John Hughlings-Jackson.If Charles Scott Sherrington (1857-1952) was the most philosophically aware neurophysiologist of the late 19th to early 20th .. (shrink)
This essay is a brief response to Durwood Foster and Richard Gelwick’s essays analyzing the 1963 encounter of Paul Tillich and Michael Polanyi and to Robert Russell’s assessment of the importantce of Polanyi’s ideas for recent theology and science discussions.
This essay, as the title suggests, is not just a reply to Richard Ashcraft -- although it is certainly that too. Its intention is to say something about the political theory of Locke, about his historical context and about the methodological question of contexts in general. About his political theory, I want to make two or three main points which, I think, have important consequences for our understanding of Locke: that he both appropriates and, on critical issues, deliberately neutralizes (...) the radical �discourses� of his time -- so that, for example, he adopts Leveller premises to arrive at something more like Cromwell's (or even more conservative) conclusions; and that he deprives these radical discourses of their most democratic implications less by excluding people from membership in the political nation than by restricting the rights of membership itself. This means, among other things, that the relevant debate is not the one that has so preoccupied Locke scholars -- namely, the controversy about who is a �freeman� or who belongs to the �people�. The decisive question is rather what political rights the �people� have. (shrink)
In this paper a comparison is made between the notion of truth as offered by Thomas Aquinas and John McDowell’s reflections on knowledge and truth. We suggest that some correspondences can be drawn between the thomist idea of trascendental truth and McDowell’s proposal of the unboundedness of the conceptual, and between the realist thesis that truth of things measure our understanding and McDowell’s defense of objectivity, understood as the constraint exerted by external reality on our thinking, which makes possible (...) a free and responsible exercise of conceptual capacities. In order to highlight those correspondences, we analyse two essays of McDowell, in which, by examining some aspects of Rorty’s position regarding knowledge and truth, the southafrican professor offers a defense of objectivity that, far from being an obstacle for the characteristic freedom of our rational capacity, is a condition for it. (shrink)
Victorian devotional life, both Anglican and Roman Catholic, often focused on the feast days of the Church. Indeed, even the three academic sessions at Oxford University were named after the feast days at the beginning of each term: Michaelmas (St. Michael, September 29), Hilary (January 14), and Trinity (First Sunday after Pentecost); similarly, events on the ecclesiastical calendar often anchored events in Victorian religious novels. This article explores the possible symbolism in the feast days that frame events in Newman’s novel, (...)Loss and Gain. (shrink)