Harry Frankfurt has famously criticized the principle of alternate possibilities—the principle that an agent is morally responsible for performing some action only if able to have done otherwise than to perform it—on the grounds that it is possible for an agent to be morally responsible for performing an action that is inevitable for the agent when the reasons for which the agent lacks alternate possibilities are not the reasons for which the agent has acted. I argue that an incompatibilist about (...) determinism and moral responsibility can safely ignore so-called “Frakfurt-style cases ” and continue to argue for incompatibilism on the grounds that determinism rules out the ability to do otherwise. My argument relies on a simple—indeed, simplistic—weakening of the principle of alternate possibilities that is explicitly designed to be immune to Frankfurt -style criticism. This alternative to the principle of alternate possibilities is so simplistic that it will no doubt strike many readers as philosophically fallow. I argue that it is not. I argue that the addition of one highly plausible premise allows for the modified principle to be employed in an argument for incompatibilism that begins with the observation that determinism rules out the ability to do otherwise. On the merits of this argument I conclude that deterministic moral responsibility is impossible and that Frankfurt ’s criticism of the principle of alternate possibilities—even if successful to that end—may be safely ignored. (shrink)
Jean Richard | Résumé : René-Michel Roberge proteste contre le modèle hiérarchique, autoritaire, du magistère de l’Église (catholique romaine). Selon ce modèle, la révélation vient d’en haut et passe par la hiérarchie ecclésiale pour parvenir aux fidèles. Cette conception ne fonctionne plus à notre époque, caractérisée par « le refus des arguments d’autorité » (Luc Ferry). Par opposition à ce modèle hiérarchique et doctrinal, notre auteur propose un magistère ecclésial de type pastoral. La fonction magistérielle consiste alors à entretenir (...) et à vitaliser la foi déjà présente dans la communauté des fidèles. |: René-Michel Roberge protests against the pattern of a hierarchical and authoritarian Church magisterium. According to this conception, revelation comes from on high, through the Church hierarchy, to the faithful. Such a conception has become irrelevant in our age, characterized by the rejection of authoritarian arguments (Luc Ferry). By contrast, R.-M. Roberge preconizes a pastoral type of magisterium, which upholds the faith yet present in the community of the faithful. (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)
Our intention here is to present the essential character of classical, sunnī kalām within a strictly formal perspective and to set out its basic aspects. It was conceived by the mutakallimīn as a rational, conceptual, and critical science and, although kalām differed in a number of basic concepts and constructs and in its analytic system, the topical organisation of the major compendia parallels that of metaphysics as understood in the contemporary Aristotelian tradition. The debates between kalām and falsafa need to (...) be examined within this context. Kalām, however, is theological in the strict sense of the term and it is as such that its problematic and its procedures are primarily to be understood. Thus seen, the object of kalām is to rationalise the cognitive content presented to Believers in the symbolic language of the koranic revelation. It has, then, four principal tasks, sc, to conceptualise, to order, to explain, and where possible to justify the primary doctrines of the community whose belief is held to be normative. Within this framework the differences that characterise the major schools as such and the various tendencies of individual masters within each school may readily be brought to light. On se propose ici de présenter, d'un point de vue strictement formel, la nature du kālam classique sunnite et d'identifier ses caractéristiques principales. II avait été conçu par les mutakallimin comme une science rationelle, conceptuelle et critique. L'organisation des matières dans ses traités reprend celle de la métaphysique dans la tradition aristotélicienne de l'époque, bien que le kalām s'en distingue par plusieurs de ses structures et concepts fondamentaux, ainsi que par son système analytique. C'est dans ce contexte qu'il faut considérer les debats qui s'instaurèrent entre kalām et falsafa. Le kalām, cependant, est d'ordre strictement théologique et c'est principalement dans ce cadre qu'il faut comprendre sa problématique et ses procédures. Le kalām a pour fonction de rationaliser le contenu cognitif offert aux croyants dans le langage symbolique de la révélation coranique. Il en résulte quatre tâches principales; il s'agit de conceptualiser, ordonner, expliquer et, dans le mesure du possible, justifier les doctrines principales reconnues par la communauté faisant référence en matière de croyance. Dans ce cadre, il sera possible de mettre en lumière les différences entre les principales écoles, ainsi que les tendances qui distinguent certains de leurs grands maîtres respectifs. (shrink)
Richard M. Gale Richard Gale was an American philosopher known for defending the A-theory of time against the B-theory. The A-theory implies, for example, that tensed predicates are not reducible to tenseless predicates. Gale also argued against the claim that negative truths are reducible to positive ones. He created a new modal version of … Continue reading Gale, Richard M. →.
The two fine books under review represent in different but complementary ways very successful efforts to revise and reprint what can be considered modern "classic" writings on Zen Buddhist thought, with a strong emphasis on the Rinzai sect, that were produced either by an eminent Japanese scholar or an American working in collaboration with a Japanese researcher and were initially circulated in the West through the 1960s. These writings had a remarkably influential impact on the course of Zen studies at (...) the time, but in the intervening years have largely fallen into disuse or a decline in reputation. However, they are richly deserving of the current editorial exercises leading to a recovery and rehabilitation so... (shrink)