The paradigmatic examples of what we call nowadays ‘mere Cambridge changes’ are relational properties. If someone is on the left of a table at t − 1 and on the right of this table at t, the table does not undergo a physical change, but it has nonetheless new relational properties. What kind of relation lies behind this kind of change? Should we abandon the definition of identity as a set of permanent properties through time? This concern with identity and (...) change was already present in Aristotle's Physics 5 and 7 and medieval commentators tackled the problem with some important refinements due to their metaphysical discussions about the nature of relations. John of Jandun's discussion of this topic, at the beginning of the fourteenth century, is particularly interesting. First, he defines self-identity as a relation of reason, which means for him that it is not a real relation. Second, he distinguishes two kinds of relational changes: those involving real relations and the acquisition a qualitative propert... (shrink)
Supplemented by interviews with four of the major participants in the debate--Ray Jackendoff, George Lakoff, Paul Postal and JohnRobert Ross--this book shows that the paradigm which has dominated American linguistics for the last twenty ...
Traditional eschatology clashes with the theory of entropy. Trying to bridge the gap, RobertJohn Russell assumes that theology and science are based on contradictory, yet equally valid, metaphysical assumptions, each one capable of questioning and impacting the other. The author doubts that Russell's proposal will convince empirically oriented scientists and attempts to provide a viable alternative. Historical‐critical analysis suggests that biblical future expectations were redemptive responses to changing human needs. Apocalyptic visions were occasioned by heavy suffering in (...) postexilic times. Interpreted in realistic terms, they have since proved to be untenable. The expectation of a new creation without evil, suffering, and death is not constitutive for the substantive content of the biblical message as such. Biblical future expectations must be reconceptualized in terms of best contemporary insight and in line with a dynamic reading of the biblical witness as God's vision of comprehensive optimal well‐being that operates like a shifting horizon and opens up ever new vistas, challenges, and opportunities. (shrink)
les problèmes éthiques et politiques dans la philosophie anglo-saxonne John Rawls et Robert Nozick Otfried Höffe. PRÉFACE Depuis quelque temps se manifeste un intérêt croissant des milieux philosophiques pour des questions d' éthique ...
This essay compares RobertJohn Russell's work in his recent book Cosmology from Alpha to Omega: The Creative Mutual Interaction of Theology and Science (2008) to that of the authors known collectively as "the new atheists." I treat the latter as recent contributors to the modern tradition of scientific naturalism. This tradition makes claims to legitimacy on the basis of its close relations to the natural sciences. The purpose of this essay is to show up the poverty of (...) the naturalist tradition's scientific credentials by contrasting it with Russell's careful account of positive relations between science and Christian theology. (shrink)
This book explores the writings of philosopher and educator John Dewey in order to develop an expansive vision of aesthetic education and everyday poetics of living. Robert Pirsig's best-selling book, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, provides concrete examples of this compelling yet unconventional vision.
Though he is known primarily for his mathematics, John Wallis was also a prominent natural philosopher and experimentalist. Like many experimental philosophers, including his colleagues in the Royal Society, Wallis sought to identify the mathematical laws that govern natural phenomena. However, I argue that Wallis’s particular understanding of the laws of nature was informed by his reading of a thirteenth–century optical treatise by Robert Grosseteste, De lineis, angulis et figuris, which expresses the principle that “Nature doth not work (...) by Election.” Wallis’s use of this principle in his Discourse of Gravity and Gravitation helps to clarify his understanding of natural laws. According to Wallis, since nature cannot choose to act one way or another, natural phenomena are unfailingly regular, and it is this that allows them to be predicted, generalized, and described by mathematical rules. Furthermore, I argue that Wallis’s reading of Grosseteste reveals one way that medieval scholarship contributed to the “mathematization of nature” in the early modern period: historically–minded scholars like Wallis found insightful philosophical principles in medieval sources, and they transformed and redeployed these principles to suit the needs of early modern natural philosophy. (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.
In his evaluation of the major social reform movements of his era, Mill chastised well-meaning reformers for their reluctance to elevate Malthusianism to a position of prominence in their efforts. He was convinced that the key to the material, mental, and moral improvement of the poor and the workers lay in a reduction of their physical numbers and in the behavioural modifications entailed by such a diminution, whereas most other reformers looked elsewhere for solutions. A favourite assumption about the proper (...) means for effecting social reform was that economic growth served as an effective and almost automatic instrument for improving society. Then, as now, an unquestioned faith in the capacity of a progressive economy to stimulate gains in per capita income for the lower classes set the terms for the discussion.1 However, by suggesting that broader and more intensive economic development without a corresponding reduction in the rate of population increase would not generate material gains for those living in indigence, let alone the broader socio-cultural progress that was to have followed closely upon its heels, Mill casts aspersions upon the ‘false ideal’ of economic growth which informed many grand programmes for social progress. (shrink)
D'Arcy May, in his review, contends Magliola argues that the Buddhist doctrines of no-self and rebirth are contradictory, whereas Magliola in fact argues just the opposite--that these two Buddhist doctrines are not contradictory (and he explains why). What Magliola does contend is that Buddhist no-self and rebirth contradict the Catholic teachings of individual identity and "one life-span only." D'Arcy May's review contends that Magliola admits "authoritative statements" are "hard to come by" in Buddhism, whereas Magliola in his book contends that (...) "authoritative statements" play a very important role in Buddhism: his book explains how "authority" functions in Buddhism, and he directs readers to the careful "vetting" of his book--including his discussions of "authority in Buddhism"-- by Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi (for Theravada) and Ven. Dr. Dhammadipa [Fa Yao] (for both Theravada and the two "Big Vehicles"). His book also cites approvals by several established academics who are Buddhologists. Magliola's "Reply" goes on to argue that D'Arcy May's interpretation of the "sensus fidelium" foists the opinions of "white intellectual elites and higher-income Catholics of the North Atlantic tier of countries and their geographical projections--Australia, etc. (only 9 percent of the world's Catholic population) upon the 68 percent of Catholics who live in the global South and East. Magliola's "Reply" also expresses his dismay that D'Arcy May, throughoout his review, dodges the pivotal Derridean notion of "samenesses erected by irreducible difference" though this "thought-motif" constitutes the scaffolding of Magliola's entire book. (shrink)