This is a review of the book Cultivating Original Enlightenment: Wŏnhyo's Exposition of the Vajrasamādhi-Sūtra, by Robert E. Buswell, Jr., published by the Univeristy of Hawaii Press. This volume, the first to be published in the Collected Works of Wŏnhyo series, contains the translation of a single text by Wŏnhyo, the Kŭmgang Sammaegyŏng Non.
Hegel endorsed proofs of the existence of God, and also believed God to be a person. Some of his interpreters ignore these apparently retrograde tendencies, shunning them in favor of the philosopher's more forward-looking contributions. Others embrace Hegel's religious thought, but attempt to recast his views as less reactionary than they appear to be. RobertWilliams's latest monograph belongs to a third category: he argues that Hegel's positions in philosophical theology are central to his philosophy writ large. The (...) book is diligently researched, and marshals an impressive amount of textual evidence concerning Hegel's view of the proofs, his theory of personhood, and his views on religious community.Many of... (shrink)
This essay focuses on the way Williams elaborates, defends, and recommends Hegel’s revision of Christianity, which makes possible a Christianity free from the defects of its pre-modern form without collapsing into atheism and humanism. The essay begins by examining the development of Williams’s case in Hegel on the Proofs and Personhood of God and in Tragedy, Recognition, and the Death of God. This examination shows that Williams uses Hegel’s critique of pre-modern Christianity to demonstrate that modernity, in (...) which discourse, practices, and forms of life are regulated by freedom and reason, means the end of orthodox theology, and uses Hegel’s logic of relations and reciprocal determination to interpret the God-world relation and the internal constitution of the divinity so that it preserves divine transcendence and independence. The second section of the essay challenges Williams’s position by showing how reciprocal determination does not just revise and qualify the asymmetrical dependence that is the lynchpin of classical theism, it completely disqualifies it, how the analysis of the Trinity involves the divinity in a complete emptying of itself into the world and its being as the world, so that Williams’s God cannot preserve even a hair’s breadth of the transcendence required for qualifying as a form of Christianity. The essay concludes from this that Williams’s appropriation of Hegel’s revised Christianity is infected with an element that destabilizes its ability to mediate between pre-modern insistence on God’s transcendence and independence and modernity’s insistence on human freedom and the universal status of its rational subjectivity, with a decisive leaning towards the humanistic posture. (shrink)
An individual is in the lowest phase of moral development if he thinks only of his own personal interest and has only his own selfish agenda in his mind as he encounters other humans. This lowest phase corresponds well with sixteenth century British moral egoism which reflects the rise of the new economic order. Adam Smith (1723–1790) wanted to defend this new economic order which is based on economic exchange between egoistic individuals. Nevertheless, he surely did not want to support (...) the moral theory of British egoism. His book The Wealth of Nations suits well into the world view of British moral egoism, but in the book The Theory of Moral Sentiments, he presents a moral theory which is the total opposite of moral egoism. Contemporary German intellectuals saw contradiction in Adam Smith’s moral (social) philosophy which they called as Das Adam - Smith - Problem . Smith himself didn’t think that there is any contradiction in a situation where in economic sphere (civil society) individual act egoistically and in ethical sphere (encounter with the imagined Other) he feels humanity and compassion toward his fellow men. Hegel was a passionate reader of Adam Smith and he acknowledged Das Adam - Smith - Problem . He set the task of his social philosophy to overcome this paradox. He wanted to create a theory of a social totality where economic egoism and feelings of humanity are not in contradiction. In the same time Hegel wanted to create a theory on Bildung process where human spirit develops from moral un-freedom (heteronomy) to moral freedom and maturity (autonomy) taking care both aspect of love and reason. In certain Hegel’s texts notion of recognition plays crucial role. That is why modern Hegelians Ludwig Siep, Axel Honneth and RobertWilliams consider the notion of recognition to be elementary in Hegel’s threefold theory of developing human spirit from family via civil society to sittliche state . For Hegel family is a sphere where people love their “concrete other” and where feeling surpasses reason. Civil Society is a sphere of private contracts and economic exchanges where cold egoistic and calculative reason surpasses feelings. In the sphere of State the contradiction between family and Civil Society ( Das Adam - Smith - Problem ) is solved by “rational feeling”. According to Hegel State should protect citizens from alienating effect of egoistic reason of Civil Society and cultivate “family-feelings” to rational feelings which integrate citizen into “sittliche community” through reciprocal process of recognition. In this article I want to consider Hegelians Honneth’s and Williams’s relevance to the theory of moral development. (shrink)
In the same year, 1961, Peter D. Mitchell and Robert R.J.P. Williams both put forward hypotheses for the mechanism of oxidative phosphorylation in mitochondria and photophosphorylation in chloroplasts. Mitchell's proposal was ultimately adopted and became known as the chemiosmotic theory. Both hypotheses were based on protons and differed markedly from the then prevailing chemical theory originally proposed by E.C. Slater in 1953, which by 1961 was failing to account for a number of experimental observations. Immediately following the publication (...) of Williams 's hypothesis and before his own was published, Mitchell initiated a correspondence. Examination of the letters shows the development of a dispute based on the validity of the proposals, who should have priority and particularly whether Mitchell had drawn on Williams 's work without acknowledgement. We have concluded that Mitchell's proposals were original although it is evident that prior to the correspondence Williams had considered and rejected a proposition similar to Mitchell's theory. However, a major cause of the dispute was the difference in disciplinary backgrounds of Mitchell, a microbial biochemist and Williams, a chemist. (shrink)
RobertWilliams objects that my interpretation of Hegel’s philosophical theology makes him an “Enlightenment naturalist.” In response, I explain how my book describes Hegel as decisively criticizing Enlightenment naturalism by showing that the finite and the natural must be sublated in the infinite. Second, I show that Hegel’s apparently paradoxical conception of the relation between humans and God makes sense when it is seen as part of the long tradition of rational mysticism, which includes Plato, Plotinus, Proclus, St. (...) Augustine, and Meister Eckhart. (shrink)
In the same year, 1961, Peter D. Mitchell and Robert R.J.P. Williams both put forward hypotheses for the mechanism of oxidative phosphorylation in mitochondria and photophosphorylation in chloroplasts. Mitchell's proposal was ultimately adopted and became known as the chemiosmotic theory. Both hypotheses were based on protons and differed markedly from the then prevailing chemical theory originally proposed by E.C. Slater in 1953, which by 1961 was failing to account for a number of experimental observations. Immediately following the publication (...) of Williams's hypothesis and before his own was published, Mitchell initiated a correspondence. Examination of the letters shows the development of a dispute based on the validity of the proposals, who should have priority and particularly whether Mitchell had drawn on Williams's work without acknowledgement. We have concluded that Mitchell's proposals were original although it is evident that prior to the correspondence Williams had considered and rejected a proposition similar to Mitchell's theory. However, a major cause of the dispute was the difference in disciplinary backgrounds of Mitchell, a microbial biochemist and Williams, a chemist. (shrink)
This chapter surveys attempts to provide liberal justification for specific rights available to Indigenous citizens of democratic societies. The most important of these, by Will Kymlicka, relied on the equal right of all citizens to the good of cultural membership to argue for specific rights to protect minority cultures. After noting that Rawls’s political liberalism offers other resources to argue for specific constitutional or legal rights for colonised Indigenous citizens, the chapter turns to consider James Tully’s argument for an inter-cultural (...) constitutionalism based on the principles of recognition, consent and continuity. Finally, the chapter refers to the work of Robert A. Williams Jr in order to suggest that the conditions of a just and fair colonial constitution are similar to the conditions of a just and stable political society in which there are incommensurable comprehensive moral views. (shrink)
Hegel’s True Infinite is “well known” but there is little consensus concerning its meaning. The true infinite is introduced in Hegel’s deconstruction of traditional conceptions of quality, determinacy and reality as wholly positive and from which negation, limitation and determinacy are excluded. Everything is other than and unrelated to everything else. These assumptions yield the stubborn category of finitude as an absolute limit, and of God as abstract unknowable Beyond. But Hegel claims that every attempt to separate the infinite from (...) the finite makes the infinite itself finite—the spurious infinite, the “ought.” The true infinite is the negation/correction of the spurious infinite; it reinstates the relations suppressed by the understanding. The true infinite is an ontotheological conception of a social infinite: it is both absolute—in and for itself—and related—being for an other—to wit, an articulated, inclusive whole. It is not an acosmic pantheism like Spinoza’s that defrauds difference and finitude of their due. The true infinite presupposes as its corollary the idealit y of the finite. The latter articulates the ontological status of the finite as sublated in the true infinite, i.e. as a member both distinct from and related to the true infinite. The true infinite is the whole present in its members. The true infinite is neither traditional theism, nor atheism nor pantheism, nor a projection of finitude. It is best understood as panentheism. (shrink)
"Uprightness" was termed the "leitmotiv in the formation of the human organism" by Erwin Straus (1966, p. 139). He felt that without it the human being was certainly doomed to die. Yet, what happens with those who are deprived of their "uprightness" in either the literal or moral sense (as in "not to stoop to anything"), through becoming Dis-abled? Getting up, rising in opposition to the "other" (Allon) implies a moral dimension in the case of human Dis-ability which is tied (...) to the leitmotiv established by the upright posture of anthropos . The suggestion that there is a moral dimension to Disability is a radical notion in a culture whose health professionals have become very sensitive to any idea that suggests we are blaming those who through no fault of their own have become in some way disadvantaged as compared to the mainstream of society. Although the importance of rising in opposition to the world (Allon) was perhaps originally established upon the upright posture quite literally, because man is a sense-making and sense-giving creature, this primordial act which establishes our full humanity may itself be represented and re-enacted in a variety of ways which can and should become the central project of rehabilitation of the body, as opposed to the current emphasis on technique and technological innovation. It is in the changing physiognomy of the Dis-abled person's ruptured world that we may discover the phenomenological sense of Dis-ability. Keywords: Dis-Ability, Uprightness, Rehabilitation CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this? (shrink)
The philosopher Jorge J. E. Gracia engages fifteen prominent scholars on race, ethnicity, nationality, and Hispanic/Latino identity in the United States. Their discussion joins two distinct traditions: the philosophy of race begun by African Americans in the nineteenth century, and the search for an understanding of identity initiated by Latin American philosophers in the sixteenth century. Participants include Linda M. Alcoff, K. Anthony Appiah, Richard J. Bernstein, Lawrence Blum, Robert Gooding-Williams, Eduardo Mendieta, and Lucius T. Outlaw Jr., and (...) their dialogue reflects the analytic, Aristotelian, Continental, literary, Marxist, and pragmatic schools of thought. These intellectuals start with the philosophy of Hispanics/Latinos in the United States and then move to the philosophy of African Americans and Anglo Americans in the United States and the philosophy of Latin Americans in Latin America. Gracia and his interlocutors debate the nature of race and ethnicity and their relation to nationality, linguistic rights, matters of identity, and Affirmative Action, binding the concepts of race and ethnicity together in ways that open new paths of inquiry. Gracia's Familial-Historical View of ethnic and Hispanic/Latino identity operates at the center of each of these discussions, providing vivid access to the philosopher's provocative arguments while adding unique depth to issues that each of us struggles to understand. (shrink)
The Augustinian text is being radically rewritten by contemporary theologians to render it compatible with various proposals for a postmodern Christianity. The proximate stimulus is Derrida's deconstruction of the argument of the Confessions. What is positive and what is wanting in his appropriation of the Augustinian dialectic is reviewed, as also what can and cannot be seen of the historical Augustine from within the purview of a postmodern theology.