This is a brief and accessible introduction to the thought of the great Franciscan theologian St. Bonaventure. Cullen focuses on the long-debated relation between philosophy and theology in the work of this important but neglected thinker, revelaing Bonaventure as a great synthesizer. Cullen's exposition also shows in a new and more nuanced way Bonaventure's debt to Augustine, while making clear how he was influenced by Aristotle. The book is organized according to the categories of Bonaventure's own classic text. (...) De reductione artium ad theologiam. Part I is devoted to the definition of Christian Wisdom. In Part II, "The Light of Philosophical Knowledge," individual chapters are devoted to Bonaventure's physics, metaphysics, and moral philosophy. Part III, "The Light of Theological Knowledge," includes chapters on the Trinity, Creation, Sin, the Incarnation, Grace, the Sacraments, and the Last Things. (shrink)
The book is divided into eight chapters, covering various branches of philosophy, beginning with epistemology and proceeding through metaphysics to psychology and ethics. The book’s first chapter prepares the reader for this philosophical overview by sketching the historical and intellectual context in which Duns Scotus lived and worked. In this chapter the authors walk their reader through the maze of the Scotistic corpus acting as skilled guides. Scotus, they explain, has three different commentaries on the Sentences of Peter Lombard: his (...) earliest commentary, referred to as the Lectura; a later, revised commentary, the Ordinatio; and a third, final commentary done in Paris, the Reportatio Parisiensis. Chapter 2 explains Scotus’s foundational doctrine about the univocity of being. Chapter 3 then shows how this univocal concept works in the science of being, that is, metaphysics. The authors next take up the problem of contingency as Scotus conceives of it in the light of necessitarian views of reality. Scotus argues for a radically contingent universe that is dependent on the divine will, yet has a deep basis for the necessity found in its natures in nothing less than divine knowledge. Ingham and Dreyer carefully discuss how Scotus attempts to remain firmly within the realm of metaphysical realism by his teaching that each common nature possesses a real unity that serves as the basis for the mind’s universal concept, even if this unity is less than the numerical unity of the individual. In itself “horseness” is just “horseness” and thus indifferent to being either universalized in the mind or individuated in the concrete horse. In chapters 5 through 7, Ingham and Dreyer provide a balanced reading of the Scotistic ethics by explicating in some detail his notion of the will as the rational potency within the human soul. The final chapter of the book provides a general appreciation of the significance and enduring value of Scotus’s thought. (shrink)
Simone Weil believed that Greece’s vocation was to build bridges between God and man. This paper argues that, in light of Weil’s “tradition of mystical thought,” the Christian vocation is an extension of the Greek. The search for the perfect bridge in Homer, Sophocles and Plato comes to fruition in the Passion of Christ. The Greek thinkers, especially Plato with his Perfectly Just Man, already had implicit knowledge of the Passion’s truth.
“Marlowe wrote Edward The Second in 1590. He found a suitable tragic theme in the Holinshed’s account of Edward II’s reign though it was not a promising dramatic material from the chronological point of view as the events were disjointed and uninspiring disastrous. Improper coordinates of the sources has left its mark on Marlowe’s play, nevertheless, this is his most finished and satisfactory of plays…Edward The Second can surely be regarded as Marlowe’s finest technical achievement.” (Edited, Dr. S. Sen…)[http://philpapers.org/profile/112741].
An introduction to the March, 2005 symposium “The Political Theory of Organizations: A Retrospective Examination of Christopher McMahon’s Authority and Democracy” held in San Francisco as part of the Society for Business Ethics Group Meeting at the Pacific Division Meetings of the American Philosophical Association.
Christopher Peacocke’s A Study of Concepts is a dense and rewarding work. Each chapter raises many issues for discussion. I know three different people who are writing reviews of the volume. It testifies to the depth of Peacocke’s book that each reviewer is focusing on a quite different set of topics.
In a 1991 issue of the journal Semiotica, Christopher Hookway published a review essay devoted to my book on Peirce's Philosophy of Religion, which had appeared two years earlier, in 1989. Sometime later, in the year 2000, an adapted version of that essay was included as chapter eleven in Hookway's book entitled Truth, Rationality and Pragmatism: Themes from Peirce.1 Hookway graciously admitted that he agreed with much of my interpretation of Peirce, but that he would focus his analysis on (...) those matters that he understood differently from me. Since the philosophical issues that Hookway raised are still salient, I now propose to offer my long-delayed response. The contrast between... (shrink)
In his recent book, Aquinas and the Ship of Theseus, Christopher Brown has argued that the metaphysics of St. Thomas is preferable to contemporary analyticviews because it can solve the “problem of material constitution” without requiring us to relinquish any of the common-sense beliefs that generate that problem. In this critical study, I show that in the case of both substances and aggregates, Brown’s Aquinas endorses views that are extremely implausible. Consequently, even if it is granted that the solutions (...) to the PMC fall right out of his views, it is still not clear that this gives us reason to prefer his ontology to its competitors. I also consider Brown’s take on the status of the human being after death. (shrink)
Seventeenth-century advancements in physical science are often presented as overthrowing the Aristotelian tradition; perhaps Aristotle's emphasis on formal and final causes left little room for a physical theory grounded in material and efficient causes. In Aristotle's Science of Matter and Motion, Christopher Byrne argues that Aristotle is not to blame, as he indeed possessed a unified theory of matter and motion. In contrast to traditional interpretations, which place an undue explanatory burden on formal and final causes, Byrne argues that (...) Aristotle's theory of the physical world is dependent on the features possessed by perceptible objects, qua perceptible, as well as non-teleological changes in matter.Byrne's... (shrink)
Christopher Meckstroth’s book The Struggle for Democracy poses and attempts to solve a central problem of democratic theory: what he calls the ‘paradox of authorization’, whereby the very activity of spelling out the political content of democracy is said to potentially contradict its object, since the democratic theorist may end up substituting himself or herself for ‘the people’ in deciding what this form government amounts to in practice. In order to avoid this problem, Meckstroth suggests that the political content (...) of democracy ought to be extrapolated out of concrete political struggles, by submitting competing claims to represent the people’s will to a rational scrutiny that tests them for internal coherence. While pointing out the intrinsic interest and originality of this approach, the review also advances some reservations concerning the posited criterion’s capacity to perform all the work Meckstroth assigns it. In the end, the proposed solution to the ‘paradox of authorization’ may fall prey to... (shrink)
Intentionality is a curious notion and so is partial identity; the latter is employed by Christopher Tomaszewski (henceforth, CT) in his paper to afford solutions to a wide array of different philosophical problems. The author’s central thesis is that intentionality is a kind of partial identity; i.e. when the mind is intentionally directed towards an external object, it "takes in" a part of the object – its form, but not its matter. In my essay I first expound Franz Brentano's (...) views on intentionality - inspired by Aristotle's doctrine of hylomorphism. Contrary to what CT suggests, I conclude (in light of Brentano's later work) that intentionality should not be characterized as a genuine relation since one can be intentionally directed towards existing as well as non-existing objects and since, in the case of the latter, it remains unclear what it is that the mind “takes in”. Second, I clarify the notion of partial identity. In this context it is not obvious to me what exactly CT's appeal to partial identity contributes to the solution of the problem of material constitution. Third, I explicate CT's thesis that intentionality is partial identity (based on previously given definitions) and conclude that his argument in support of mind/body-dualism fails. Overall, skepticism remains as to whether partial identity adequately captures the tricky terrain of intentionality. (shrink)
An introduction to the March, 2005 symposium "The Political Theory of Organizations: A Retrospective Examination of Christopher McMahon's "Authority and Democracy" held in San Francisco as part of the Society for Business Ethics Group Meeting at the Pacific Division Meetings of the American Philosophical Association.
Christopher S. Hill advances a theory of conscious experience that employs the idea of representation to unify and explain a wide range of subjective phenomena, including emotions and pain. The theory shows the relevance of philosophical thought in a multidisciplinary view of the mind.
This is an excerpt from the contentWhen Christopher Hitchens died in 2011 from cancer of the esophagus, he was arguably the best-known writer of non-fiction in the English language. His books include political journalism, history, and polemic in the most serious sense although those who value his politics regret that he may be most widely known for his militant atheism. His best-selling memoir, Hitch-22, had just been published when he was diagnosed in 2010. Mortality comprises seven articles that Hitchens (...) wrote for Vanity Fair in which he chronicles his experiences in “Tumortown,” plus a collection of fragmentary notes.Writers who have brought considerable insight to other topics are expected to rise to the occasion of their own critical illnesses and death’s imminence. Hitchens’s expected himself to remain witty, effortlessly well-informed, and perhaps most of all, conversational. “The most satisfying compliment a reader can pay is to tell me that he or she feels personally addressed,” Hitchens writes . He recalls. (shrink)
I shall start by considering the apparently paradoxical doctrines that Wittgenstein put forward about knowledge: they show how the concept of knowledge is, as he says, ‘specialized’. This is not, as I shall show, a very important issue in itself, but it leads on to other points, of more interest: how it comes about, for example, that ‘not all corrections of our beliefs are on the same level’. I shall then discuss the idea that we inherit a certain picture of (...) the world that forms the background of our experiments and researches. This idea, which is not of course unique to Wittgenstein, is, however, developed with many fresh insights. I end with some discussion of Wittgenstein's reported views on religious belief, which should not, in my opinion, be regarded as part of his contribution to philosophy, the interest of them being, perhaps, more biographical than philosophical. (shrink)
My response consists essentially of an attempt to throw light on Peacocke's basic proposal as to how musical expressiveness should be understood by a comparison and contrast with a somewhat similar suggestion of mine.
Review of Integrationism and the Self: Reflections on the Legal Personhood of Animals [Series Routledge Advances in Communication and Linguistic Theory] by Christopher Hutton. London: Routledge, 2019, 190 pp.
In this book, Christopher Peacocke proposes a general theory about what it is for a thinker to be entitled to form a given belief. This theory is distinctively rationalist: that is, it gives a large role to the a priori, while insisting that the propositions or contents that can be known a priori are not in any way “true in virtue of meaning” (and without in any other way denigrating these propositions as “trivial”, or as propositions that “tell us (...) nothing about the world”, or the like). Peacocke then applies this theory to several classical problems in epistemology — to the problem of how our sensory experiences can entitle us to form beliefs about the external world, to the problem of induction, and to the problem of what entitles us to form moral beliefs. (shrink)
Insole claims that the Critical Kant is by and large a mere conservationist, transcendental-idealistically modified through the distinction between things in themselves and appearances. ‘Mere conservationism’ is a position within the debate about the interplay of God as the first cause and the created entities as secondary causes and belongs to the doctrine of divine concursus. For Insole, it is by virtue of this mere conservationism with regard to things in themselves as opposed to appearances, that transcendental freedom of man, (...) required in turn for Kant’s moral theory to prevail, can be upheld. I shall be focusing on two points of disagreement. These concern the so-called compatibility question regarding the threats emerging from God to human freedom. In my view, it is doubtful (i) whether, in this regard, Kant really attempted to establish that human freedom in the strong form required can be upheld by subscribing to mere conservationism regarding things in themselves in the manner Insole suggests, and whether Kant is successful in this attempt. Moreover, (ii) it is not obvious that a so-called ‘concurrentist’ view, i.e. a view according to which God’s causal activities with regard to the world exceed creation and conservation, would commit Kant to a compatibilist view in a more conventional sense. (shrink)
Unlike the grasp of metaphor in natural language, there is in music a patent confusion of roles between the ‘tenor’ and ‘vehicle’ of a metaphor: the expressive content configures the metaphorical understanding of a musical moment as much as the experience of the musical moment shapes how we perceive expressive content. This observation prompts consideration of a model (different from Peacocke’s) in which a spiralling reciprocity of invertible metaphorical operations gives rise to the specificity of the aesthetic experience. On this (...) account – it is argued – metaphorical processes in music function much like those in other art forms. (shrink)
In earlier ages reliable information was rather hard to get, and in general people could be excused for taking the founding myths of their religions on faith. These were the "facts" that "everyone knew," and anybody who had a skeptical itch could check it out with the local priest or rabbi or imam, or other religious authority. Today, there is really no excuse for such ignorance. It may not be your fault if you don't know the facts about the history (...) and tenets of your own religion, but it is somebody's fault. Or more charitably, perhaps we have all been victimized by an accumulation of tradition that. (shrink)
Plato's Atlantis Story is a revised edition of Gill's previous volume, Plato: The Atlantis Story, originally published by Bristol Press in 1980. This revised edition includes a new interpretive introduction, comprehensive bibliography, an original translation, Greek text with commentary, a glossary of Greek terms, an index of ancient passages, and a handful of helpful figures that portray the geography of Atlantis as well as the geography of the world as conceived by the Greeks. All the bases have certainly been covered, (...) and this wealth of resources should appeal to readers at any level of study. The nearly fifty-page interpretive introduction, however, will be of significant interest to scholars, and it will be... (shrink)
The great Franciscan theologian St. Bonaventure engaged in philosophy as well as theology, and the relation between the two in Bonaventure's work has long been debated. Yet, few studies have been devoted to Bonaventure's thought as a whole. In this survey, Christopher M. Cullen reveals Bonaventure as a great synthesizer, whose system of thought bridged the gap between theology and philosophy. The book is organized according to the categories of Bonaventure's own classic text, De reductione artium ad theologiam. (...)Cullen follows Bonaventure's own division of the branches of philosophy and theology, analyzing them as separate but related entities. He shows that Bonaventure was a scholastic, whose mysticism was grounded in systematic theological and philosophical reasoning. He presents a fresh and nuanced perspective on Bonaventure's debt to Augustine, while clarifying Aristotle's influence. Cullen also puts Bonaventure's ideas in context of his time and place, contributing significantly to our understanding of the medieval world. This accessible introduction provides a much-needed overview of Bonaventure's thought. Cullen offers a clear and rare reading of "Bonaventurianism" in and for itself, without the complications of critique and comparison. This book promises to become a standard text on Bonaventure, useful for students and scholars of philosophy, theology, medieval studies, and the history of Christianity. (shrink)