According to the Greek Commentators in late antiquity, Aristotle's Categories is primarily concerned with simple expressions in so far as they signify things. But what is it for a simple expression to signify a thing? As for (non-empty) singular terms, it is safe to say that they denote things. But what about general terms? How do they signify things? The question is crucial to the theory of the Categories , since, as is argued in the first section of this paper, (...) there is some truth in the Commentators' thesis that (part of) the Categories aims to elucidate the signification of simple expressions, including general terms. Of course, various prima facie plausible accounts of how general terms signify things are available; the second section discusses the basic assumptions which underlie them. A detailed analysis of Cat. 2a19-34 in the third section shows that the Categories ' account is two-fold: On the one hand some general terms denote things (among the latter, the most prominent are τα καθ' υπoκειμενoυ λεγoμενα). What is denoted by a given general term does not stand in any relation to the objects falling under the term but is something that they are . Some general terms, on the other hand, connote things. What is connoted by a general term is a property which the objects falling under the term are related to by virtue of having it (τα εν υπoκειμενω oντα are such properties). (shrink)
Panentheism seems to be an attractive alternative to classical theism. It is not clear, though, what exactly panentheism asserts and how it relates to classical theism. By way of clarifying the thesis of panentheism, I argue that panentheism and classical theism differ only as regards the modal status of the world. According to panentheism, the world is an intrinsic property of God – necessarily there is a world – and according to classical theism the world is an extrinsic property of (...) God – it is only contingently true that there is a world. Therefore, as long as we do not have an argument showing that necessarily there is a world, panentheism is not an attractive alternative to classical theism. (shrink)
There is a variety of concepts of the divine in the eastern and western theological and philosophical traditions. There is, however, not enough reflection on the logic behind concepts of God and their justification. I clarify some necessary and sufficient conditions any attempt to explicate a concept of God has to take into account. I argue that each concept of God is a cypher for a particular worldview and distinguishes three types of justification frequently used to bestow content on particular (...) concepts of God: philosophical, theological, and scientific. I turn to four fundamental models of the God–world relation and argue that the most promising concept of God is panentheistic, on which the universe is essentially divine but is not exhaustive of the divine being. (shrink)
Should or shouldn’t Christians endorse the transhumanist agenda of changing human nature in ways fitting to one’s needs? To answer this question, we first have to be clear on what precisely the thesis of transhumanism entails that we are going to evaluate. Once this point is clarified, I argue that Christians can in principle fully endorse the transhumanist agenda because there is nothing in Christian faith that is in contradiction to it. In fact, given certain plausible moral assumptions, Christians should (...) endorse a moderate enhancement of human nature. I end with a brief case study that analyses the theological implications of the idea of immortal Christian cyborgs. I argue that the existence of Christian cyborgs who know no natural death has no impact on the Christian hope of immortality in the presence of God. (shrink)
The existence of God is once again the focus of vivid philosophical discussion. From the point of view of analytic theology, however, people often talk past each other when they debate about the putative existence or nonexistence of God. In the worst case, for instance, atheists deny the existence of a God, which no theists ever claimed to exist. In order to avoid confusions like this we need to be clear about the function of the term 'God' in its different (...) contexts of use. In what follows, I distinguish between the functions of 'God' in philosophical contexts on the one hand and in theological contexts on the other in order to provide a schema, which helps to avoid confusion in the debate on the existence or non-existence of God. (shrink)
I start by way of clarifying briefly the problem of special divine intervention. Once this is done, I argue that laws of nature are generalizations that derive from the dispositional behaviour of natural kinds. Based on this conception of laws of nature I provide a metaphysical model according to which God can realize acts of special divine providence by way of temporarily changing the dispositions of natural entities. I show that this model does not contradict scientific practice and is consistent (...) with the assumption that the physical realm is causally closed. I then argue that prima facie any putative candidate for an act of God could also be seen as a random event or as indicating that there is something wrong with our formulation of the corresponding law of nature. While there is no sufficient philosophical or scientific reason to prefer one of these models, I argue that there are sufficient and legitimate theological reasons to endorse a framework in which at least the obtaining of some anomic states of affairs is seen as the effect of special divine intervention. Doing so, theology has the hermeneutic resources to uncover a dimension of meaningful reality, which without faith could not be seen. (shrink)
In light of continuing corporate scandals, the study of ethical leadership remains an important area of research which helps to understand the antecedents and consequences of ethical behavior in organizations. The present study investigates how social distance influences ethical leadership evaluations, and how in turn ethical leadership evaluations affect leader-member exchange (LMX) after a leader's moral transgression. Based on construal level theory, we propose that higher social distance will lead to more severe evaluations of immoral behavior and therefore entail lower (...) ethical leadership ratings. Moreover, we hypothesize that ethical leadership will positively affect LMX. Participants read a scenario describing a moral situation in which a leader, who was presented in either high or low social distance, behaves unethically toward an employee. We tested our predictions using a structural equation modeling approach. As expected, participants in the high social distance condition judged leaders more harshly (i. e., they gave lower ethical leadership ratings) than in the low social distance condition. Thus, social distance moderated the extent to which leaders are perceived as ethical leaders after moral transgression. Moreover, in accordance with our proposition, ethical leadership ratings had a positive influence on LMX. (shrink)
Panentheism is an often-discussed alternative to Classical theism, and almost any discussion of panentheism starts by way of acknowledging Karl Christian Friedrich Krause (1781–1832) as the person who coined the term.1 However, apart from this tribute, Krause's own panentheism is almost completely unknown. In what follows, I first present a brief overview of Krause's life and correct some misconceptions of his work before I turn to the core ideas of Krause's own panentheistic system of philosophy. In brief, Krause elaborates a (...) scientific holism that is anchored in intellectual intuition of the Absolute as the one principle of being and recognition. The task of philosophical speculation consequently is twofold: the analytic-ascending part of philosophy proceeds by way of transcendental reflection and according to Krause enables us to obtain intellectual intuition. The synthetic-descending part of philosophy starts by way of showing that science as a whole is an explication of the original union of the Absolute as apprehended in intellectual intuition. Once this is achieved, Krause argues that the emerging philosophy of science is most adequately referred to as “panentheism” since everything is what it is “in and through” the Absolute, while the Absolute itself is not reducible to anything in particular. I end by showing how to relate Krause's panentheism to recent philosophical discussion. (shrink)
An important task of philosophy is to provide substantial arguments concerning the basic structure of reality and its relation to the ultimate source of everything. Sometimes, philosophers are convinced that there is an absolutely certain starting point within philosophy. More often, however, they suppose that we start with certain intuitions about empirical reality and its source. Based on these intuitions, philosophers try to develop sound arguments with an intelligible logical structure. By this very fact, they place themselves in the realm (...) of public discussion and criticism. There are, though, different kinds of criticism. Good criticism shows that at least one premise in an argument is not true—which is to say that the argument is not sound—or it shows that the premises could be true while the conclusion is false—which is to say that the argument is not valid. Then, there is criticism that is beside the point. It seems to me that the reply to my paper by Latester belongs to the ki .. (shrink)
We argue that mathematical knowledge is context dependent. Our main argument is that on pain of distorting mathematical practice, one must analyse the notion of having available a proof, which supplies justification in mathematics, in a context dependent way.
Lataster has published another reply to my article on panentheism and classical theism. I should like to respond, first, by way of pointing out some problems in Lataster’s understanding of my argument before; second, I show that Lataster’s panentheistic counterexamples to my distinction to distinguish between classical theism and panentheism presuppose the very distinction he seeks to refute.