At the beginning of Posterior Analytics 2.19 Aristotle reminds us that we cannot claim demonstrative knowledge ( epistêmê apodeiktikê ) unless we know immediate premisses, the archai of demonstrations. By the end of the chapter he explains why the cognitive state whereby we get to know archai must be Nous . In between, however, Aristotle describes the process of the acquisition of concepts, not immediate premisses. How should we understand this? There is a general agreement that it is Nous by (...) means of which we acquire both premisses and concepts. I argue that this cannot be the case. Since concepts are simples while premisses are composites (predications of concepts), the two cannot be objects of the same cognitive state. I further argue that, whereas Nous is responsible for our grasp of concepts, the state Aristotle elsewhere calls non-demonstrable knowledge is the one whereby we get to know the premisses of demonstrations. (shrink)
By critically exploring interdisciplinary perspectives on empathy, this dialogical volume _Exploring Empathy_ aims to generate deeper thinking about what is at stake in discussions and practices of empathy in the 21st century.
Summary This article seeks to lay a more solid foundation for the contemporary paradigm shift in the Christian theological thinking – that is, from theo-anthropology to theo-cosmology. In the new paradigm cosmic hope for the completion of the trinitarian project of creation, instead of human redemption from sin and death, comes to the fore as the most comprehensive horizon of Christian thinking. For this purpose the author reconstructs the underlying logic of the biblical faith in a narrative form (...) from creation to eschatology. (shrink)
Review of THEO C. MEYERING, Historical Roots of Cognitive Science : The Rise of a Cognitive Theory of Perception from Antiquity to the Nineteenth Century. Boston: Kluwer, xix + 250 pp. $69.00. Examines the author's interpretation of Aristotelian theories of perceptual cognition, early modern theories, and Helmholtz's theory.
Theo AF Kuipers THE THREEFOLD EVALUATION OF THEORIES A SYNOPSIS OF FROM INSTRUMENTALISM TO CONSTRUCTIVE REALISM. ON SOME RELATIONS BETWEEN CONFIRMATION, EMPIRICAL PROGRESS, AND TRUTH APPROXIMATION (2000) ABSTRACT.
In an article in Utilitas Theo van Willigenburg has argued that moral valuation is distinguished from other forms of valuation by the Kantian concept of respect. He criticizes, from that standpoint, an account I put forward, which builds on the connections between moral wrongdoing, blame and withdrawal of recognition. I examine the difference between these two approaches and defend my own.
I oppose the way John Skorupski characterizes morality in terms of the blameworthy and the role he consequently assigns to punitive feelings in directing one's will and shaping one's character. Skorupski does not hold that the punishment involved in blame- and guilt-feelings grounds the normativity of moral obligation. He defends a specific view of moral psychology and moral practice in which the blame-feeling disposes to the withdrawal of recognition, which involves some sort of casting the transgressor out of the community (...) resulting in the suffering of repentance which is necessary to make atonement possible. I argue that this picture threatens to socialize morality. I defend the Kantian idea that the will is not aligned to obligation through castigation, but through our consciousness of our vocation as takers and givers of reasons. This highlights very different feelings as essential to the typically moral stance, feelings that are not necessarily punitive, like feelings of respect and reverence. (shrink)
Using an analogy between moths and men, in 1916, Richard Goldschmidt proposed that homosexuality was a case of genetic intersexuality. As he strove to create a unified theory of sex determination that would encompass animals ranging from moths to men, Goldschmidt's doubts grew concerning the association of homosexuality with intersexuality until, in 1931, he dropped homosexuality from his theory of intersexuality. Despite Goldschmidt's explicit rejection of his theory of homosexuality, Theo Lang, a researcher in the Genealogical-Demographic Department of the (...) Institute for Psychiatric Research in Munich, revived it, maintained Goldschmidt's association with it, and argued on its behalf in publications from 1936 to 1960. Lang's appropriation of Goldschmidt's theory did not depend on his resolution of the difficulties Goldschmidt had found with his own theory. Lang and Goldschmidt, I argue, had fundamentally different scientific and social commitments that allowed one to reject this theory of homosexuality and the other to accept it. (shrink)
ABSTRACTJurgen Moltmann is one of the most important theologians in the XXth century who intended to leave aside a rigid and impassible notion of God. However, although Moltmann opens new ways to consider God’s life by stressing God’s passivity and relationality, the concepts of activity and self-sufficiency are still structuring the whole theological argument. I intend to show how our understanding of life has been shaped by a bio-theo-political paradigm of autarchy that defines life by the use of the (...) Greek prefix ‘autos,’ and how this paradigm is still working on Moltmann’s theology, who is not able yet to overcome the metaphysical impassible God. I claim that only a radical deconstruction of this paradigm and the construction of a new way of defining life by the use of the Greek prefix ‘syn’ could enable to think seriously on God’s relationality and love. (shrink)
This article maps a selection of Pope Francis’ social teaching, which supports respect for diversity. It undertakes this task with the aid of a green theo-ecoethical lens. That hermeneutical lens is first introduced to the reader via an explanation of its constituent parts. It is then employed to help situate respect for diversity as a Christian ethical principle. With those foundations in place subsequent sections employ the lens to colligate Francis’ teachings which, dialogically, both inform and come into focus (...) through a green theo-ecoethical perspective concerned with respect for diversity. Here, three sections unfold the Pope’s treatment of themes relevant to respect for diversity in a green theo-ecoethical light. Specifically, these sections focus on contributions emerging from Francis’ public ministry in general, his first substantive piece of Catholic Social Teaching, Evangelii Gaudium, and perhaps the most anticipated papal encyclical of all time, Laudato Si’. The article's conclusion helps situate the contextual cogency of insights emerging from this multi-dimensional mapping for what Francis names as our common home, a planet which encompasses an Earth community in a dire need of increased levels of socio-ecological flourishing. (shrink)
From the perspective of Christian theology, divine freedom is the paradigm of human freedom, but it is also completely unlike ours in its infinity. This is the paradox of the analogy of being: in its infinity, the Archetype of our being is also completely other. In contrast, likeness between contingent beings is limited in that each being is individuated yet similar to those of like species. No matter how alike beings are, “unlikeness” increases with generic distance. At the asymptotic limit, (...) the Archetype is infinitely unlike us, but remains the ultimate blueprint for each being. If as Archetype, God’s infinite freedom is qualitative of infinite being, then all finite beings must possess freedom to some finite degree. Herein lies the problem treated in this paper: how can bothanimate and inanimate being possess freedom? To answer this question, the author draws upon the first volume of part two of Hans Urs von Balthasar’s sixteen volume trilogy, Theo-logic: The Truth of the World. (shrink)
Most public reason theorists believe that citizens are under a ‘duty of restraint’. Citizens must refrain from supporting laws for which they have only non-public reasons, such as religious reasons. The theo-ethical equilibrium argument purports to show that theists should accept this duty, on the basis of their religious convictions. Theists’ beliefs about God’s nature should lead them to doubt moral claims for which they cannot find secular grounds, and to refrain from imposing such claims upon others. If successful, (...) this argument would defuse prominent objections to public reason liberalism. This paper assesses the theo-ethical equilibrium argument, with a specific focus on Christian citizens. I argue that Christians should seek theo-ethical equilibrium, but need not endorse the duty of restraint. I establish this in part through examining the important theological concept of natural law. That discussion also points to more general and persistent problems with defining ‘public reasons’. (shrink)
The central question of Hans Urs von Balthasar’s Theo-Logic is how the infinite truth of God can be manifested in the finite structures of the created world. In the course of answering this question, Balthasar presents a philosophical understanding of expressive form and a theology of Christ as the expression of divine truth in the world. The philosophical discussion of truth provides support for the intelligibility of the theological claim that God’s truth has been manifested in the world in (...) Christ. The fullest expression of divine truth and the highest realization of worldly truth are found together in Christ, whom Balthasar calls the “truth of God.” Balthasar’s philosophical and theological understanding of expression, as set forth in the Theo-Logic, provides helpful insights for comparing his thought to that of Karl Rahner. (shrink)
D'un philosophe comme de l'autre, on peut dire qu'ils sont tous deux, dans l'horizon contemporain, des penseurs de l'amour. Tous deux s'inscrivent en faux contre la réduction de ce dernier à la sexualité, mais, tout autant, contre sa réduction inverse, plus ancienne, à une forme de mystique éthérée de type platonico-chrétien qui a pu se formuler sous le terme d'agapè. Nous nous proposons dans cette contribution d'étudier la pensée de J.-L. Marion en adoptant l'hypothèse d'une « unité théo-phénoménologique » de (...) son questionnement. Nous faisons usage du terme « théo-phénoménologie » en référence à l'approche de l'œuvre du philosophe et théologien grec Christos Yannaras, et souhaitons ce faisant rendre justice à l'avancée de J.-L. Marion en situant son geste philosophique singulier à la lumière de la théologie orthodoxe du Christianisme grec oriental telle qu'elle est elle-même renouvelée philosophiquement par C. Yannaras. Jean-Luc Marion and Christos Yannaras are both well-known as contemporary love-thinkers. Both refuse the reduction of love to sexuality as much as its older opposite reduction to a form of platonic christian mystics sometimes named agapè. In the following contribution I wish to examine Jean-Luc Marion's approach while making the hypothesis of its « theo-phenomenological » unity. Since the expression « theo-phenomenology » is used in reference to the work of the contemporary Greek philosopher and theologian Christos Yannaras, I aim at doing justice to Marion's philosophical thrust by putting his conception of love in the light of the Orthodox theology of the Eastern Church as it is nowadays philosophically renewed by Yannaras. (shrink)
This article studies the fundamental shift between Paul Ramsey’s and Oliver O’Donovan’s ethics of war and so reintroduces Hegel into the debate on political ethics. The topic is approached through the notion of divine-human and political mediation, whereby Hegel’s early movement from Christology to dialectics provides the analytical framework. The article first studies the theo-logic of Paul Ramsey’s early agapist notions of war up to his transformist period. It then traces how O’Donovan fundamentally transforms Ramsey’s dialectical framework within that (...) of narrated Christology. O’Donovan’s focus culminates in the unified reign of Christ and the overcoming of Hegel’s dialectics. But it is argued that the transition to Hegel’s and Ramsey’s perspectives is constantly required in order to prevent Christian ethics from becoming ossified. The article thus hopes to initiate a comprehensive, because logical-systematic discussion of contemporary wars and war machines, especially in critical conversation with philosophers and military practitioners. (shrink)
The essay surveys Newman's work in literary drama, from an early essay on Aristotle's Poetics to his adaptation of Roman comedies for production at the Oratory School, in order to approach his affinities with Hans Urs von Balthasar's theological dramatic theory. Newman does not find a Balthasarian theo-drama via literary drama – perhaps because he was not properly exposed to medieval religious drama – but scattered dramatic analogies in his history writing suggest that he undertakes a theo-drama in (...) that genre. Von Balthasar and Newman employ dramatic analogies to reject chiliastic apocalyptic and foster ‘keromatic’ apocalyptic. (shrink)
Am Ende des 18. Jh., als eines der berühmtesten politischen Dokumente, Die Erklärung der Menschen- und Bürgerrechte, verabschiedet wurde, war die Antwort auf die Frage nach dem „Was” der Menschenrechte nicht schwer zu finden, obwohl damit Neuland einer grundsätzlich anderen politischen Moral betreten wurde. Auf diese oder andere Weise wurden die Menschenrechte aus der Vernunft abgeleitet, d. h. aus einem Vermögen, welches ein „Evangelium der reinen Vernunft” schreiben sollte. Eineinhalb Jahrhunderte später, im Jahr 1948, war eine solche Antwort nicht nur (...) hindernisreich, sondern es ist in den einigen mageren Jahren des Wirkens der Allgemeinen Erklärung der Menschenrechte klar geworden, dass das Suchen nach dem „Was” der Menschenrechte jeden Tag mehrere und tiefere Unstimmigkeiten zum Vorschein bringt. Deswegen wird eine strategische Verschiebung vorgeschlagen: Erklären wir die Frage nach dem „Was” als überholt und widmen wir uns dem „Wie” der Menschenrechte. Anstatt der positiven Aufgabe, welches Denken auf das „Was” der Menschenrechte antworten kann, schlagen wir eine negative Aufgabe vor: Welches Denken kann dem „Wie” der Menschenrechte schaden? In diesem Beitrag soll gezeigt werden, dass sich durch die Postmoderne das onto-theo-logische Denken eingeschlichen hat, das als eine Linse wirkt, die den Blick auf die Menschenrechte verzerrt und dadurch eine der größten zeitgenössischen Gefahren für die Menschenrechte mit sich bringt. (shrink)
This book is the first of two volumes devoted to the work of Theo Kuipers, a leading Dutch philosopher of science. Philosophers and scientists from all over the world, thirty seven in all, comment on Kuipers' philosophy, and each of their commentaries is followed by a reply from Kuipers. The present volume focuses on Kuipers' views on confirmation, empirical progress, and truth approximation, as laid down in his From Instrumentalism to Constructive Realism. In this book, Kuipers offered a synthesis (...) of Carnap's and Hempel's confirmation theory on the one hand, and Popper's theory of truth approximation on the other. The key element of this synthesis is a sophisticated methodology, which enables the evaluation of theories in terms of their problems and successes, and which also fits well with the claim that one theory is closer to the truth than another. Ilkka Niiniluoto, Patrick Maher, John Welch, Gerhard Schurz, Igor Douven, Bert Hamminga, David Miller, Johan van Benthem, Sjoerd Zwart, Thomas Mormann, Jesús Zamora Bonilla, Isabella Burger & Johannes Heidema, Joke Meheus, Hans Mooij, and Diderik Batens comment on these ideas of Kuipers, and many present their own account. The present book also contains a synopsis of From Instrumentalism to Constructive Realism. It can be read independently of the second volume of Essays in Debate with Theo Kuipers, which is devoted to Kuipers' Structures in Science. (shrink)
This book is the second of two volumes devoted to the work of Theo Kuipers, a leading Dutch philosopher of science. Philosophers and scientists from all over the world, thirty seven in all, comment on Kuipers’ philosophy, and each of their commentaries is followed by a reply from Kuipers. The present volume is devoted to Kuipers’ neo-classical philosophy of science, as laid down in his Structures in Science . Kuipers defends a dialectical interaction between science and philosophy in that (...) he views philosophy of science as a meta-science which formulates cognitive structures that provide heuristic patterns for actual scientific research, including design research. In addition, Kuipers pays considerable attention to the computational approaches to philosophy of science as well as to the ethics of doing research. Thomas Nickles, David Atkinson, Jean-Paul van Bendegem, Maarten Franssen, Anne Ruth Mackor, Arno Wouters, Erik Weber & Helena de Preester, Eric Scerri, Adam Grobler & Andrzej Wisniewski, Alexander van den Bosch, Gerard Vreeswijk, Jaap Kamps, Paul Thagard, Emma Ruttkamp, Robert Causey, Henk Zandvoort comment on these ideas of Kuipers, and many present their own account. The present book also contains a synopsis of Structures in Science. It can be read independently of the first volume of Essays in Debate with Theo Kuipers, which is devoted to Kuipers’ From Instrumentalism to Constructive Realism. (shrink)
Does Descartes belong to metaphysics? What do we mean when we say "metaphysics"? These questions form the point of departure for Jean-Luc Marion's groundbreaking study of Cartesian thought. Analyses of Descartes' notion of the ego and his idea of God show that if Descartes represents the fullest example of metaphysics, he no less transgresses its limits. Writing as philosopher and historian of philosophy, Marion uses Heidegger's concept of metaphysics to interpret the Cartesian corpus--an interpretation strangely omitted from Heidegger's own history (...) of philosophy. This interpretation complicates and deepens the Heideggerian concept of metaphysics, a concept that has dominated twentieth-century philosophy. Examinations of Descartes' predecessors (Aristotle, Augustine, Aquinas, and Suarez) and his successors (Leibniz, Spinoza, and Hegel) clarify the meaning of the Cartesian revolution in philosophy. Expertly translated by Jeffrey Kosky, this work will appeal to historians of philosophy, students of religion, and anyone interested in the genealogy of contemporary thought and its contradictions. (shrink)
The issues of just what laws of nature are and what makes statements law-like have been more discussed than advanced. After exploring the general area and uncovering some difficulties which, I suspect, make the case even knottier than generally imagined, I argue that certain resources available only to the theist---in particular, counterfactuals of God’s freedom---may provide the materials needed for constructing solutions.
Simone Weil's writings suggest that human compassion is divinely revelatory to the extent that interpersonal union and estrangement intensify identically and simultaneously. The relational space of compassionate communion is aporetic; the more attuned one becomes to an afflicted other, the more unreachable this other is seen to be. In her uniquely poetic style of writing, Weil locates perhaps the most intense experience of God directly in the center of this aporia. Compassion between two people—a sufferer and an empathizer—becomes a locus (...) of divine manifestation as it instantiates the possible distance and oneness of Creation, Incarnation, and Cross. (shrink)