This book is a collection of secondary essays on America's most important philosophic thinkers—statesmen, judges, writers, educators, and activists—from the colonial period to the present. Each essay is a comprehensive introduction to the thought of a noted American on the fundamental meaning of the American regime.
ThomasTaylor in England, by K. Raine.--ThomasTaylor in America, by G. M. Harper.--Biographical accounts of ThomasTaylor.--Concerning the beautiful.--The hymns of Orpheus.--Concerning the cave of the nymphs.--A dissertation on the Eleusinian and Bacchic mysteries.--Introduction to The fable of Cupid and Psyche.--The Platonic philosopher's creed.--An apology for the fables of Homer.--Bibliography (p. -538).
A great deal of modern Protestant theology looks very much like an attempt to conduct a salvage operation which is designed to make clear how it is possible to retain belief in Jesus Christ, and at the same time remain intellectually honest. For the same sceptical challenge which faces the secular historian also faces the theologian. If Christians are correct in arguing that the locus of God's revelation to man is in Jesus of Nazareth, then in order to know about (...) this supposed revelation, it is necessary to know about a period of time in the past; it is necessary to know the history of the man's life and actions. Theologians are therefore faced with the question: how, if at all, is it possible to bridge the logical gap between statements describing what Jesus of Nazareth said and did, and statements describing the evidence for what Jesus of Nazareth said and did. The solution found to this question by theologians tends to be determined by their conscious and unconscious philosophical presuppositions; just as it did in the examples discussed above of secular critical philosophies of history. (shrink)
There are doubtless many with personal experience of suffering, or of comforting others in distress, who would agree with Milton thus far that philosophic argument is powerless to satisfy those who in their anguish ask the question ‘Why did it happen to me?’ Yet to think so is to underestimate both the necessity and the power of reason: clarity of mind and the disposition to argue are commonly enhanced rather than diminished by suffering; and if reason is an essential part (...) of man's nature, it should serve him, if anywhere, in the trials of life. We have every justification, therefore, despite common opinion, for seeking a rational answer to the question proposed. It must, however, be admitted at the outset that there is no direct answer to the question which can both withstand critical scrutiny and bring genuine comfort to the afflicted, an answer, that is, which accepts the question as it stands with its attendant presuppositions; but there is an indirect answer, which, precisely by rejecting one or more of these presuppositions and restating the question, can indeed satisfy these two requirements. Before such an answer can be outlined, however, the question in its traditional form must be examined and the traditional answers to it critically reviewed. (shrink)
Amongst Kant's lesser known early writings is a short treatise with the curious title Dreams of a Spirit-Seer Explained by Dreams of Metaphysics , in which, with considerable acumen and brilliance, and not a little irony, Kant exposes the empty pretensions of his contemporary, the Swedish visionary and Biblical exegete, Emanuel Swedenborg, to have access to a spirit world, denied other mortals. Despite his efforts, it must be feared, however, that Kant did not, alas, succeed in laying the spirit of (...) Swedenborg himself to rest once and for all, for there has arisen in our own day, and within philosophy itself, a movement of thought, if such it can be called, which, like that of Swedenborg, is founded upon an unbridled and unhealthy exercise of the imagination, and apparently believes that philosophical problems can be discussed and resolved by the elaboration of fantastical, and at times repulsive, examples; if we require a name for this contemporary pretence at philosophy, we could take as our model the Italian word for science fiction, fantascienza , and call it ‘fantaphilosophy’: it is my aim to show that this fantaphilosophy is a phantom philosophy. (shrink)
Earthcare: Readings and Cases in Environmental Ethics presents a diverse collection of writings from a variety of authors on environmental ethics, environmental science, and the environmental movement overall. Exploring a broad range of world views, religions and philosophies, David W. Clowney and Patricia Mosto bring together insightful thoughts on the ethical issues arising in various areas of environmental concern.
The essays in this volume explore current work in central areas of philosophy, work unified by attention to salient questions of human action and human agency. They ask what it is for humans to act knowledgeably, to use language, to be friends, to act heroically, to be mortally fortunate, and to produce as well as to appreciate art. The volume is dedicated to J. O. Urmson, in recognition of his inspirational contributions to these areas. All the essays but one have (...) been specially written for this volume. (shrink)
The Arabic philosophical tradition played an important role in the formation of theological, philosophical and scientific thought in medieval Europe subsequent to the translations from Arabic into Latin in the 12th and 13th centuries. The influence of that Arabic classical rationalist tradition in works by al-Farabi, Avicenna, Averroes and the Liber de causis is evident in the thought of Thomas Aquinas, though the breadth and depth of that influence is often insufficiently noted and explained by scholars of Aquinas. This (...) course focuses on the metaphysics, epistemology and psychology of Aquinas in the development of his philosophical conceptions of soul and intellect in the context of his use of sources in Aristotle and works by philosophers of the Arabic tradition, particularly Avicenna and Averroes. Readings are selected from writings from each of the four major periods of his career starting with his first major work, the Commentary on the Sentences. The course was planned to be taught at Marquette, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven and the Universidad Panamericana as a hybrid course. That is, it was taught using online tools and resources and also in the classroom with face-to-face meetings once per week. And it was taught at Marquette, KU Leuven and the Universidad Panamericana simultaneously. On Thursdays students met online with video and audio for questions and discussion with Profs. Taylor, Robiglio and López-Farjeat and the student groups in Milwaukee, Leuven and Mexico City live. (shrink)
Some will wonder why this book was ever written, thinking perhaps that there is nothing more to be said about "proofs" for the existence of God. Others of a more traditional inclination might be surprised at some of the conclusions drawn by the author. Kenny carefully scrutinizes the five ways of St. Thomas and concludes that they do not constitute rational proofs for God's existence. Kenny's chief criticism is that the arguments of Aquinas are too closely wedded to a (...) cosmology that cannot stand up under a modern critique. The value of this book rests precisely in its use of contemporary philosophy in evaluating the five ways. Perhaps the author's most serious criticism is directed against the Thomistic concept of esse and the notion of God as ipsum esse subsistens. These metaphysical notions of Aquinas have long been acclaimed as extensions of Aristotelian thought. Kenny, however, claims that they are Platonic in nature and hence subject to the centuries of criticism leveled against Plato's Ideas. Under a logical analysis, the notion of God as ipsum esse subsistens "turns out to be the Platonic Idea of a predicate which is at best uninformative and at worst unintelligible."--J. J. R. (shrink)
Galton and subsequent investigators find wide divergences in people's subjective reports of mental imagery. Such individual differences might be taken to explain the peculiarly irreconcilable disputes over the nature and cognitive significance of imagery which have periodically broken out among psychologists and philosophers. However, to so explain these disputes is itself to take a substantive and questionable position on the cognitive role of imagery. This article distinguishes three separable issues over which people can be "for" or "against" mental images. Conflation (...) of these issues can lead to theoretical differences being mistaken for experiential differences, even by theorists themselves. This is applied to the case of John B. Watson, who inaugurated a half-century of neglect of image psychology. Watson originally claimed to have vivid imagery; by 1913 he was denying the existence of images. This strange reversal, which made his behaviorism possible, is explicable as a "creative misconstrual" of Dunlap's "motor" theory of imagination. (shrink)