Many contemporary scholars defend the position that J. S. Mill was a ‘eudaimonist’, in a sense implying that he was not an ‘experiential’ hedonist. One ‘activist’ argument for this interpretation rests on the claim that Mill’s core axiological uses of ‘pleasure’ in Utilitarianism should be understood to refer to worthy or pleasurable activities rather than mental states. This paper offers a three-stage rebuttal of the activist interpretation. Firstly, in the Analysis, the Examination and the Logic, Mill explicitly identifies pleasures and (...) pains as mental states. Secondly, if we read Mill’s core axiological uses of ‘pleasure’ in Utilitarianism along activist lines, the text’s overall coherence and intelligibility becomes even more questionable than on the traditional experientialist reading. Finally, in his discussions of Plato, Mill seems to distance himself from the axiological view that non-hedonic features of mind or character have intrinsic value in their own right. In consequence, in the small number of cases in Utilitarianism in which Mill clearly speaks of ‘pleasures’ as activities, this is best construed as a derivative usage. (shrink)
Characteristic of the contemporary field of life's meaning has been the combination of monism in method and naturalism in substance. That is, much of the field has sought to reduce enquiry into life's meaning to one question and to offer a single principle as an answer to it, with this principle typically focusing on ways of living in the physical world as best known by the scientific method. T. J. Mawson's new book, God and the Meanings of Life, provides fresh (...) reason to doubt both this form and this content and also develops positive alternatives to them. In this critical notice of Mawson's book, I consider several of the central arguments that he gives for a pluralist supernaturalism, explaining why I remain unconvinced. (shrink)
We provide an empirical investigation of leadership characteristics and social justice issues in the context of financial literacy service-learning. Using a unique dataset of student self-ratings, we find that students experience statistically significant increases in 8 of the 10 leadership dimensions and 7 of the 7 social justice issues examined in this study. Leadership dimensions include: persuasion, building community, “commitment to the growth of people,” stewardship, empathy, awareness, foresight, and listening. Interest in social justice issues include: dignity of the human (...) person, community and the common good, rights and responsibilities, option for the poor, dignity of work, solidarity, and care for God’s creation. The statistically significant increases in these dimensions following the completion of the service-learning suggest positive effects on students’ self-perception of leadership qualities and interests in social justice issues: business school students sense improvement in nurturing growth of employees and colleagues, commitment to serving the need of others, understanding and empathizing with others, ethics, ability to foresee the likely outcome of a situation, and listening intently to others. As a consequence of the financial literacy service-learning, we believe that business students become more prepared toward becoming ethical leaders and citizens with compassion to serve the world for the well-being of all people, rich and poor alike. (shrink)
In On Liberty, Mill says that ‘the same causes which make … [a person] a Churchman in London, would have made him a Buddhist or a Confucian in Pekin’. Despite Mill's not having drawn it out, there is an argument implicit in his comments that is germane to both externalist and internalist understandings of the epistemic justification of religious beliefs, even though some of these understandings would not wish to use the term ‘epistemic justification’ to refer to whatever it is (...) that they suggest must be added to true belief for it to count as knowledge. In this paper, we shall articulate this argument; examine how it challenges those religious believers who would wish to claim their religious beliefs as knowledge; and consider what they may do to meet this challenge. (shrink)
Maximizing Hedonism maintains that the most pleasurable pleasures are the best. Francis Bradley argues that this is either incompatible with Mill’s Qualitative Hedonism, or renders the latter redundant. Some ‘sympathetic’ interpreters respond that Mill was either a Non-Maximizing Hedonist or a Non-Hedonist. However, Bradley’s argument is fallacious, and these ‘sympathetic’ interpretations cannot provide adequate accounts of: Mill’s identification with the Protagorean Socrates; his criticisms of the Gorgian Socrates; or his apparent belief that Callicles is misguided to attempt to show that (...) the pleasures of the intelligent can be more valuable than the pleasures of fools without also being more pleasurable. -/- L’hédonisme maximisateur maintient que les plaisirs les plus plaisants sont les meilleurs. Francis Bradley soutient que soit cela est incompatible avec l’hédonisme qualitatif de Mill, soit cela rend ce dernier redondant. Certains interprètes bien intentionnés répondent que Mill était soit un hédoniste non-maximisateur, soit un non-hédoniste. L’argument de Bradley est toutefois fallacieux et ces interprétations bien intentionnées ne peuvent rendre compte de manière adéquate de l’identification de Mill avec le Socrate protagorien, de ses critiques du Socrate gorgien, ni de sa conviction apparente que Calliclès a tort de tenter de montrer que les plaisirs de la personne intelligente peuvent être plus précieux que les plaisirs de l’idiot sans pour autant être plus plaisants. (shrink)
In Heidegger’s Being and Time certain concepts are discussed which are central to the ontological constitution of Dasein. This paper demonstrates the interesting manner in which some of these concepts can be used in a reading of T.S. Eliot’s The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock. A comparative analysis is performed, explicating the relevant Heideggerian terms and then relating them to Eliot’s poem. In this way strong parallels are revealed between the two men’s respective thoughts and distinct modernist sensibilities. Prufrock, (...) the protagonist of the poem, and the world he inhabits illustrate poetically concepts such as authenticity, inauthenticity, the ‘they’, idle talk and angst, which Heidegger develops in Being and Time. (shrink)
This paper seeks to reinterpret the life and work of J. B. S. Haldane by focusing on an illuminating but largely ignored essay he published in 1927, "The Last Judgment" -- the sequel to his better known work, "Daedalus" (1924). This astonishing essay expresses a vision of the human future over the next 40,000,000 years, one that revises and updates Wellsian futurism with the long range implications of the "new biology" for human destiny. That vision served as a kind of (...) lifelong credo, one that infused and informed his diverse scientific work, political activities, and popular writing, and that gave unity and coherence to his remarkable career. (shrink)
Drawing upon Nel Noddings’ contention that, if children are to be happy in schools, their teachers should also be happy, this paper tries to explore a way in which the obviously intimate but seemingly conflicting connections between students’ and teachers’ happiness can be understood from the viewpoint of Stanley Cavell’s reading of J. S. Mill. Mill’s conceptions of desire and pleasure are examined as a means of liberating the above connection from existing prioritization: that is, teachers’ or students’ happiness comes (...) first. The pursuit of happiness for both teachers and students is discussed, in the hopes of illuminating alternative images of teacher education. (shrink)
"O'Meara masterfully situates Pryzwara in relation to the traditional and contemporary theological, philosophical, ecclesial, cultural, and social contexts within which he wrote." --_William P. Loewe, professor of religious studies, Catholic University of America_ Erich Przywara, S.J. is one of the important Catholic intellectuals of the twentieth century. Yet, in the English-speaking world Przywara remains largely unknown. Few of his sixty books or six hundred articles have been translated. In this engaging new book, Thomas O'Meara offers a comprehensive study of the (...) German Jesuit Erich Przywara and his philosophical theology. Przywara's scholarly contributions were remarkable. He was one of three theologians who introduced the writings of John Henry Cardinal Newman into Germany. From his position at the Jesuit journal in Munich, _Stimmen der Zeit_, he offered an open and broad Catholic perspective on the cultural, philosophical, and theological currents of his time. As one of the first Catholic intellectuals to employ the phenomenologies of Edmund Husserl and Max Scheler, he was also responsible for giving an influential, more theological interpretation of the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius Loyola. Przywara was also deeply engaged in the ideas and authors of his times. He was the first Catholic dialogue partner of Karl Barth and Paul Tillich. Edmund Husserl was counted among Przywara's friends, and Edith Stein was a close personal and intellectual companion. Through his interactions with important figures of his age and his writings, ranging from speculative systems to liturgical hymns, Przywara was of marked importance in furthering a varied dialogue between German Catholicism and modern culture. Following a foreword by Michael Fahey, S.J., O'Meara presents a chapter on Pryzwara's life and a chronology of his writings. O'Meara then discusses Pryzwara's philosophical theology, his lecture-courses at German universities on Augustine and Aquinas, his philosophy of religion, and his influence on important intellectual contemporaries. O'Meara concludes with an in-depth analysis of Pryzwara's theology, focusing particularly on his Catholic views of person, liturgy, and church. (shrink)
Rita Widmaier and Malte-Ludolf Babin have done a valuable scholarly service for studies of the early modern European reception of China in collecting letters from Leibniz's extensive correspondence concerning China and translating them from the original Latin and French into German. This multi-lingual and chronologically organized edition gathers letters to and from Leibniz as well as supplementary texts composed between the years 1694 and 1716. It incorporates helpful clarificatory notes as well as an informative and lucid introduction.This edition focuses on (...) the exchanges between Leibniz and the Jesuit theologian and philosopher Barthélemy Des Bosses S.J. and other Jesuits in Europe who were in... (shrink)
Is the existence of God a question of fact? To the majority of theists, both now and in the past, I think it has seemed clear that, if the phrase ‘God exists’ is to be meaningful, then it is a fact, either that God exists or that he does not. This assertion may even seem trivially true; and yet it has evidently been denied, in recent years, by many theologians. The reasons for such a denial are, in part, to be (...) found in the general reaction against metaphysical philosophy, which was characteristic of the early years of this century, and which is, in Britain, epitomised by A. J. Ayer's stipulation that no proposition can be factually significant unless it is verifiable; unless, in principle at least, some series of observations could conceivably show it to be true. By restricting ‘observation’ to the senses of the physical body, and by emphasising the fact that God, as transcendent by definition, was not a possible object of the senses, some philosophically sensitive theologians were startled into denying that ‘God’ was, even in principle, verifiable; and consequently into denying that propositions purporting to assert his existence were factual. (shrink)
This book is of little interest except to those tracing back the neo-scholastic sources of such figures as Maréchal, Coreth, Rahner, et al. The introductory essay by G. Isaye, supposedly designed to give a summary description of Scheurer's method, is a masterpiece of obscure writing even for those acquainted with neoscholastic jargon. The rest of the volume consists of twelve very desultory essays by Scheurer. In these essays Scheurer struggles to pour the philosophy of the ego à la Kant and (...) his successors into scholastic molds. This synthesis is done in the name of the transcendental method, but what results is historically dubious and philosophically tortured. Though ambiguities abound, Scheurer was ahead of most of his scholastic contemporaries in that he tried to come to grips with Kant and to see in Kant someone more than the malin genie of modern philosophy. Unfortunately, the editor does not date Scheurer's essays and one, therefore, cannot determine whether Scheurer first influenced Maréchal or vice-versa--D. J. M. B. (shrink)
Among young liberal Catholic intellectuals, Lonergan is held in extremely high esteem. His philosophic treatise, Insight, is considered to be the important philosophic book where Thomism genuinely encounters contemporary secular philosophy. But outside this circle of Catholic intellectuals Lonergan's thought is barely known. This collection of articles does reflect the comprehensiveness and depth of his thought. Papers range over intricate theological discussions of the Assumption, Christ, marriage, the role of a Catholic university in the modern world, and technical philosophic issues (...) such as the form of inference and geometric possibility. Because the papers are short and have been written for a variety of audiences, it is difficult to discern any overreaching continuity and perspective. Many of the discussions demand a more thorough and critical analysis than is exhibited here. The introduction by Crowe is helpful for reconstructing Lonergan's intellectual development and supplying a broader context for appreciating the papers, although the tone is more reverential than critical.—R. J. B. (shrink)
This article by Johannes B. Lotz, S.J., never before translated into English, describes his contacts with Martin Heidegger. First it describes his arrival, along with Karl Rahner, S.J., to pursue doctoral studies in Freiburg im Breisgau and their first experiences with the famous professor. Lotz continues his narrative by mentioning times he met with Heidegger over the subsequent forty years up to the philosopher’s death. With Gustav Siewerth, Max Müller, Bernhard Welte, and Karl Rahner, Lotz belonged to a group of (...) Catholic thinkers influenced—some more, some less—by Martin Heidegger. In Lotz’s view some of Heidegger’s ideas were already found in Aquinas, and a philosophy of Being needed to go beyond existential analysis into religion, revelation, and cultural criticism. (shrink)
Dr. J. van Ginneken S.J., whose death occurred on the 20th of October 1945, was the author of the well-known "Principes de Linguistique psychologique". In the above article the writer commemorates Dr. van Ginneken particularly as a significist. During the years 1919-1924 the writer was privileged -- together with his friends L. E. J. Brouwer and Fred. van Eeden -- to collaborate with Dr. van Ginneken on the subject of significs. This collaboration has always been a precious memory to him. (...) It proved moreover, that profound differences in conception about life and world need not prevent a fertile exchange of thoughts, provided the participants are actuated by the serious will to fathom to the depth each other's mentality. (shrink)
In this paper I discuss Tim Maudlinâs attempt to reject the theory of universals based on the interpretation of gauge theories in the fiber bundle framework. The project is novel and assuring, but, I argue, it is vulnerable to several objections stemming from both metaphysics and physics. I complement his project by emphasizing two missing elements: first, a commitment to realism; second, the fundamentality or non-fundamentality of gauge theories.
When the Japanese invaded Joseon at the end of the sixteenth century, a Spanish Jesuit priest, Gregorio de Céspedes, S.J. , stayed in the Japanese fortress in Ungcheon with Japanese soldiers. While Céspedes is celebrated as the first European who allegedly came with an evangelical vision of proselytizing the native Koreans, previous scholarship has inadequately acknowledged Céspedes’ role without consideration of his concrete actions in the Japanese fortress and of the broader context of sixteenth–century Spanish colonial expansion. An examination of (...) the Jesuit mission to sixteenth-century Japan, the role of the Spanish chaplains and their activities in foreign expeditions, and Céspedes’ activities in Joseon indicate that Céspedes was not a missionary sent to Korea, but rather an active chaplain who played a role in the larger development of church and state collaboration under Spanish colonialism. (shrink)
Open peer commentary on the target article “From Objects to Processes: A Proposal to Rewrite Radical Constructivism” by Siegfried J. Schmidt. Upshot: The subtitle of “An Austrian Contribution” emphasizes a basic distinction between German and Austrian traditions in the philosophy of fields of science. In S. J. Schmidt’s genuinely German way of writing, one can observe a high emphasis on terminology and a specific arena of heavy philosophical problems that have to be solved in a strictly philosophical manner, whereas the (...) Austrian tradition places its importance on scientific progress, especially in the natural sciences, and on the clarifying, mediating, and self-reflecting role of philosophy within the overall context of scientific evolution. (shrink)
This paper explores the extreme but well-argued-for thesis that the indirect object of an aesthetic experience of serious art is the human soul of the person having the experience. The author of the thesis was Fr. Arthur Little S.J. a mid twentieth-century Irishman, professional philosopher and philosophical popularizer. The paper treats Little’s thesis seriously: comparisons are drawn with Kant, which may be of interest even to those hostile to Little’s central assertion. Little makes a brilliant analysis of a ‘free-beauty’, making (...) the sharpest contrast between this and the most serious art, tragedy. Tragedy, Little holds Kant not able to cope with. One agrees. (shrink)
W. Norris Clarke's metaphysics of the universe as a journey rests on six major positions: the unrestricted dynamism of the mind, the primacy of the act of existence, the participation structure of reality, and the person, considered as both the starting point of philosophy and the source of the categories needed for a flexible contemporary metaphysics. Reflecting on his conscious life and the universe around him, the finite person mounts by a two-fold path to its Infinite source, who, though immutable (...) in His natural being, is mutable in the intentional being of His personal knowledge and love. The personal God is the efficient cause from whom the universe comes and the final cause to whom it returns.Less optimistic than Norris Clarke, John Caputo wonders about his metaphysics of the person. In a hermeneutical interpretation of the human face, the person through whom Being "sounds" discloses an ambiguous Being that both reveals and conceals itself. Far from grounding a casual ascent to God, hermeneutical phenomenology allows us no more than the right to interpret the world and its transcendent source through our own free decision.Although impressed by Norris Clarke's attempt to introduce mutability into God, Lewis Ford still finds Clarke's Thomistic God unacceptable. As a Whiteheadian, he proposes in place of Thomas' God, whose perfection consists in static unity, a God whose perfection consists in a never-ending process of unification. John Smith argues against the traditional dichotomy made between the ontological and cosmological arguments. Rather than opposed methods of proving God's existence, they should be taken as complementary journeys to the divine presence which discloses itself, although diversely, in the soul and in the world. There are parallels between Smith's historical study of two arguments and Clarke's two-fold path to God. Yet Smith is critical of Thomas' cosmological journey to God and does not share Clarke's confidence in its validity. Significant studies in their own right, the three essays as a group challenge Clarke's whole metaphysics of the universe as a journey. Meeting the challenge, Clarke clarifies and refines his own thought.An account of Clarke's philosophy by Gerald A. McCool, S.J. preceds this unified and stimulating philosophical discussion. (shrink)
For several years now, Siegfried J. Schmidt’s work has provided an important complement to the field, as it bases constructivism in a philosophical and socio-cultural context. With his new book, he develops this approach, striving to overcome simplistic models that fail to specify how human constructions come into being, to challenge traditional dualistic models, and to show how social systems emerge and function… The book provides an important, prolific and strong case for constructivism as a theory of communication.
J. L. Schellenberg’s Philosophy of Religion argues for a specific brand of sceptical religion that takes ‘Ultimism’ – the proposition that there is a metaphysically, axiologically, and soteriologically ultimate reality – to be the object to which the sceptical religionist should assent. In this article I shall argue that Ietsism – the proposition that there is merely something transcendental worth committing ourselves to religiously – is a preferable object of assent. This is for two primary reasons. First, Ietsism is far (...) more modest than Ultimism; Ietsism, in fact, is open to the truth of Ultimism, while the converse does not hold. Second, Ietsism can fulfil the same criteria that compel Schellenberg to argue for Ultimism. (shrink)
This paper is a detailed examination of some parts of J. P. Moreland's book on "the argument from consciousness". (There is a companion article that discusses the parts of the book not taken up in this critical notice.).
CATEGORY: Philosophy play; historical fiction; comedy; social criticism. -/- STORYLINE: Tim, a physics professor with a certain taste for young female university students, recently got a new appointment at a London university. But, as it turns out, he is still unsatisfied. Why? Is it because Rachael unexpectedly left him under strange circumstances? Or does it have to do with his sudden departure from another university? Or is it his research? When Tim meets Christianus for a brown-bag discussion on philosophy and (...) science, new facts and perspectives are revealed. -/- TOPICS: In the course of the play, Tim and Christianus discuss different metaphysical, epistemological, and ontological ideas. Many of these are either related to isssues in the philosophy of science (explanation, methodology, scientific investigation, etc.), or to issues in human psychology and the philosophy of mind (the self vs. the mind, dualism, ‘Who am I?’, etc.). In one scene, for example, Tim tries to invoke ‘Ockham’s Razor’ (or ‘Occam’s Razor’) to quickly dismiss some of Christianus’s metaphysical ideas (see Scene VII: Ockham’s Raisin; Scene XIII: The Raisin Tale Revisited); in another scene, Christianus introduces his ‘Postman’ scenario, and the idea that successful (‘scientific’) prediction or forecasting is not necessarily a sure sign of true understanding (see Scene XV: The Postman Always Turns Twice). -/- NOTES: This work features elaborate footnotes and comments (including full bibliographical references) by the author, to enhance the reader's experience of the play and its philosophizing characters. (shrink)
Arnold J. Toynbee was not only a controversial historian, but also a beguiling internationalist. This article analyses Toynbee as an observer of international politics. In particular, it examines both his understanding of contemporary foreign politics and his constant search of a stable world order. From the idealism of his youth to the utopianism of religious origin that marked his final years, passing through his partial and temporary disenchantment with regard to his youthful expectations, this essay will follow Toynbee’s path in (...) the study of the international affairs of the Twentieth century. (shrink)
This is a response to Wesley J. Wildman’s “Behind, Between, and Beyond Anthropomorphic Models of Ultimate Reality.” While I agree with much of what Wildman writes, I raise questions concerning standards for evaluating models of ultimate reality and the plausibility of ranking such models. This paper was delivered during the APA Pacific 2007 Mini-Conference on Models of God.
Discussion of J. Kevin O’Regan’s “Why Red Doesn’t Sound Like a Bell: Understanding the Feel of Consciousness” Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-20 DOI 10.1007/s13164-012-0090-7 Authors J. Kevin O’Regan, Laboratoire Psychologie de la Perception, CNRS - Université Paris Descartes, Centre Biomédical des Saints Pères, 45 rue des Sts Pères, 75270 Paris cedex 06, France Ned Block, Departments of Philosophy, Psychology and Center for Neural Science, New York University, 5 Washington Place, New York, NY 10003, USA Journal Review of Philosophy and (...) Psychology Online ISSN 1878-5166 Print ISSN 1878-5158. (shrink)
For a biological anthropologist interested in the prehistory of religion, J. Wentzel van Huyssteen's book is welcome and resonant. Van Huyssteen's central thesis is that humans' capacity for spirituality emerges from a transformation of cognition and emotions that takes place in the symbolic realm, within Homo sapiens and apart from biology. To his thesis I bring to bear three areas of response: the abundant cognitive and emotional capacities of living apes and extinct hominids; the role of symbolic ritual in the (...) evolutionary history of Homo sapiens; and the closely intertwined nature of biology and culture in the workings of evolutionary change. (shrink)
This paper describes an episode in the life of the prominent plant radiation geneticist, Lewis J. Stadler during which he became a target of the Federal Bureau of Investigation concerning loyalty to the United States due to possible associations with the communist party. The research is based on considerable private correspondence of Dr. Stadler, the FBI interrogatory questions and Dr. Stadler’s answers and letters of support for Dr. Stadler by leading scientists such as, Hermann J. Muller.
As the editor noted in the last number Freddie Ayer, or Professor Sir Alfred Ayer, played a considerable part in launching the vast enterprise of the Bentham edition. It is fitting, therefore, that something be said in Utilitas about his achievement as a philosopher and the extent to which he falls within the same broad empiricist and utilitarian tradition to which Bentham and J. S. Mill belonged.
I am very pleased to see the response by J S Taylor to my critique of the “organs debate”. He makes some notable and important points, but also some errors to which attention should be drawn.Taylor erroneously attributes to me concern that the organ debate excessively focuses on saving the lives of a few people. My concern was about the narrow framework within which the debate is embedded and that it focuses on the lives of a few privileged people—those who (...) can pay—while largely neglecting the lives of those who cannot. The fact that some attention has been paid to such issues in some journals does not negate the importance of my claim. Moreover, it is not that the question of millions of premature deaths has …. (shrink)
The precise nature of W. S. Jevons's utilitarianism as a guiding rule for economic policy has yet to be investigated, and that will be the first issue treated in this paper. While J. A. Schumpeter, for instance, asserted that ‘some of the most prominent exponents of marginal utility’, were ‘convinced utilitarians’, he did not investigate the further implications for Jevons's policy analysis.
(2001). J.E. Malpas's Place and Experience: A Philosophical Topography (Cambridge University Press, 1999) Converging and diverging in/on place. Philosophy & Geography: Vol. 4, No. 2, pp. 225-230. doi: 10.1080/10903770123141.
J.S. Mill's plural voting proposal in Considerations on Representative Government presents political theorists with a puzzle: the elitist proposal that some individuals deserve a greater voice than others seems at odds with Mill's repeated arguments for the value of full participation in government. This essay looks at Mill's arguments for plural voting, arguing that, far from being motivated solely by elitism, Mill's account is actually driven by a commitment to both competence and participation. It goes on to argue that, for (...) Mill, much of the value of political participation lies in its unique ability to educate the participants. That ability to educate is not, however, a product of participation alone; rather, for Mill, the true educative benefits of participation obtain only when competence and participation work together in the political sphere. Plural voting, then, is a mechanism for allowing Mill to take advantage of the educative benefits that arise from the intersection of competence and participation. (shrink)
In his concept of an anthropological physiology, F.J.J. Buytendijk has tried to lay down the theoretical and scientific foundations for an anthropologically-oriented medicine. The aim of anthropological physiology is to demonstrate, empirically, what being specifically human is in the most elementary physiological functions. This article contains a sketch of Buytendijk''s life and work, an overview of his philosophical-anthropological presuppositions, an outline of his idea of an anthropological physiology and medicine, and a discussion of some episternological and methodological problems. It is (...) demonstrated that Buytendijk''s design of an anthropological physiology is fragmentary and programmatic and that his methodology offers few points of contact for specific anthropological experimental research.Notwithstanding, it is argued that Buytendijk''s description of the subjective, animated body forms a pre-eminent point of reference for all research in physiology and psychology in which the specific human aspect is not ignored beforehand. (shrink)