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)
Hume's sceptical arguments regarding induction have not yet been successfully answered. However, I shall not in this paper discuss the important attempts to answer Hume since that would be too lengthy a task. On the supposition that Hume's sceptical arguments have not been met, the empirical world is a place where, as the popular metaphor goes, all the glue has been removed. For the Humean sceptic, the only empirical knowledge that we can have is given to us in immediate perception. (...) We have no reason to believe that the patterns of future events will in any way resemble patterns of events in the present or past. We have no reason to believe even that present events not observed resemble present events that are observed, or that knowledge of past and present can be any guide in making new discoveries about what took place in the past. What we have is an ideal setting for the calculation of a priori probabilities. We have a field of distinct events having no logical or evidential ties to one another. The attempt to justify induction that I wish to present is an appeal to a priori probability. (shrink)
Metaphysicians go on busily doing metaphysical thinking all over the world, and apparently with a modicum of self-assurance that they are not talking nonsense or pursuing an illusory will-of-the-wisp. Yet other philosophers of empirical, analytical, phenomenological, or other turns of mind seem to have more and more difficulty in understanding just how metaphysicians give meaning and positive content to the vast abstract concepts by which they seek to describe and explain the entire spectrum of reality extending far beyond present or (...) perhaps even possible human experience. Since there is no way of gaining direct insight into dimensions of reality beyond human experience, and since in order to be applied to the whole range of reality these concepts must abstract from purely human experience, it is hard for them to see—and it is a serious problem in itself—how these all-embracing terms can be anything more than empty, formal, verbal symbols or conceptual constructions, with no positive existential content describing reality itself across its whole spectrum. Even the metaphysician himself, though when left alone he may have a sure sense of how to do metaphysical thinking fruitfully, when questioned to explain and justify what he is doing, and is convinced is worth doing, can feel embarrassed and struck dumb as to how to articulate and justify the principles behind the procedures he is following. (shrink)
Theistic philosophers often tend to assume an inferiority complex attitude of defensiveness in the face of antitheistic argument. They know that their own traditions of argumentation can easily fall into a repetitive rut by failing to incorporate the new insights or adjust to the new challenges of ongoing contemporary philosophy. But they tend to take it for granted that antitheistic argumentation will almost by definition be up-to-date, alert, freshly minted, using the best tools of the latest thought. I would like (...) to submit that antitheistic traditions too can fall into a traditional rut of out-of-date, already discredited, or no longer relevant arguments. They too can become turned in on themselves and self-repetitive, tilting at long dead, if ever existent, adversaries. (shrink)
In this paper, I contest increasingly common "realist" interpretations of Hegel's theory of "the concept" (der Begriff), offering instead a "isomorphic" conception of the relation of concepts and the world. The isomorphism recommended, however, is metaphysically deflationary, for I show how Hegel's conception of conceptual form creates a conceptually internal standard for the adequacy of concepts. No "sideways-on" theory of the concept-world relationship is envisioned. This standard of conceptual adequacy is also "graduated" in that it allows for a lack of (...) fit between concept and world. The possibility for a "maximally isomorphic" fit between concept and world obtains through the teleological realization of concepts, which marks especially the "artificial" world of human culture (law, art, religion, etc.). Some of the most seemingly exaggerated claims Hegel makes about the concept, I contend, can be understood when we consider the significance Hegel ascribes to human making, which is provided for in his conceptual theory. But my framework provides an interpretive key for the way Hegel sees concepts imperfectly realized in the natural world as well. (shrink)
Immanuel Kant was a German philosopher. He is a central figure of modern philosophy, and set the terms by which all subsequent thinkers have had to grapple. He argued that human perception structures natural laws, and that reason is the source of morality. His thought continues to hold a major influence in contemporary thought, especially in fields such as metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, political philosophy, and aesthetics.
This essay clarifies Edmund Husserl's view of “pure” concepts, with a view to its contemporary metaphilosophical significance. It is argued that Husserl's conception of pure concepts is unique in that he allows overlap between pure and empirical concepts. This overlap leads to a potential for confusion between pure and empirical concepts which I label “amphiboly,” following Kant's use of the term. The essay begins by clarifying Husserl's view of the divergence in concept formation between empirical and pure concepts, and then (...) articulates the specific properties of pure concepts that allow an empirical overlap. These properties include the modality and range of the extension of the concepts, the ordering of objects under the concept, and the mental faculty required to identify an object under the concept. Once we see the source of amphiboly in Husserl's view, it can be observed that many concepts of interest to philosophy, even outside phenomenology proper, are potentially subject to amphibolous uses. Thus, Husserl's view can be a general hermeneutical resource for clarifying the nature of philosophical concepts. (shrink)
740 page life in letters, including all Hegel's available letters at time of publication by Indiana University Press in 1984 tied together by a running commentary by Clark Butler. The volume is in a searchable PDF format. Publication was supported by a Major Grant by the National Endowment of the Humanities (NEH).
John F. Kavanaugh and W. Norris Clarke, two twentieth-century Jesuits, contributed to philosophy through their development of a Thomistic and personalist view of reality emphasizing the human endowments of knowing, freely choosing, and loving. While spiritual exercises played a role in the formation of both Jesuits, the function of spiritual exercises in their own philosophy has not been explored. Recent interest in philosophy as a way of life provides a means by which this can be accomplished. In their work Michel (...) Foucault and Pierre Hadot have shown how spiritual exercises function in the formation of the self and in the acquisition of a synoptic vision that allows contemplation of one’s participation in the whole. This paper shows that while Kavanaugh primarily uses spiritual exercises in his philosophy to accomplish a disciplinary/formational aim Clarke’s aim is dialogical/exploratory. A brief examination of the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius of Loyola reveals how these different aims in fact complement one another. (shrink)
Hegel often says that his "logic" is meant to replace metaphysics. Since Hegel's Science of Logic is so different from a standard logic, most commentators have not treated the portion of that work devoted to logical forms as relevant to this claim. This paper argues that Hegel's discussion of logical forms of judgment and syllogism is meant to be the foundation of his reformation of metaphysics. Implicit in Hegel's discussion of the logical forms is the view that the metaphysical concepts (...) discussed in Books I and II of the Science of Logic supervene on the role of subject and predicate terms in the logical forms discussed in Book III. Hegel thus has an explanation for the nature and significance of metaphysical concepts that resembles Kant's "metaphysical deduction," according to which the categories can be derived from the table of judgments. Though Hegel's metaphysics is often supposed to be influenced by Kant, prevailing interpretations do not show how Hegel's fine-grained treatment of logical forms is relevant to his critical view of metaphysics. The present interpretation provides a model for Hegel's explanation of metaphysical concepts, as well as a new picture of the structure of his Science of Logic that emphasizes the priority of its Doctrine of the Concept. (shrink)
In An Ethic of Trust: Mutual Autonomy and the Common Will to Live, W. Royce Clark uses the work of theologians and philosophers Albert Schweitzer, Friedrich Nietzsche, and John Rawls to create an inclusive ethic in which both the religious and non-religious will have equal freedom and stability.
A "festschrift" for Fr. Clarke, this volume presents the 1985 Suarez lecture which Fr. Clarke gave at Fordham University, three papers on themes suggested by Clarke's work by John Caputo, Lewis Ford, and John Smith, and responses to these by Clarke. Gerald McCool has contributed an introduction and a first essay reviewing the principal influences upon and stages of Clarke's career. A listing of Clarke's publications concludes the volume.
This book provides a focus for future discussion in one of the most important debates within historical theology within the protestant tradition - the debate about the definition of a category of analysis that operates over five centuries of religious faith and practice and in a globalising religion. In March 2009, TIME magazine listed ‘the new Calvinism’ as being among the ‘ten ideas shaping the world.’ In response to this revitalisation of reformation thought, R. Scott Clark and D. G. (...) Hart have proposed a definition of ‘Reformed’ that excludes many of the theologians who have done most to promote this driver of global religious change. In this book, the Clark-Hart proposal becomes the focus of a debate. Matthew Bingham, Chris Caughey, and Crawford Gribben suggest a broader and more historically responsible definition for ‘Reformed,’ as Hart and Scott respond to their arguments. (shrink)
One of the most compelling questions still unanswered in neuroscience is how consciousness arises. In this article, we examine visual processing, the parietal lobe, and contralateral neglect syndrome as a window into consciousness and how the brain functions as the mind and we introduce a mechanism for the processing of visual information and its role in consciousness. We propose that consciousness arises from integration of information from throughout the body and brain by the thalamus and that the thalamus reimages visual (...) and other sensory information from throughout the cortex in a default three-dimensional space in the mind. We further suggest that the thalamus generates a dynamic default three-dimensional space by integrating processed information from corticothalamic feedback loops, creating an infrastructure that may form the basis of our consciousness. Further experimental evidence is needed to examine and support this hypothesis, the role of the thalamus, and to further elucidate the mechanism of consciousness. (shrink)