Heidegger’s sense of the holy is an important aspect of his thought, especially in the form that it takes in his later work. By juxtaposingHeidegger’s thinking on the sacred with traditional metaphysician René Guénon’s examination of the symbolism of the sacred pole, we can bring both elements into clearer focus. This paper undertakes to draw together these two radically disparate thinkers not to undermine either’s project, but rather to demonstrate one way in which the sacred can be more thoroughly understood, (...) especially in light of our increasing disregard for the experience of the divine in the modern world. The Heideggerian event of the sacred is played out in a way that is uniquely informed by polar symbols in the architecture of the great gothic cathedrals, and these prove to be a site for the opening up of the holy within space. When these elements are drawn together, they serve to reciprocally inform one another, deepening our understanding of the performative and spatial dimensions of our experience of the divine and opening the possibilityof a relationship with God that is not bound by onto-theological constructions of the Godhead. (shrink)
Statues, monuments, cenotaphs and markers litter the landscape of Plato’s Phaedrus. By drawing together these numerous references and examining the economy of these silent symbols, we can gain an insight into Plato’s project, especially as it relates to questions of narrative, speech and writing. While the examination of the myth of Theuth is familiar to scholars of both Plato and Derrida, what is often overlooked is the way in which writing and speech are represented in the text by monuments, which (...) speak through silence, and more often than not memorialize those who can no longer speak, or whose speech is, like themselves, rendered dead in writing. Like the pharmakon of writing itself, statuary operates within the economy of signs, an economy of reminding, which within the system of metaphysics leads not to the transcendent realm of ideas but ties us to the realm of opinion. However, by examining the role of myth and its relation to statuary in the Phaedrus, a new interpretation emerges, which allows for myth and the silent voices of the dead as a way to initiation. (shrink)
William of Ockham is often thought to be the medieval progenitor of divine command theory. This paper contends that the origin of a thoroughgoing and fully reductive DCT position is perhaps more appropriately laid at the feet of Andrew of Neufchateau. We begin with a brief recapitulation of an interpretive dispute surrounding Ockham in order to highlight how there is enough ambiguity in his work about the metaphysical foundations of morality to warrant suspicion about whether he actually stands (...) at the origin of DCT. We then show how all such ambiguity is jettisoned in the work of Andrew, who explicitly rejects a position similar to one plausibly attributable to Ockham and also articulates a fully reductive DCT. (shrink)
During the Cold War, the spread and fear of communism furnished the overarching ideological rationale for American foreign policy and for the deployment of United States military forces and resources. Subscribing to the domino theory and its potential impact on Southeast Asia, the Johnson Administration committed the United States to the Vietnam War. Following the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, and the commencement of the Global War on Terrorism, Washington once again set a national agenda rooted in (...) a simplistic analysis reminiscent of Vietnam and the domino theory. Ignorant of Iraq’s mammoth sectarian, historical, ethnic, and global strategic complexities, the Bush Administration launched Operation Iraqi Freedom. The absence of critical analysis, contrarian viewpoints, and sound judgment characterized the US policy and strategy for both the Vietnam War and OIF, exhibiting the lack of moral courage that the national security enterprise seeks, but seldom attains. Faced with this challenge, this article draws attention to the ethical lessons we can learn from the dissent of William Fulbright and Andrew Bacevich. (shrink)
ABSTRACTDuring the Cold War, the spread and fear of communism furnished the overarching ideological rationale for American foreign policy and for the deployment of United States military forces and resources. Subscribing to the domino theory and its potential impact on Southeast Asia, the Johnson Administration committed the United States to the Vietnam War. Following the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, and the commencement of the Global War on Terrorism, Washington once again set a national agenda rooted in (...) a simplistic analysis reminiscent of Vietnam and the domino theory. Ignorant of Iraq’s mammoth sectarian, historical, ethnic, and global strategic complexities, the Bush Administration launched Operation Iraqi Freedom. The absence of critical analysis, contrarian viewpoints, and sound judgment characterized the US policy and strategy for both the Vietnam War and OIF, exhibiting the lack of moral courage that the national security enterprise seeks, but seldom attains. Faced with... (shrink)
In ‘The Power of God’ (Gleeson 2010) I elaborate and defend an argument by the late D.Z. Phillips against definitions of omnipotence in terms of logical possibility. In ‘Which God? What Power? A Response to Andrew Gleeson’ (Hasker 2010), William Hasker criticizes my defense of Phillips’ argument. Here I contend his criticisms do not succeed. I distinguish three definitions of omnipotence in terms of logical possibility. Hasker agrees that the first fails. The second fails because negative properties (like (...) disembodiedment and simplicity) do not amount to a nature that licenses the attribution of causal powers. The third fails because it does not identify actions that can be performed without a body. It cannot be saved by appeal to the idea of purely mental acts. (shrink)
Andrew Collier is the boldest defender of objectivity - in science, knowledge, thought, action, politics, morality and religion. In this tribute and acknowledgement of the influence his work has had on a wide readership, his colleagues show that they have been stimulated by his thinking and offer challenging responses. This wide-ranging book covers key areas with which defenders of objectivity often have to engage. Sections are devoted to the following: 'objectivity of value', 'objectivity and everyday knowledge', 'objectivity in political (...) economy', 'objectivity and reflexivity', 'objectivity, postmodernism and feminism', 'objectivity and nature'. The diverse contributions range from social and political thought to philosophy, reflecting the central themes of Collier's work. (shrink)
In a seventeenth-century English landscape populated with towering political and philosophical figures like Hobbes, Harrington, Cromwell, Milton, and Locke, William Penn remains in many ways a man apart. Yet despite being widely neglected by scholars, he was a sophisticated political thinker who contributed mightily to the theory and practice of religious liberty in the early modern Atlantic world. In this long-awaited intellectual biography of William Penn, Andrew R. Murphy presents a nuanced portrait of this remarkable entrepreneur, philosopher, (...) Quaker, and politician.Liberty, Conscience, and Toleration focuses on the major political episodes that attracted William Penn's sustained attention as a political thinker and actor: the controversy over the Second Conventicle Act, the Popish Plot and Exclusion Crisis, the founding and settlement of Pennsylvania, and the contentious reign of James II. Through a careful examination of writings published in the midst of the religious and political conflicts of Restoration and Revolutionary England, Murphy contextualizes the development of Penn's thought in England and America, illuminating the mutual interconnections between Penn's political thought and his colonizing venture in America. An early advocate of representative institutions and religious freedom, William Penn remains a singular figure in the history of liberty of conscience. His political theorizing provides a window into the increasingly vocal, organized, and philosophically sophisticated tolerationist movement that gained strength over the second half of the seventeenth century. Not only did Penn attempt to articulate principles of religious liberty as a Quaker in England, but he actually governed an American polity and experienced firsthand the complex relationship between political theory and political practice. Murphy's insightful analysis shows Penn's ongoing significance to the broader study of Anglo-American political theory and practice, ultimately pointing scholars toward a new way of understanding the enterprise of political theory itself. (shrink)
The pioneering sociologist William Graham Sumner was a prolific and astute historian of the early American republic, whose work was informed by his classical liberalism and his understanding of economics. He authored seven major works including biographies and thematic studies concentrating on the vital subjects of currency, banking, business cycles, foreign trade, protectionism, and politics. Although his works are out of print, and hardly mentioned or referred to by historians or economists, they are quite valuable for understanding the politics (...) and major economic issues of the first century of the republic.1 They are: History of American Currency, Lectures on the History of Protection, Andrew Jackson, Alexander Hamilton, The Financier and Finances of the American Revolution, 2 vols., Robert Morris, History of Banking in the United States. As one can see, Sumner was most interested in the history of money and banking in America. He was a resolute opponent of inflation, inconvertible currencies, legal tender laws, bimetallic standards, and the American practice of fractional-reserve banking. His theory of the business cycle was built on the work of antebellum political economists such as Condy Raguet. Sumner’s understanding of it is sophisticated and proto- Austrian. (shrink)
Andrew H. Gleeson has written an essay commenting on an exchange between Dewi Z. Phillips and me, arguing that I was mistaken to dismiss Phillips’ criticism of the standard definition of omnipotence as unsuccessful. Furthermore, he charges Swinburne, me, and analytic theists in general, with an excessive anthropomorphism that obliterates the distinction between Creator and creature. In response, I contend that all of Gleeson’s criticisms are unsound.
One of the aspects of consciousness deserving of study is what might be called its subjective unity - the way in which, though conscious experience moves from object to object, and can be said to have distinct ‘states', it nevertheless in some sense apparently forms a singular flux divided only by periods of unconsciousness. The work of William James provides a valuable, and rather unique, source of analysis of this feature of consciousness; however, in my opinion, this component of (...) James’ theory of the mind has so far gone under-emphasized in the scholarly literature. This paper undertakes some philosophical geography, trying to draw out and elucidate some of the relevant ideas from James’ corpus, and also subjects those ideas to some analysis to try and assist in judgements of their current importance. (shrink)
In “Friendship Amongst the Self-Sufficient: Epicurus” (this Journal, Vol. 2, No. 2, June 2001), Andrew Mitchell explores the Epicurean view of the relationship between self-sufficiency and friendship by contrasting it with the views of Aristotle and the Stoics. Epicurus, Aristotle, and the Stoics do indeed have interestingly different views on friendship that are well worth comparing. Yet Mitchell’s characterization of Aristotelian friendship is misleading, his account of Stoic friendship is inaccurate, and his interpretation of Epicurean friendship is curiously imaginative (...) but ultimately rather strange. (shrink)
In the Principles of Psychology William James enunciated the well-known statement: “Metaphysics means nothing but an unusually obstinate attempt to think clearly”. And although in this work he never regarded metaphysics to be central to his purpose of establishing psychology as a natural science, he nonetheless sketched a theory of the nature of metaphysics.
Glenn Andrew Peoples has criticized my mind-body theory, emergentism or emergent dualism, on the grounds that it does not, as claimed, allow for the possibility of disembodied survival. I show that his criticisms are misplaced. His objections to my scientific analogies for mind-body emergence misstate what was said by the scientific authorities on which I rely. And his philosophical argument relies on a definition of emergentism to which I do not subscribe.
William Tyndale, the Bible translator and Reformation martyr, enjoyed a sudden revival of interest in the mid-nineteenth century. This article examines one important aspect of his Victorian rehabilitation – his memorialization in stone and bronze. It analyses the campaigns to,erect two monuments in his honour – a tower on Nibley Knoll in Gloucestershire, inaugurated in 1866; and a statue in central London, on the Thames Embankment, unveiled in 1884. Both enjoyed wide support across the political and ecclesiastical spectrum of (...) Protestantism, and anti-Catholicism was especially prominent in the first initiative. Both monuments emphasized the blessings of the Bible in English, the importance of religious liberty, and the prosperity of England and the Empire as a result of its Reformation heritage. The article argues that controversy concerning Tractarianism and biblical criticism was brushed under the carpet, and Tyndales distinctive evangelical theology was deliberately downplayed, in order to present the martyr as a unifying figure attractive to a broad Protestant coalition. (shrink)
Mitchell defends the Epicurean account of friendship. I argue that since Epicureans are hedonists who hold that all pleasures are good and all pains are bad, Epicureans would desert their friends in circumstances in which standing by their friends causes them pain.