This article seeks to adumbrate something of an ascending complement to Blondel's descending Christology. For Blondel, the Word as Incarnate is not only the Redeemer but is also he in whom creation is constituted. Christ's synthesizing perception of creation mediates between the world and the creating Absolute and establishes things as real. Blondel's 'Panchristism' suggests that in his passive perception Christ is the keystone that solidifies and integrates even the most ignoble components of creation. In the current economy this passive (...) perception embraces the world as marred by sin. The way in which sin assumed by Christ in suffering and passivity is transformed in redemption is left underdeveloped, however. One aspect of a Christology that ascends from the sufferings of Christ is highlighted in reference to Blondel's own devotion to the Sacred Heart. This devotion illuminates an integration of sin and suffering into glory that is compatible with Blondel's thought. (shrink)
v. 1. William and Henry, 1861-1884 -- v. 2. William and Henry, 1885-1896 -- v. 3. William and Henry, 1897-1910 -- v. 4. 1856-1877 -- v. 5. 1878-1884 -- v. 6. 1885-1889 -- v. 7. 1890-1894 -- v. 8. 1895-June 1899 -- v. 9. July 1899-1901 -- v. 10. 1902-March 1905 -- v. 11. April 1905-March 1908 -- v. 12. April 1908-August 1910.
In his introduction to this collection, John representative. McDermott presents James's thinking in all its manifestations, stressing the importance of radical empiricism and placing into perspective the doctrines of pragmatism and the will to believe. The critical periods of James's life are highlighted to illuminate the development of his philosophical and psychological thought. The anthology features representive selections from The Principles of Psychology, The Will to Believe , and The Variety of Religious Experience in addition to the complete Essays in (...) Radical Empiricism and A Pluralistic Universe . The original 1907 edition of Pragmatism is included, as well as classic selections from all of James's other major works. Of particular significance for James scholarship is the supplemented version of Ralph Barton Perry's Annotated Bibliography of the Writings of William James , with additions bringing it up to 1976. (shrink)
Beliefs are freely attributed to God nowadays in Anglo–American philosophical theology. This practice undoubtedly reflects the twentieth–century popularity of the view that knowledge consists of true justified belief . The connection is frequently made explicit. If knowledge is true justified belief then whatever God knows He believes. It would seem that much recent talk of divine beliefs stems from Nelson Pike's widely discussed article, ‘Divine Omniscience and Voluntary Action’. In this essay Pike develops a version of the classic argument for (...) the incompatibility of divine foreknowledge and free will in terms of divine forebelief. He introduces this shift by premising that ‘ A knows X ’ entails ‘A believes X ’. As a result of all this, philosophers have increasingly been using the concept of belief in defining ‘omniscience’. (shrink)
To date, there have been only two scholarly papers devoted to a comparison of Gestalt psychology with the psychology of William James. An early paper by Mary Whiton Calkins called attention to numerous similarities between these two schools of thought. However, a more recent paper by Mary Henle argues that the ideas of William James, as presented in The Principles of Psychology, are irrelevant to Gestalt psychology. In what follows, this claim is evaluated both in terms of The (...) Principles and Jamesís larger vision as set forth in his mature philosophical works. Although there are important differences between James and the Gestalt psychologists, there are also striking similarities particularly when the two schools are examined in the light of Jamesís mature philosophical perspectives. (shrink)
That law is coercive is something we all more or less take for granted. It is an assumption so rooted in our ways of thinking that it is taken as a given of social reality, an uncontroversial datum. Because it is so regarded, it is infrequently stated, and when it is, it is stated without any hint of possible complications or qualifications. I will call this the “prereflective view,” and I want to examine it with the care it deserves.
In The City of God , XI, 10, St Augustine claims that the divine nature is simple because ‘it is what it has’ . We may take this as a slogan for the Doctrine of Divine Simplicity , a doctrine which finds its way into orthodox medieval Christian theological speculation. Like the doctrine of God's timeless eternality, the DDS has seemed obvious and pious to many, and incoherent, misguided, and repugnant to others. Unlike the doctrine of God's timeless eternality, the (...) DDS has received very little critical attention. The DDS did not originate with Augustine, but I am not primarily concerned with its pedigree. Nor am I concerned to ask how the doctrine interacts with trinitarian speculation. I will have my hands full as it is. In Section I of this paper I shall provide a rough characterization of the DDS, indicate its complexity, and focus on a particular aspect of the doctrine which will exercise us in the remainder of the paper, namely, the thesis that the divine attributes are all identical with each other and with God. In section n I shall discuss Alvin Plantinga's recent objections to Aquinas' version of the DDS. I shall then offer a more detailed presentation of what I take to be Aquinas' version , and recast it in terms of a theory of attributes which is significantly different from Plantinga's . Although the recasting of the doctrine will enable me to rebut Plantinga's objections , it by no means solves all the problems of the DDS. In section vi I shall discuss the chief lingering problem facing a defender of the DDS. (shrink)
In this paper I propose to examine the cognitive status of mystical experience. There are, I think, three distinct but overlapping sorts of religious experience. In the first place, there are two kinds of mystical experience. The extrovertive or nature mystic identifies himself with a world which is both transfigured and one. The introvertive mystic withdraws from the world and, after stripping the mind of concepts and images, experiences union with something which can be described as an undifferentiated unity. Introvertive (...) mysticism is a more important phenomenon than extrovertive mysticism. Numinous experiences are complex experiences involving dread, awe, wonder, and fascination. One finds oneself confronted with something which is radically unlike ordinary objects. Before its overwhelming majesty and power, one is nothing but dust and ashes. In contrasting oneself with its uncanny beauty and goodness, one experiences one's own uncleanness and ugliness. The experiences bound up with the devotional life of the ordinary believer are also religious in character. Nevertheless these more ordinary experiences should, I think, be distinguished both from numinous experiences and from mystical experiences, for they do not appear to involve the sense of immediate presence which characterises the latter. (shrink)
In his article, ‘Gratuitous evil and divine providence’, Alan Rhoda claims to have produced an uncontroversial theological premise for the evidential argument from evil. I argue that his premise is by no means uncontroversial among theists, and I doubt that any premise can be found that is both uncontroversial and useful for the argument from evil.
This essay focuses on what I shall call “cosmopolitan altruism”—the motivationally effective desire to assist needy or endangered strangers. Section I describes recent research that confirms the existence of this phenomenon. Section II places it within interlocking sets of moral typologies that distinguish among forms of altruism along dimensions of scope, interests risked, motivational source, and baseline of moral judgment. Section III explores some of the relationships between altruism—a concept rooted in modern moral philosophy and Christianity—and the understanding of virtue (...) and friendship characteristic of Aristotelian ethical analysis. Finally, Section IV argues that cosmopolitan altruism does not represent moral progress simpliciter over other, less inclusive views, and that the widening of moral sympathy to encompass endangered strangers entails significant moral costs. (shrink)
One of the most influential analytic philosophers of the late twentieth century, William P. Alston is a leading light in epistemology, philosophy of religion, and the philosophy of language. In this volume, twelve leading philosophers critically discuss the central topics of his work in these areas, including perception, epistemic circularity, justification, the problem of religious diversity, and truth.
Donald Davidson notoriously rejected ‘metaphorical meaning’ and denied the existence of linguistic mechanisms by which metaphorical significance is conveyed. He contended that the meanings metaphorical sentences have are just their literal meanings, though metaphorical utterances may brute-causally have important cognitive effects. Contrastingly, John Searle offers a Gricean account of metaphor as an elaborated kind of implicature, and defends metaphorical meaning as speaker-meaning. Each of those positions is subject to very telling objections from the other's point of view. This paper proposes (...) a synthesis that combines the respective virtues of Davidson's and Searle's accounts and avoids all the objections to each. (shrink)
Here are some things that are widely believed about free will and determinism. Free will is prima facie incompatible with determinism. The incompatibility is logical or at least conceptual or a priori. A compatibilist needs to explain how free will can co-exist with determinism, paradigmatically by offering an analysis of ‘free’ action that is demonstrably compatible with determinism. Free will is not impugned by quantum in determinism, at least not in the same decisive way that it is impugned by determinism. (...) To reconcile free will with quantum indeterminism takes work, but the work comes under the heading of metaphysical business-as-usual; to reconcile free will with determinism requires a conceptual breakthrough. And listen to Laura Waddell Ekstrom on the burden of proof. (shrink)
The conceptual framework of religion is more like the frame of a picture than the frame of a house; and what goes on within the frame is other than conceptual. This is the hypothesis motivating the analysis which follows. Given the hypothesis, the problem is to conceive what religion is - this other-than-conceptual enterprise which tends to attract conceptual frames. A possible answer is available in Wittgensteinian ‘seeing-as’. A number of philosophers of religion have recently exercised this option. The present (...) paper adds to their work by comparing a number of types of religious seeing-as with the instances of visual ambiguity drawn on by Wittgenstein. (shrink)
During the past few decades a growing interest in what is often called the ‘Kyoto School’ of philosophy has evidenced itself here and there in the West, especially in discussions of comparative religious thought and in the pages of journals which are sensitive, in the post-colonial world, to the value of giving attention to contemporary thought that originates outside the Anglo-American and continental contexts. What has made the so-called Kyoto School especially interesting is the fact that those thinkers identified with (...) it obviously possess a wide acquaintance with Western thought but also have a programme of clarifying points at which they, as Japanese philosophers, find Western philosophy either in sum or in its parts inadequate or objectionable. Moreover, inasmuch as the philosophers of the Kyoto School have deliberately reached back into the Mahayana Buddhist component in Japanese civilization in order to find terms, perspectives, and even foundations for their own analyses and constructions, Western students of comparative religion and comparative thought have in the study of this school a unique aperture for observing how a group of thinkers, while sharing modernity and its problems with us, reates both of these to a religious tradition which is in many ways strikingly different from that of the West. (shrink)
Dale Tuggy argues that his divine-deception argument against Social Trinitarianism remains unscathed, in spite of my recent objections. I maintain that his argument is question-begging and exegetically weak, and does not succeed in refuting Social Trinitarianism.
According to William Craig, the notion of explanatory priority is the Achilles' heel of Robert Adams' argument against Molinism. Specifically, Craig contends that (1) the notion of explanatory priority is employed equivocally in the argument; (2) Adams is guilty of conflating reasons and causes; and (3) one of the intermediate conclusions of the argument is invalidly inferred, as can be seen by a counterexample. I argue that Craig is mistaken on all counts, and that Adams' argument emerges unscathed.
I begin with a note about moral goodness as a quality, disposition, or trait of a person or human being. This has at least two different senses, one wider and one narrower. Aristotle remarked that the Greek term we translate as justice sometimes meant simply virtue or goodness as applied to a person and sometimes meant only a certain virtue or kind of goodness. The same thing is true of our word “goodness.” Sometimes being a good person means having all (...) the virtues, or at least all the moral ones; then goodness equals the whole of virtue. But sometimes, being a good person has a narrower meaning, namely, being kind, generous, and so forth. Thus, my OED sometimes equates goodness with moral excellence as a whole and sometimes with a particular moral excellence, viz., kindness, beneficence, or benevolence; and the Bible, when it speaks of God as being good sometimes means that God has all the virtues and sometimes only that he is kind, mereiful, or benevolent. When Jesus says, “Why callest thou me good: None is good, save one, that is God,” he seems to be speaking of goodness in the inclusive sense, but when the writer of Exodus has God himself say that he is “merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,” God is using “goodness” in the narrower sense in which it means benevolence, for he goes on to make it clear that he is also just and severe. Similarly, “good will” may mean either “morally good will” in general, as it does in Kant, or it may mean only “benevolent will,” as it usually does; in “men of good will” it is perhaps ambiguous. (shrink)
In the movie Regarding Henry, the main character, Henry Turner, is a lawyer who suffers brain damage as a result of being shot during a robbery. Before being wounded, the Old Henry Turner had been a successful lawyer, admired as a fierce competitor and well-known for his killer instinct. As a result of the injury to his brain, the New Henry Turner loses the personality traits that had made the Old Henry such a formidable adversary.
This new edition of William James’s 1909 classic, A Pluralistic Universe reproduces the original text, only modernizing the spelling. The books has been annotated throughout to clarify James’s points of reference and discussion. There is a new, fuller index, a brief chronology of James’s life, and a new bibliography—chiefly based on James’s own references. The editor, H.G. Callaway, has included a new Introduction which elucidates the legacy of Jamesian pluralism to survey some related questions of contemporary American society. -/- (...) A Pluralistic Universe was the last major book James published during his life time. It is a substantial philosophical work, devoted to a thorough-going criticism of Hegelian monism and Absolutism—and the exploration of philosophical and social-theological alternatives. Our world of some one hundred years on is much the better for James’s contributions; and understanding James’s pluralism deeply contributes even now to America’s self-understanding. At present, we are more certain that American is, and is best, a pluralistic society, than we are of what particular forms our pluralism should take. Keeping an eye out for social interpretations of Jamesian pluralism, this new philosophical reading casts light on our twenty-first century alternatives by reference to prior American experience and developments. -/- . (shrink)
William James's essay, "The Will to Believe," is interpreted as a philosophical argument for two conclusions: Some over-beliefs—i.e., beliefs going beyond the available evidence—are rationally justified under certain conditions; and "The Religious Hypothesis" is justified for some people under these conditions. Section I defends viewing James as presenting arguments, Sections II-III try to formulate the dual conclusions more precisely, and Section IT defends this reading against alternative interpretations. Section 7, the heart of the paper, elaborates five logically distinct arguments (...) implicit in "The Will to Believe" with regard to non-evidential justification. Section VI examines "The Religious Hypothesis," and Section VII concludes by noting that while James's particular arguments are largely unsuccessful nevertheless the project of finding non- evidential or "practical" rational warrants for religious over-beliefs seems promising. Two appendices supplement the body of the text. The first considers some formal aspects of the so-called "ethics of belief" in order to clarify James's desired conclusions) in "The Will to Believe," and the second shows that and how James's own "technical distinctions" are both obscure and largely irrelevant to his central task. (shrink)
Leading Harvard philosophy professor William Ernest Hocking (1873-1966), author of 17 books and in his day second only to John Dewey in the breadth of his thinking, is now largely forgotten, and his once-influential writings are out of print. This volume, which combines a rich selection of Hocking’s work with incisive essays by distinguished scholars, seeks to recover Hocking’s valuable contributions to philosophical thought.
Eldon Soifer and Béla Szabados argue that hypocrisy poses a problem for consequentialism because the hypocrite, in pretending to live up to a norm he or she does not really accept, acts in ways that have good results. They argue, however, that consequentialists can meet this challenge and show the wrongness of hypocrisy by adopting a desirefulfilment version of their theory. This essay raises some doubts about Soifer and Szabados's proposal and argues that consequentialism has no difficulty coming to grips (...) with hypocrisy, whether or not one favours a desire-fulfilment account of the good. (shrink)
William Lyons presents an original thesis on introspection as self-interpretation in terms of a culturally influenced model. His work rests on a lucid, careful, and critical examination of the transformations that have occurred over the past century in the concepts and models of introspection in philosophy and psychology. He reviews the history of introspection in the work of Wundt, Boring, and William James, and reactions to it by behaviorists Watson, Lashley, Ryle, and Skinner.
The great Falsification Debate about the logical status of religious beliefs seems fairly quiescent at present. Most philosophers of religion have opted for one or the other of two opposite responses to the falsificationists' challenge.