In this essay, I will respond to the several charges laid at my feet by Robert Talisse and Scott Aikin engaged in their response entitled “Pragmatism and ‘Existential’ Pluralism: A Response to Hackett” about my article that also appeared in Contemporary Pragmatism entitled “Why James Can Be an Existential Pluralist”. At the heart of my response lies a concern with what I call the principle of hermeneutic charity and the final view James offers us of his entire philosophy. One (...) can recognize the need for historical accuracy and the need to investigate first-order claims that come from historically accurate interpretations. (shrink)
In _God, the Flesh, and the Other, _the philosopher Emmanuel Falque joins the ongoing debate about the role of theology in phenomenology. An important voice in the second generation of French philosophy’s “theological turn,” Falque examines philosophically the fathers of the Church and the medieval theologians on the nature of theology and the objects comprising it. Falque works phenomenology itself into the corpus of theology. Theological concepts thus translate into philosophical terms that phenomenology should legitimately question: concepts from contemporary phenomenology (...) such as onto-theology, appearance, reduction, body/flesh, inter-corporeity, the genesis of community, intersubjectivity, and the singularity of the other find penetrating analogues in patristic and medieval thought forged through millennia of Christological and Trinitarian debate, mystical discourses, and speculative reflection. Through Falque’s wide-ranging interpretive path, phenomenology finds itself interrogated—and renewed. (shrink)
In this article, I argue that William Jamess concept of truth can be interpreted accurately if we pay attention to the radical empiricism that underlines the notion in all of James's later writings and if we also see radical empiricism as a type of process thought. When we acknowledge these two conditions, we can see how Cheryl Misak is mistaken in reinscribing subjectivism back into Jamess radical empiricism, which attempted to overcome the subject-object distinction in the first place. In (...) reading James through radical empiricism qua process philosophy, then, the background assumptions of James are set into relief yielding a deeper and richer conception of truth. (shrink)
In this paper, I will argue that the experiential-based approaches of Edmund Husserl’s phenomenology and William James’s radical empiricism can help inform an account of humanism more rooted in concrete experience. Specifically, I will outline a form of humanism closely connected to the conceptual similarities between James’s radical empiricism and the general character of Husserl’s phenomenology of experience. Whereas many forms of humanism are underscored by an eliminativist impulse, I sketch a humanism of lived-experience more motivated by the restrictive (...) and experiential impetus closer to pragmatism and phenomenology than humanism defended on metaphysically eliminativist grounds.This paper is organized in the following way. In the first section, I explain the general character of Husserl’s phenomenology and explain the methodological commitments that underscore his concept of experience. In the second section, I outline the conceptual similarities between James’s later radical empiricism and Husserl’s thought. Finally, in the third section, James’s critique of metaphysics and his radical empiricism allow for a limited acceptability of religious interests in experience as well as scientific interests. These interests result from how we experience the world and affirm freedom and individuality of every person’s lived-experience. (shrink)
I attempt to solve a problematic feature of Scheler's intentional feeling. Spiritual feelings are disembodied and elements of William James's pragmatism offer a way to make elements of Scheler's phenomenology more concrete than Scheler's phenomenology allows. I then further develop this insight since contact between both Scheler and James opens up possible trajectories and affinities that, in the end, reveal both thinkers share an affective underpinning to their respective metaphysics. In both thinkers, reality is given as felt. As such, (...) this underpinning becomes a basis for interpreting Scheler's later metaphysics through Jamesian pragmatism. (shrink)
Like the first Hackett edition of the Augustine's _Confessions_, the second edition features F. J. Sheed's remarkable translation of this classic spiritual autobiography with an Introduction by noted historian of late antiquity Peter Brown. New to this edition are a wealth of notes on literary, philosophical, biblical, historical, and liturgical topics by Michael P. Foley, an Editor's Preface, a map, a timeline, paragraph numbers in the text, a glossary, and a thorough index. The text itself has been completely reset, (...) with textual and explanatory notes placed at the foot of the page for easy reference. (shrink)
Despite his unassailable heritage, the passionate thinker to whom Levinas dedicated Totalité et infini has today nearly been forgotten outside France. This forgetting is the shared premise of two books published in recent years. The first is William C. Hackett and Jeffrey Hanson’s edition and translation of Wahl’s Existence humaine et transcendance : Human Existence and Transcendence, and the second is a volume of selections from Wahl’s philosophical writings edited by Alan D. Schrift and Ian Alexander Moore: Jean (...) Wahl: Transcendence and the Concrete Selected Writings. (shrink)
It is not without a certain emotion that one opens this book devoted to the memory of a great scholar of medieval thought who worked and lived in the certainty that there cannot be a conflict between the Christian faith and science. In a significant essay, Benedict M. Ashley defends the idea of the philosophy of nature as continuous or identical with natural science. Ashley does allow, however, for so many divergences between philosophy of nature and natural science due to (...) later developments in science that this identification must be qualified. Steven E. Baldner points out some of the contradictions of Hartshorne's atomism: Hartshorne denies change and real causality. Anthony J. Celano recalls that Robert Kilwardby was very much aware that happiness as described by Aristotle is quite different from the beatitude promised by the Christian faith. The order of the divine entitative attributes in the Summa theologiae I, qq. 3-11 has baffled many a commentator. Lawrence Dewan connects it with some texts of Aristotle's Metaphysics. Jeremiah Hackett studies Roger Bacon's Moralis philosophia. Dealing with Luther's attitude toward St. Thomas, Denis R. Tanz accepts Erasmus's verdict that the weight given to Thomas in theology was an important factor in propelling Luther out of the Roman Catholic orbit. This opinion, however, confounds appearances with the real reason for leaving, namely, estrangement from several central positions of Catholic doctrine. It is a tribute to the Catholicity of Thomas that after 1519 Luther came to identify the Pope, the Church and all scholastic doctors with the Thomists and said that the Church had become the synagogue of the papists and the Thomists: Thomas had been made the arbiter of heresy. Mark F. Johnson stresses the sapiential character of the sacra doctrina. Mark D. Jordan wrestles with the question why Thomas wrote his Aristotelian commentaries. Arguing in the line of Owens's interpretation he reduces their importance with regard to Thomas's own positions. Jordan seems to think that Thomas's philosophy cannot be formulated without his theology, an explanation which is hardly satisfactory. Armand Maurer submits some reflections on St. Thomas's notion of presence. The question to what extent Albert the Great contributed to Aquinas's treatises of the morality of human acts and of natural law is examined by Ernest J. McCullough. Walter H. Principe points out how, according to Aquinas, food is assimilated into the veritas humanae naturae. Eric A. Reitan retraces Weisheipl's analysis of Aristotle's Physics and of St. Thomas' Commentary: the axiom, "whatever is moved, is moved by another" can be understood only within the context of the general science of nature. In his Liber de causis et processu universitatis Albert came to hold the same position as Thomas on the demonstrability of creation and of its beginning in time. Two final articles concern the difficulties underlying Aristotle's arguments in Physics 7 and 8, and Aquinas and Newton on causality: William Wallace connects Newton's universal gravitation with the axiom that nothing acts on itself. (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.
This collection is a festschrift prepared for Williams on his retirement from the White’s Professorship of Moral Philosophy at Oxford. The topics covered include equality, consistency, comparison between science and ethics, integrity, moral reasons, the moral system, and moral knowledge. Most of the chapters combine exegetical and critical ambitions. With contributions by J. E. J. Altham, Jon Elster, Nicholas Jardine, Ross Harrison, Christopher Hookway, John McDowell, Martin Hollis, Martha Nussbaum, Amartya Sen, and Charles Taylor, and replies by Bernard Williams.
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)
While neuroscientists often characterize brain activity as representational, many philosophers have construed these accounts as just theorists’ glosses on the mechanism. Moreover, philosophical discussions commonly focus on finished accounts of explanation, not research in progress. I adopt a different perspective, considering how characterizations of neural activity as representational contributes to the development of mechanistic accounts, guiding the investigations neuroscientists pursue as they work from an initial proposal to a more detailed understanding of a mechanism. I develop one illustrative example involving (...) research on the information-processing mechanisms mammals employ in navigating their environments. This research was galvanized by the discovery in the 1970s of place cells in the hippocampus. This discovery prompted research in what the activity of these cells represents and how place representations figure in navigation. It also led to the discovery of a host of other types of neurons—grid cells, head-direction cells, boundary cells—that carry other types of spatial information and interact with place cells in the mechanism underlying spatial navigation. As I will try to make clear, the research is explicitly devoted to identifying representations and determining how they are constructed and used in an information processing mechanism. Construals of neural activity as representations are not mere glosses but are characterizations to which neuroscientists are committed in the development of their explanatory accounts. (shrink)
This work has been selected by scholars as being culturally important, and is part of the knowledge base of civilization as we know it. This work was reproduced from the original artifact, and remains as true to the original work as possible. Therefore, you will see the original copyright references, library stamps (as most of these works have been housed in our most important libraries around the world), and other notations in the work. This work is in the public domain (...) in the United States of America, and possibly other nations. Within the United States, you may freely copy and distribute this work, as no entity (individual or corporate) has a copyright on the body of the work.As a reproduction of a historical artifact, this work may contain missing or blurred pages, poor pictures, errant marks, etc. Scholars believe, and we concur, that this work is important enough to be preserved, reproduced, and made generally available to the public. We appreciate your support of the preservation process, and thank you for being an important part of keeping this knowledge alive and relevant. (shrink)
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)
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.
Drawn from a wide range of writings and featuring state-of-the-art translations, _Basic Works_ offers convenient access to Thomas Aquinas' most important discussions of nature, being and essence, divine and human nature, and ethics and human action. The translations all capture Aquinas's sharp, transparent style and display terminological consistency. Many were originally published in the acclaimed translation-cum-commentary series _The Hackett Aquinas_, edited by Robert Pasnau and Jeffrey Hause. Others appear here for the first time: Eleonore Stump and Stephen Chanderbahn's translation (...) of _On the Principles of Nature_, Peter King's translation of _On Being and Essence_, and Thomas Williams' translations of the treatises On Happiness and On Human Acts from the Summa theologiae. _Basic Works_ will enable students to immerse themselves in Aquinas's thought by offering his fundamental works without internal abridgements. It will also appeal to anyone in search of an up-to-date, one-volume collection containing Aquinas' essential philosophical contributions--from the Five Ways to the immortality of the soul, and from the nature of happiness to virtue theory, and on to natural law. (shrink)
Scott Williams’s Latin Social model of the Trinity holds that the trinitarian persons have between them a single set of divine mental powers and a single set of divine mental acts. He claims, nevertheless, that on his view the persons are able to use indexical pronouns such as “I.” This claim is examined and is found to be mistaken.
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)
Recently, the work of philosopher-psychologist William James has undergone something of a renaissance. In this contribution to the trend, William Gavin argues that James's plea for the "reinstatement of the vague" to its proper place in our experience should be regarded as a seminal metaphor for his thought in general. The concept of vagueness applies to areas of human experience not captured by facts that can be scientifically determined nor by ideas that can be formulated in words. In (...) areas as seemingly diverse as psychology, religion, language, and metaphysics, James continually highlights the importance of the ambiguous, the contextual, the pluralistic, or the uncertain over the foundational. Indeed, observes the author, only in a vague unfinished world can the human self, fragile as it is, have the possibility of making a difference or exercising the will to believe. Taking James's plea seriously, Gavin traces the idea of the vague beyond the philosopher's own texts. In "conversations" with other philosophers--including Peirce, Marx, Dewey, and, to a lesser extent, Rorty and Derrida--the author shows that a version of James's position is central to their thought. Finally, Gavin looks for the pragmatic upshot of James's plea, reaffirming the importance of the vague in two concrete areas: the doctor-patient relationship in medicine and the creation and experiencing of modern art. In conclusion, Gavin argues that James's work is itself vague, in a positive sense, and that as such it functions as a "spur" to the reader. (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)
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.
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.