The present article explores the relationship between the panagential ontologies found in the so-called "New Materialism " and the thought of Alfred North Whitehead. Further, the implications of this relationship for theology are also explored.
Over the last fifteen years, the largely American tradition of process theology has moved in new directions as it has been lured into sustained engagements with French poststructuralism. Roland Faber’s The Divine Manifold is perhaps the most impressive example of this new shape that process thought is taking on in the twenty-first century. For those who would dismiss Whitehead’s philosophy as outdated or irrelevant to our present context, Faber’s Manifold offers a startlingly novel interpretation of the great metaphysician and a (...) series of complex arguments for his continuing importance. By entangling Whitehead’s metaphysics with the poststructuralism of Gilles Deleuze, Faber reveals what process thought could... (shrink)
This book introduces Robert Corrington’s “ecstatic naturalism,” a new perspective in understanding “sacred” nature and naturalism, and explores what can be done with this philosophical thought. This is an excellent resource for scholars of Continental philosophy, philosophy of religion, and American pragmatism.
The fact that Gilbert Ryle and J.L. Austin seem to disagree about the ordinary use of words such as ‘voluntary’, ‘involuntary’, ‘voluntarily’, and ‘involuntarily’ has been taken to cast doubt on the methods of ordinary language philosophy. As Benson Mates puts the worry, ‘if agreement about usage cannot be reached within so restricted a sample as the class of Oxford Professors of Philosophy, what are the prospects when the sample is enlarged?’ (Mates 1958, p. 165). In this chapter, we (...) evaluate Mates’s criticism alongside Ryle’s and Austin’s specific claims about the ordinary use of these words, assessing these claims against actual examples of ordinary use drawn from the British National Corpus (BNC). Our evaluation consists in applying a combination of methods: first aggregating judgments about a large set of samples drawn from the corpus, and then using a clustering algorithm to uncover connections between different types of use. In applying these methods, we show where and to what extent Ryle’s and Austin’s accounts of the use of the target terms are accurate as well as where they miss important aspects of ordinary use, and we demonstrate the usefulness of this new combination of methods. At the heart of our approach is a commitment to the idea that systematically looking at actual uses of expressions is an essential component of any approach to ordinary language philosophy. (shrink)
Record of papers given at a symposium held at the University of Texas at Austin, April 1967; includes; C.J. Fillmore - The case for case; E. Bach - Nouns and noun phrases; J.D. McCawley - The role of semantics in a grammar; P. Kiparsky Linguistic universals and linguistic change.
In ‘Other Minds’, J.L. Austin advances a parallel between saying ‘I know’ and saying ‘I promise’: much as you are ‘prohibited’, he says, from saying ‘I promise I will, but I may fail’, you are also ‘prohibited’ from saying ‘I know it is so, but I may be wrong’. This treatment of ‘I know’ has been derided for nearly sixty years: while saying ‘I promise’ amounts to performing the act of promising, Austin seems to miss the fact that (...) saying ‘I know’ fails to constitute a performance of the act of knowing. In this paper, I advance a defense of Austin’s position. I diagnose the principal objections to Austin’s account as stemming from detractors’ failure to acknowledge: (1) that Austin never characterizes ‘I know’ as a pure performative; (2) that saying ‘I know p’, unlike simply knowing p, occurs in specific interpersonal contexts in which others rely on our knowledge claims; (3) Austin’s considered account of the felicity conditions of performative utterance; (4) Austin’s ultimate repudiation of the performative/constative distinction. I conclude that Austin’s treatment of ‘I know’ rests on a more general commitment to the intrinsically normative nature of ordinary language. (shrink)
The influence of J. L. Austin on contemporary philosophy was substantial during his lifetime, and has grown greatly since his death, at the height of his powers, in 1960. Philosophical Papers, first published in 1961, was the first of three volumes of Austin's work to be edited by J. O. Urmson and G. J. Warnock. Together with Sense and Sensibilia and How to do things with Words, it has extended Austin's influence far beyond the circle who knew (...) him or read the handful of papers he published in journals. (shrink)
This book is the one to put into the hands of those who have been over-impressed by Austin 's critics....[Warnock's] brilliant editing puts everybody who is concerned with philosophical problems in his debt.
This is a book that challenges the current orthodoxy, both in the philosophy of mind and in the cognitive sciences, that thinking (construed broadly to include perceiving, imagining, remembering, etc.) is a mental process in the head. Such a view has been largely taken for granted since the demise of behaviorism in the 1960s, and it underpins both the representational and computational theories of mind, including their connectionist and dynamicist variants. While the orthodoxy has been rejected in recent years by (...) a motley collection of e-theorists—externalists, embodiers, embedders, and extended minders—Melser’s view is quite distinct from such views. For Melser, rather than thinking being a process that begins in the head but extends beyond it (as most e-theorists hold), it is a personal-level activity, something that a person does through her actions. Since Melser views such activities as being disjoint from natural processes, thinking is not a natural process at all, the sort of thing that we might study scientifically. Thus, thinking is a personal action that calls for a different kind of study, one that draws on empathy, interpretation, and hermeneutics. That is the view defended at the core of the book (chh.1-7), and if it makes it sound like a very old-fashioned book, that’s because it is. Melser’s antecedents are philosophers such as Gilbert Ryle, J.L. Austin, and Stuart Hampshire, both in style and in content. Apart from Melser’s heavy reliance on selective parts of developmental psychology, there is minimal discussion of substantive work in contemporary cognitive science. That is what might be expected from an author whose view is that whatever it is cognitive scientists are doing, it is not (much to their surprise, no doubt) the investigation of thinking. As I will try to show in a moment, however, the central argument of the book could have been strengthened by more direct engagement with such empirical work. (shrink)
How do thought and language manage to be 'about' aspects of the world? J. Robert G. Williams investigates how representation arises out of a fundamentally non-representational world, showing the explanatory relations between the representational properties of language, of thought, and of perception and intention.
First published in 1962, contains the William James Lectures delivered at Harvard University in 1955. It sets out Austin's conclusions in the field to which he directed his main efforts for at least the last ten years of his life. Starting from an exhaustive examination of his already well- known distinction of performative utterances from statements, Austin here finally abandons that distinction, replacing it by a more general theory of 'illocutionary forces' of utterances which has important bearings on (...) a wide variety of philosophical problems. (shrink)
Questions about the dignity of the human person give rise to many of the most central and hotly disputed topics in bioethics. In _A Defense of Dignity: Creating Life, Destroying Life, and Protecting the Rights of Conscience_, Christopher Kaczor investigates whether each human being has intrinsic dignity and whether the very concept of "dignity" has a useful place in contemporary ethical debates. Kaczor explores a broad range of issues addressed in contemporary bioethics, including whether there is a duty of "procreative (...) beneficence," the ethics of ectopic pregnancy, and the possibility of "rescuing" human embryos with human wombs or artificial wombs. _A Defense of Dignity_ also treats issues relevant to the end of life, including physician-assisted suicide, provision of food and water to patients in a persistent vegetative state, and how to proceed with organ donation following death. Finally, what are the duties and prerogatives of health care professionals who refuse in conscience to take part in activities that they regard as degrading to human dignity? Should they be forced to do what they consider to be violations of the patient's well being, or does patient autonomy always trump the conscience of a health care professional? Grounded in the Catholic intellectual and moral tradition, _A Defense of Dignity_ argues that all human beings from the beginning to the end of their lives should be treated with respect and considers how this belief should be applied in controversial cases. "_A Defense of Dignity_ provides a skillful, informed, and clear philosophical analysis, from a natural law perspective, of a range of controversial, and sometimes complex, bioethical questions concerning the beginning and end of life. Few authors approach bioethics from a natural law perspective, and few do it as well as Christopher Kaczor. The book should be of interest not only to natural law philosophers and their students, but also to anyone interested in bioethics." —_John Keown, Georgetown University__ "Moral questions at the beginning and ending of life and controversies over liberty of conscience are among the most vexing and important issues of our day. Christopher Kaczor brings his characteristic moral seriousness and philosophical good sense to his treatment of these issues, all of which implicate the key concept of human dignity. This eminently readable collection will provide an invaluable resource for educators and students alike." — Christopher Tollefsen, University of South Carolina_ “Indispensable. Kaczor untangles the various meanings of human dignity to undertake a reexamination of the most serious and difficult issues in medical ethics. The book combines clarity with philosophical precision, faithfulness to Catholic teaching with a thorough engagement with critics." —_J. Budziszewski, University of Texas at Austin_. (shrink)
_The Foundations of Arithmetic_ is undoubtedly the best introduction to Frege's thought; it is here that Frege expounds the central notions of his philosophy, subjecting the views of his predecessors and contemporaries to devastating analysis. The book represents the first philosophically sound discussion of the concept of number in Western civilization. It profoundly influenced developments in the philosophy of mathematics and in general ontology.
Decisions are made under uncertainty when there are distinct outcomes of a given action, and one is uncertain to which the act will lead. Decisions are made under indeterminacy when there are distinct outcomes of a given action, and it is indeterminate to which the act will lead. This paper develops a theory of (synchronic and diachronic) decision-making under indeterminacy that portrays the rational response to such situations as inconstant. Rational agents have to capriciously and randomly choose how to resolve (...) the indeterminacy relevant to a given choice-situation, but such capricious choices once made constrain how they will choose in the future. The account is illustrated by the case of self-interested action in situations where it is indeterminate whether you yourself will survive to benefit or suffer the consequences. The conclusion emphasizes some distinctive anti-hedging predictions of the account. (shrink)
Inscrutability arguments threaten to reduce interpretationist metasemantic theories to absurdity. Can we find some way to block the arguments? A highly influential proposal in this regard is David Lewis’ ‘ eligibility ’ response: some theories are better than others, not because they fit the data better, but because they are framed in terms of more natural properties. The purposes of this paper are to outline the nature of the eligibility proposal, making the case that it is not ad hoc, but (...) instead flows naturally from three independently motivated elements; and to show that severe limitations afflict the proposal. In conclusion, I pick out the element of the eligibility response that is responsible for the limitations: future work in this area should therefore concentrate on amending this aspect of the overall theory. (shrink)
Might it be that world itself, independently of what we know about it or how we represent it, is metaphysically indeterminate? This article tackles in turn a series of questions: In what sorts of cases might we posit metaphysical indeterminacy? What is it for a given case of indefiniteness to be 'metaphysical'? How does the phenomenon relate to 'ontic vagueness', the existence of 'vague objects', 'de re indeterminacy' and the like? How might the logic work? Are there reasons for postulating (...) this distinctive sort of indefiniteness? Conversely, are there reasons for denying that there is indefiniteness of this sort? (shrink)