Why are religious tolerance and pluralism so difficult to achieve? Why is the often violent fundamentalist backlash against them so potent? RobertErlewine looks to a new religion of reason for answers to these questions. Drawing on Enlightenment writers Moses Mendelssohn, Immanuel Kant, and Hermann Cohen, who placed Christianity and Judaism in tension with tolerance and pluralism, Erlewine finds a way to break the impasse, soften hostilities, and establish equal relationships with the Other. Erlewine’s recovery of (...) a religion of reason stands in contrast both to secularist critics of religion who reject religion for the sake of reason and to contemporary religious conservatives who eschew reason for the sake of religion. Monotheism and Tolerance suggests a way to deal with the intractable problem of religiously motivated and justified violence. (shrink)
Grappling with the place of Jewish philosophy at the margin of religious studies, RobertErlewine examines the work of five Jewish philosophers—Hermann Cohen, Martin Buber, Franz Rosenzweig, Abraham Joshua Heschel, and Joseph Soloveitchik—to bring them into dialogue within the discipline. Emphasizing the tenuous place of Jews in European, and particularly German, culture, Erlewine unapologetically contextualizes Jewish philosophy as part of the West. He teases out the antagonistic and overlapping attempts of Jewish thinkers to elucidate the philosophical and (...) cultural meaning of Judaism when others sought to deny and even expel Jewish influences. By reading the canon of Jewish philosophy in this new light, Erlewine offers insight into how Jewish thinkers used religion to assert their individuality and modernity. (shrink)
In this essay, I examine Hermann Cohen's and Abraham Joshua Heschel's respective accounts of the classical prophets of the Hebrew Bible, which contend with the Protestant biblical criticism of their day. Their accounts of the prophets are of central significance for their philosophies of Judaism, which mirror and oppose each other. This Auseinandersetzung addresses the often neglected topic of Jewish responses to German-Protestant biblical criticism and stresses the cogency of Heschel's thought. Additionally, examining Cohen and Heschel together problematizes the polarization (...) between theocentrism and neo-humanism currently dominating the landscape of modern Jewish thought. (shrink)
At the 50 th anniversary of the Jean Améry’s Jenseits von Schuld und Sühne: Bewältigungsversuche eines Überwältigten, published in English as At the Mind’s Limits: Contemplations By a Survivor on Auschwitz and its Realities, this work is garnering increased attention in the Anglophone world. Perhaps it should not be surprising that there is increased interest in this book at this moment when our attention is repeatedly drawn to the plight of immigrants and exiles, state sanctioned use of torture, and police (...) violence — all themes At the Mi nd’s Limits deals with at length. While this recent attention is certainly appropriate, it nevertheless tends to blur the specific and particular socio-political and cultural contours of the work. Améry becomes a writer about the plight of the victim in general, such that specificity of his Jewishness is lost and the already submerged theological dimensions of his work remain obscure. (shrink)
Commonplace among deliberative theorists is the view that, when defending preferred laws and policies, citizens should appeal only to reasons they expect others reasonably to accept. This view has been challenged on the grounds that it places an undue burden on religious citizens who feel duty-bound to appeal to religious reasons to justify preferred positions. In response, I develop a conception of democratic deliberation that provides unlimited latitude regarding the sorts of reasons that can be introduced, so long as one (...) is prepared to defend them against criticism. Moreover, I contend that religious citizens have a powerful incentive, based on their religious convictions, to be fully responsive to criticism. I defend this proposition by drawing on RobertErlewine’s account of Hermann Cohen’s ‘religion of reason’. (shrink)
"The availability of a paperback version of Boyle's philosophical writings selected by M. A. Stewart will be a real service to teachers, students, and scholars with seventeenth-century interests. The editor has shown excellent judgment in bringing together many of the most important works and printing them, for the most part, in unabridged form. The texts have been edited responsibly with emphasis on readability.... Of special interest in connection with Locke and with the reception of Descarte's Corpuscularianism, to students of the (...) Scientific Revolution and of the history of mechanical philosophy, and to those interested in the relations among science, philosophy, and religion. In fact, given the imperfections in and unavailability of the eighteenth-century editions of Boyle’s works, this collection will benefit a wide variety of seventeenth-century scholars." --Gary Hatfield, University of Pennsylvania. (shrink)
Robert Boyle, one of the most important intellectuals of the seventeenth century, was a gifted experimenter, an exceptionally able philosopher, and a dedicated Christian. In Boyle's two Excellencies, The Excellency of Theology Compared with Natural Philosophy and About The Excellency and Grounds of the Mechanical Hypothesis, he explains and justifies his new philosophy of science while reconciling it with Christian theology. These pioneering works of early science and theology are now available in a modernized and accessible new edition. This (...) Broadview edition brings spelling and punctuation into line with current conventions and includes notes and references to set the works in their historical and philosophical context. The appendices include works by Boyle's predecessors in the philosophy of science, other philosophical writings by Boyle, and an appendix of the other figures mentioned in the texts. (shrink)
Drawing on Aristotle’s notion of “ultimate responsibility,” Robert Kane argues that to be exercising a free will an agent must have taken some character forming decisions for which there were no sufficient conditions or decisive reasons.<sup>1</sup> That is, an agent whose will is free not only had the ability to develop other dispositions, but could have exercised that ability without being irrational. To say it again, a person has a free will just in case her character is the product (...) of decisions that she could have rationally avoided making. That one’s character is the product of such decisions entails ultimate responsibility for its manifestations, engendering a free will. (shrink)
No writer or public intellectual of our era has been as sensitive to the role of faith in the lives of ordinary Americans as Robert Coles. Though not religious in the conventional sense, Coles is unparalleled in his astute understanding and respect for the relationship between secular life and sacredness, which cuts across his large body of work. Drawing inspiration from figures like Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Dorothy Day, and Simone Weil, Coles’s extensive writings explore the tug of war between faith (...) and doubt. As Coles himself admits, the “back-and-forthness between faith and doubt is the story of my life.” These thirty-one thought-provoking essays are drawn from Coles’s weekly column in the Catholic publication America. In them, he turns his inquisitive lens on a range of subjects and issues, from writers and painters to his recent reading and film viewing, contemporary events and lingering controversies, recollections of past and present mentors, events of his own daily life, and ordinary encounters with students, patients, neighbors, and friends. Addressing moral questions openly and honestly with a rare combination of rectitude and authorial modesty, these essays position Coles as a preeminent, durable, and trusted voice in the continuing national conversation over religion, civic life, and moral purpose. (shrink)
Contents: Ethical principals for environmental protection / Robert Goodin -- Political representation for future generations / Gregory S. Kavka and Virginia L. Warren -- On the survival of humanity / Jan Narveson -- On deep versus shallow theories of environmental pollution / C.A. Hooker -- Preservation of wilderness and the good life / Janna L. Thompson -- The rights of the nonhuman world / Mary Anne Warren -- Are values in nature subjective or objective? / Holmes Rolston III - (...) Duties concerning islands / Mary Midgley -- Gaia and the forms of life / Stephen R.L. Clark -- Western traditions and environmental ethics / Robin Attfield -- Traditional American Indian and traditional western European attitudes toward nature / J. Baird Callicott -- Roles and limits of paradigms in environmental thought and action / Richard Routley. [Book Synopsis]. (shrink)
Robert Stalnaker explores the contexts in which speech takes place, the ways we represent them, and the roles they play in explaining the interpretation and dynamics of speech. His central thesis is the autonomy of pragmatics: the independence of theory about structure and function of discourse from theory about mechanisms serving those functions.
Drawing on Aristotle’s notion of “ultimate responsibility,” Robert Kane argues that to be exercising a free will an agent must have taken some character forming decisions for which there were no sufficient conditions or decisive reasons. That is, an agent whose will is free not only had the ability to develop values and beliefs besides those that presently make up her motives, but could have exercised that ability without being irrational. An agent wills freely, on this view, by beingultimately (...) responsible for how she is currently disposed to act. Kane needs, then, to show how an agent could be responsible for decisions that her deliberations did not guarantee. He must also explain how a decision for which there is no decisive reason could yet be rational, assuming that the responsibility engendering decisions forming the basis of a free will would be rational. I shall argue here that Kane has achieved neither of these goals. (shrink)
[Robert Stalnaker] Saul Kripke made a convincing case that there are necessary truths that are knowable only a posteriori as well as contingent truths that are knowable a priori. A number of philosophers have used a two-dimensional model semantic apparatus to represent and clarify the phenomena that Kripke pointed to. According to this analysis, statements have truth-conditions in two different ways depending on whether one considers a possible world 'as actual' or 'as counterfactual' in determining the truth-value of the (...) statement relative to that possible world. There are no necessary a posteriori or contingent a priori propositions: rather, contingent a priori and necessary a posteriori statements are statements that are necessary when evaluated one way, and contingent when evaluated the other way. This paper distinguishes two ways that the two-dimensional framework can be interpreted, and argues that one of them gives the better account of what it means to 'consider a world as actual', but that it provides no support for any notion of purely conceptual a priori truth. /// [Thomas Baldwin] Two-dimensional possible world semantic theory suggests that Kripke's examples of the necessary a posteriori and contingent a priori should be handled by interpreting names as implicitly indexical. Like Stalnaker, I reject this account of names and accept that Kripke's examples have to be accommodated within a metasemantic theory. But whereas Stalnaker maintains that a metasemantic approach undermines the conception of a priori truth, I argue that it offers the opportunity to develop a conception of the a priori aspect of stipulations, conceived as linguistic performances. The resulting position accommodates Kripke's examples in a way which is both intrinsically plausible and fits with Kripke's actual discussion of them. (shrink)
This volume is a continuation of Robert Greystones on the Freedom of the Will: Selections from His Commentary on the Sentences. From this, five of the most relevant questions were selected for editing and translation in this timely volume. This edition should prompt not just a footnote to, but a re-writing of the history of philosophy.
Why democracy? Most often this question is met with an appeal to some decidedly moral value, such as equality, liberty, dignity or even peace. But in contemporary democratic societies, there is deep disagreement and conflict about the precise nature and relative worth of these values. And when democracy votes, some of those who lose will see the prevailing outcome as not merely disappointing, but morally intolerable. How should citizens react when confronted with a democratic result that they regard as intolerable? (...) Should they revolt, or instead pursue democratic means of social change? In this book, Robert Talisse argues that each of us has reasons to uphold democracy - even when it makes serious moral errors - and that these reasons are rooted in our most fundamental epistemic commitments. His original and compelling study will be of interest to a wide range of readers in political philosophy and political theory. (shrink)
Robert Owen was one of the most extraordinary Englishmen who ever lived and a great man. In a way his history is the history of the establishment of modern industrial Britain, reflected in the mind and activities of a very intelligent, capable and responsible industrialist, alive to the best social thought of his time. The organisation of industrial labour, factory legislation, education, trade unionism, co-operation, rationalism: he was passionately and ably engaged in all of them. His community at New (...) Lanark was the nearest thing to an industrial heaven in the Britain of dark satanic mills; he tried to found a rational co-operative community in the USA. In everything he contemplated, he saw education as a key. This selection of his writings on education illustrates his rationalist concept of the formation of character and its implications for education and society; also his growing utopian concern with social reorganisation; and third, his impact on social movements. Silver's introduction shows Owen's relationship to particular educational traditions and activities and his long-term influence on attitudes to education. (shrink)
Chapter. 1. Logical. Form. as. a. Level. of. Linguistic. Representation. What is the relation of a sentence's syntactic form to its logical form? This issue has been of central concern in modern inquiry into the semantic properties of natural ...
Where does the mind begin and end? Most philosophers and cognitive scientists take the view that the mind is bounded by the skull or skin of the individual. Robert Wilson, in this provocative and challenging 2004 book, provides the foundations for the view that the mind extends beyond the boundary of the individual. The approach adopted offers a unique blend of traditional philosophical analysis, cognitive science, and the history of psychology and the human sciences. The companion volume, Genes and (...) the Agents of Life, explores the theme in the biological sciences. Written with verve and clarity, this ambitious book will appeal to a broad swathe of professionals and students in philosophy, psychology, cognitive science, and the history of the behavioural and human sciences. You can download the table of contents here. (shrink)
Neither the existence of God nor the nature of God is apparent or obvious. If God exists, why is it not entirely clear to everyone that this is so? How can theists explain God's hiddenness, and how plausible are their explanations? God, if God exists, is an omnipotent, morally good, omnipresent being, than whom none greater can be conceived. Surely it is well within the abilities of God to let God's existence and nature be known to us. Why isn't the (...) existence and nature of our Heavenly Father as apparent as, say, the existence of our various earthly fathers? (shrink)
Kelly Aguirre, Phil Henderson, Cressida J. Heyes, Alana Lentin, and Corey Snelgrove engage with different aspects of Robert Nichols’ Theft is Property! Dispossession and Critical Theory. Henderson focuses on possible spaces for maneuver, agency, contradiction, or failure in subject formation available to individuals and communities interpellated through diremptive processes. Heyes homes in on the ritual of antiwill called “consent” that systematically conceals the operation of power. Aguirre foregrounds tensions in projects of critical theory scholarship that aim for dialogue and (...) solidarity with Indigenous decolonial struggles. Lentin draws attention to the role of race in undergirding the logic of Anglo-settler colonial domination that operates through dispossession, while Snelgrove emphasizes the link between alienation, capital, and colonialism. In his reply to his interlocutors, Nichols clarifies aspects of his “recursive logics” of dispossession, a dispossession or theft through which the right to property is generated. (shrink)