Family planning programmes in Tanzania date back to the 1950s. By the early 1990s, however, only 5[hyphen]10% of women of childbearing age used contraceptives in the country. Low contraceptive prevalence in Tanzania is reportedly attributable to men's opposition to family planning. This paper employs focus groups to explore the role of Tanzanian men in family planning. More specifically, it presents a rural[hyphen]urban comparison of the attitudes of men in Mbeya region, Tanzania, to family size preference, sex composition, partners' communication on (...) family planning matters and contraceptive behaviour. Findings indicate that men express positive attitudes towards fertility[hyphen]regulating methods. There is, moreover, little rural[hyphen]urban variation in male attitudes towards family planning in the study area. Possible reasons for this normative convergence (including structural similarities and rural–urban migration between the two communities) are discussed. (shrink)
This paper examines Augustine’s views on language, learning, and testimony in De Magistro. It is often held that, in De Magistro, Augustine is especially concerned with explanatory understanding (a complex cognitive state characterized by its synoptic nature and awareness of explanatory relations) and that he thinks testimony is deficient in imparting explanatory understanding. I argue against this view and give a clear analysis of the different kinds of cognitive state Augustine is concerned with and a careful examination (...) of his arguments concerning the deficiencies of testimony in producing these cognitive states. (shrink)
The best available introduction to the political thought of Augustine, if not to Christian political thought in general. Included are generous selections from _City of God_, as well as from many lesser-known writings of Augustine.
_A fresh, new translation of Augustine’s inaugural work as a Christian convert_ The first four works written by St. Augustine of Hippo after his conversion to Christianity have influenced prominent thinkers from Boethius to Bernard Lonergan. Usually called the Cassiciacum dialogues, these four works are a “literary triumph,” combining Ciceronian and neo-Platonic philosophy, Roman comedy and Vergilian poetry, and early Christian theology. They are also, arguably, Augustine’s most charming works, exhibiting his whimsical levity and ironic wryness. In (...) this first dialogue, Augustine and his interlocutors have retreated to a quiet country villa north of Milan to explore the history and teachings of Academic Skepticism. Augustine is both sympathetic to and critical of the Skeptics, eventually hypothesizing that they could not possibly have believed everything they taught. The dialogue serves as a fitting launch point for a knowledge of God and the soul, the overall subject of the Cassiciacum tetralogy. Michael Foley’s clear, precise and playful translations are accompanied by his brief, illuminating commentaries. (shrink)
_A fresh, new translation of Augustine’s third work as a Christian convert__ "The 'Cassiciacum dialogues'... are of a high literary and intellectual quality, combining Ciceronian and neo-Platonic philosophy, Roman comedy and Vergilian poetry, and early Christian theology. They are also, arguably, Augustine’s most charming works, exhibiting his whimsical levity and ironic wryness."—_Credo__ The first four works written by St. Augustine of Hippo after his conversion to Christianity are dialogues that have influenced prominent thinkers from Boethius to Bernard (...) Lonergan. Usually called the “Cassiciacum dialogues,” these four works are of a high literary and intellectual quality, combining Ciceronian and neo-Platonic philosophy, Roman comedy and Vergilian poetry, and early Christian theology. They are also, arguably, Augustine’s most charming works, exhibiting his whimsical levity and ironic wryness. _On Order_ is the third work in this tetralogy, and it is Augustine’s only work explicitly devoted to theodicy, the reconciliation of Almighty God’s goodness with evil’s existence. In this dialogue, Augustine argues that a certain kind of self-knowledge is the key to unlocking the answers to theodicy’s vexing questions, and he devotes the latter half of the dialogue to an excursus on the liberal arts as disciplines that will help strengthen the mind to know itself and God. (shrink)
_A fresh, new translation of Augustine’s fourth work as a Christian convert_ The first four works written by St. Augustine of Hippo after his conversion to Christianity are dialogues that have influenced prominent thinkers from Boethius to Bernard Lonergan. Usually called the Cassiciacum dialogues, these four works are of a high literary and intellectual quality, combining Ciceronian and neo-Platonic philosophy, Roman comedy and Vergilian poetry, and early Christian theology. They are also, arguably, Augustine’s most charming works, exhibiting (...) his whimsical levity and ironic wryness. _Soliloquies_ is the fourth work in this tetralogy. Augustine coined the term “soliloquy” to describe this new form of dialogue. _Soliloquies__,_ a conversation between Augustine and his reason, fuses the dialogue genre and Roman theater, opening with a search for intellectual and moral self-knowledge before converging on the nature of truth and the question of the soul’s immortality. Foley’s volume also includes _On the Immortality of the Soul__,_ which consists of notes for the unfinished portion of the work. (shrink)
There is a remarkable coincidence in Augustine and Avicenna’s investigations into the nature of time. Despite the fact that Avicenna wrote in Arabic and Persian, was born in Central Asia more than five hundred years after the death of Augustine, and had no access to Augustine’s philosophical works, both consider a strikingly similar objection to the ontological dependence of time on the motion of the heavens.
_A fresh, new translation of Augustine’s inaugural work as a Christian convert_ The first four works written by St. Augustine of Hippo after his conversion to Christianity are dialogues that have influenced prominent thinkers from Boethius to Bernard Lonergan. Usually called the Cassiciacum dialogues, these four works are a “literary triumph,” combining Ciceronian and neo-Platonic philosophy, Roman comedy and Vergilian poetry, and early Christian theology. They are also, arguably, Augustine’s most charming works, exhibiting his whimsical levity and (...) ironic wryness. In this second, brief dialogue, Augustine and his mother, brother, son, and friends celebrate his thirty-second birthday by having a “feast of words” on the nature of happiness that includes a bittersweet metaphorical birthday cake. Using a process of reasoning that is philosophical as well as theological, Augustine and the group conclude that the truly happy life consists of “having God” through faith, hope, and charity. Michael Foley’s clear, precise and playful translations are accompanied by his brief, illuminating commentaries. (shrink)
In this paper, I explore Augustine’s account of sense cognition in book 11 of De Trinitate. His discussion in this context focuses on two types of sensory state—what he calls “outer vision” and “inner vision,” respectively. His analysis of both types of state is designed to show that cognitive acts involving external and internal sense faculties are susceptible of a kind of trinitarian analysis. A common way to read De Trin. 11, is to interpret Augustine’s account of “outer” (...) vision as an analysis of sense perception and his account “inner” vision as an analysis of occurrent sensory memory and imagination. I argue against such a reading of De Trin. 11, however. Insofar as we take perception to be a phenomenally conscious mode of sensory awareness, outer vision cannot, I claim, be the equivalent of ordinary sense perception. For, on Augustine’s view, the deliverances of outer vision only reach the threshold of consciousness, when outer vision occurs in conjunction with inner vision. Hence, on my analysis, sense perception turns out to be a complex, hybrid state—one that involves both outer and inner vision. If I am right, acts of sense perception turn out not to be directly susceptible to trinitarian analysis. Even so, the account is interesting and nuanced for all that. (shrink)
This paper examines the relationship between North American beef consumption and deforestation in South and Central America. Some writers have argued that consumption of hamburgers in North America, particularly hamburgers consumed in fast food restaurants, contributes to the depletion of the rainforest in South and Central America. We survey the published policy literature on the causes of rainforest depletion in the region. We also review the published estimates of the rate and extent of clearing of rainforest that has occurred in (...) South and Central America since 1970. Finally, we review the data on beef imports and consumption in Canada and the United States in a effort to assess the importance of South and Central America as suppliers of beef to the North American market. We conclude that the relationship between beef consumption in North America should not be considered an important cause of forest depletion in South and Central America. Domestic policies and market forces in the countries where rainforests are located are the leading causes of rainforest depletion in this region. This lesson seems to have been lost on some popular and even some textbook writers on this subject. (shrink)
In his Contra Academicos, Augustine offers one of the most detailed responses to scepticism to have come down to us from antiquity. In this paper, I examine Augustine’s defence of the existence of infallible knowledge in Contra Academicos 3. I challenge a number of established views (including those of Myles Burnyeat, Gareth Matthews, and Christopher Kirwan) concerning the nature and merit of Augustine’s defence of knowledge and propose a new understanding of Augustine’s response to scepticism (including (...) his semantic response to external world scepticism) and several important elements of Augustine’s thought concerning signification, cognition, and object-directed thought. I argue that once we properly understand Augustine’s views about these issues, his arguments in defence of knowledge are more interesting and more successful than usually thought. (shrink)
It is widely thought that Augustine thinks perception is, in some distinctive sense, an active process and that he takes conscious awareness to be constitutive of perception. I argue that conscious awareness is not straightforwardly constitutive of perception and that Augustine is best understood as an indirect realist. I then clarify Augustine’s views concerning the nature and role of diachronically unified conscious awareness and mental representation in perception, the nature of the soul’s intentio, and the precise sense (...) in which perception is an active process. (shrink)
Although Augustine is rightly associated with the rationalistic epistemology of the Platonist tradition—which holds that knowledge comes from the mind rather than from experience—there is an underappreciated, and significant, empirical aspect to his epistemology, which I aim to clarify in this article. In Augustine’s epistemology, knowledge of God depends on the history of his people, his revelation, and above all his Messiah. However, the empirical aspect of Augustine’s theology does not overrule his rationalism, but rather is integrated (...) into it. Augustine is a Christian representative of a broader epistemological tradition which includes Plato as well as Immanuel Kant and which considers warrant for our beliefs to come from the mind even as experience provides the input necessary for the process to begin. It is, of course, a Christianized version of such a nuanced rationalism: In both its rationalistic core and its empirical aspect, knowledge is explained in Christian terms: in the former because the mind does not have these ideas of its own powers but from God’s indwelling and gracious assistance, in the latter because the experience leading to knowledge is the religious experience that founded the Christian church and Scriptures. (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)
This is a sequel to Augustine Shutte's previous book Philosophy for Africa. In that book he engages with some concepts central to traditional African thinking about human nature and society. In this book he offers a new interpretation of the chief ethical idea in African thought, Ubuntu. He argues that it complements the central European ethical notion of individual freedom, and shows how the two ideas can be combined to form an ethic based on a richer understanding of our (...) humanity. He then applies this ethic to different spheres of life: gender relations, sex and family life, education, health care, work, politics and religion. In each sphere he tries to show how an ethic of Ubuntu can provide concrete guidance for our continuing struggle to make a multi-cultural South Africa a truly humane society. (shrink)
This essay aims to take up the philosophical challenge of causal determination in divine predestination to human freedom by reconstructing Augustine’s relevant insights to argue that divine predestination still can accommodate our intuitions concerning freedom and moral responsibility today. Section 1 briefly reconstructs the development of Augustine’s reflections on predestination by focusing on his interpretation of the election of Jacob. Section 2 appeals to attacks from the Idle Argument and the Manipulation Argument to present the theoretical difficulties in (...)Augustine’s account. Section 3 argues that Augustine’s teaching of predestination contains a significant but often-neglected aspect of moral intuitions: the asymmetry of moral responsibility, namely, the conditions of being praised for a good action are substantially different from those of being blamed for an evil one. In conclusion, this essay considers some possible objections to the Augustinian asymmetry thesis to show its relevance to our moral responsibility practices today. (shrink)
Phillip Cary argues that Augustine invented or created the concept of self as an inner space--as space into which one can enter and in which one can find God. This concept of inwardness, says Cary, has worked its way deeply into the intellectual heritage of the West and many Western individuals have experienced themselves as inner selves. After surveying the idea of inwardness in Augustine's predecessors, Cary offers a re-examination of Augustine's own writings, making the controversial point (...) that in his early writings Augustine appears to hold that the human soul is quite literally divine. Cary goes on to contend that the crucial Book 7 of the Confessions is not a historical report of Augustine's "conversion" experience, but rather an explanation of his intellectual development over time. (shrink)
This major work constitutes a significant attempt to provide a detailed and accurate account of the character and effects of Augustine's thought as a whole. It describes the transformation of Greco-Roman philosophy into the version that was to become the most influential in the history of Western thought. Augustine weighed some of the major themes of classical philosophy and ancient culture against the truth he found in the Bible and Catholic tradition, and reformulated these in Christian dress.
This article examined reasons why information pertaining to nonhuman animal welfare and liberation should be introduced during childhood. Studies indicate that animal-welfare activists’ and abolitionists’ efforts to date may be insufficient given the pervasive environmental destruction and ongoing animal suffering. Moreover, research reveals that education related to animal welfare and liberation is systematically excluded from children’s education, and they thus remain unaware of the sources and associated health hazards of meat they consume. Conversely, children’s knowledge about animal welfare increases when (...) exposed to literature on the topic, which enables them to make informed choices regarding meat consumption. This paper draws on animal-welfare and liberation literature to argue that augmenting children’s knowledge about animal welfare and liberation can foster children’s understanding, language, philosophy, and ability to make informed choices about their relationship with animals and the environment in general. (shrink)
Many critics of religion insist that believing in a future life makes us less able to value our present activities and distracts us from accomplishing good in this world. In Augustine's case, this gets things backwards. It is while Augustine seeks to achieve happiness in this life that he is detached from suffering and dismissive of the body. Once Augustine comes to believe happiness is only attainable once the whole city of God is triumphant, he is able (...) to compassionately engage with present suffering and see material and social goods as part of our ultimate good. (shrink)
This festschrift for Teddy Seidenfeld is a collection of newly commissioned essays on imprecise probability by leading experts in the field. Each contribution touches on Teddy’s seminal contributions to the field of imprecise probability, and gives an up-to-date state of the field that cannot be found elsewhere. The title, “a reflection on the foundations of probability and statistics”, calls back to Teddy’s seminal book, “Rethinking the Foundations of Probability and Statistics”, bookends to a career that has made fundamental contributions to (...) the foundations of probability and statistics, and shaped the field of imprecise probability. It is aimed at scholars engaged in probability and statistics. (shrink)