This introductory textbook presents Christian philosophical and theological approaches to ethics. Combining their expertise in philosophy and theology, the authors explain the beliefs, values, and practices of various Christian ethical viewpoints, addressing biblical teachings as well as traditional ethical theories that contribute to informed moral decision-making. Each chapter begins with Words to Watch and includes a relevant case study on a vexing ethical issue, such as caring for the environment, human sexuality, abortion, capital punishment, war, and euthanasia. End-of-chapter reflection questions, (...) illustrations, and additional information tables are also included. (shrink)
Interpreters of Aquinas’s theory of natural law have occasionally argued that the theory has no need for God. Some, such as Anthony Lisska, wish to avoid an interpretation that construes the theory as an instance of theological definism. Instead Lisska sees Aquinas’s ontology of natural kinds as central to the theory. In his zeal to eliminate God from Aquinas’s theory of natural law, Lisska has overlooked two important features of the theory. First, Aquinas states that the desire for God is (...) a primary precept of the natural law and thus constitutes a critical aspect of his ontology. Secondly, Aquinas’s theory of natural law must be seen in the larger context of his theory of participation since he says, “The natural law is the rational creature’s participation in the eternal law.”. (shrink)
Steve Wilkens edits a debate between three different understandings of the relationship between faith and reason, between theology and philosophy. The three views include: Faith and Philosophy in Tension, Faith Seeking Understanding and the Thomistic Synthesis. This introduction to a timeless quandary is an essential resource for students.
Preface Introduction Christopher J. Berry: Adam Smith: Outline of Life, Times, and Legacy Part One: Adam Smith: Heritage and Contemporaries 1: Nicholas Phillipson: Adam Smith: A Biographer's Reflections 2: Leonidas Montes: Newtonianism and Adam Smith 3: Dennis C. Rasmussen: Adam Smith and Rousseau: Enlightenment and counter-Enlightenment 4: Christopher J. Berry: Adam Smith and Early Modern Thought Part Two: Adam Smith on Language, Art and Culture 5: Catherine Labio: Adam Smith's Aesthetics 6: James Chandler: Adam Smith as Critic 7: Michael C. (...) Amrozowicz: Adam Smith: History and Poetics 8: C. Jan Swearingen: Adam Smith on Language and Rhetoric: The Ethics of Style, Character, and Propriety Part Three: Adam Smith and Moral Philosophy 9: Christel Fricke: Adam Smith: The Sympathetic Process and the Origin and Function of Conscience 10: Duncan Kelly: Adam Smith and the Limits of Sympathy 11: Ryan Patrick Hanley: Adam Smith and Virtue 12: Eugene Heath: Adam Smith and Self-Interest Part Four: Adam Smith and Economics 13: Tony Aspromourgos: Adam Smith on Labour and Capital 14: Nerio Naldi: Adam Smith on Value and Prices 15: Hugh Rockoff: Adam Smith on Money, Banking, and the Price Level 16: Maria Pia Paganelli: Commercial Relations: from Adam Smith to Field Experiments Part Five: Adam Smith on History and Politics 17: Spiros Tegos: Adam Smith: Theorist of Corruption 18: David M. Levy & Sandra J. Peart: Adam Smith and the State: Language and Reform 19: Fabrizio Simon: Adam Smith and the Law 20: Edwin van de Haar: Adam Smith on Empire and International Relations Part Six: Adam Smith on Social Relations 21: Richard Boyd: Adam Smith, Civility, and Civil Society 22: Gavin Kennedy: Adam Smith on Religion 23: Samuel Fleischacker: Adam Smith and Equality 24: Maureen Harkin: Adam Smith and Women Part Seven; Adam Smith: Legacy and Influence 25: Spencer J. Pack: Adam Smith and Marx 26: Craig Smith: Adam Smith and the New Right 27: Tom Campbell: Adam Smith: Methods, Morals and Markets 28: Amartya Sen: The Contemporary Relevance of Adam Smith. (shrink)
Open theists deny that God knows future contingents. Most open theists justify this denial by adopting the position that there are no future contingent truths to be known. In this paper we examine some of the arguments put forward for this position in two recent articles in this journal, one by Dale Tuggy and one by Alan Rhoda, Gregory Boyd, and Thomas Belt. The arguments concern time, modality, and the semantics of ‘will’ statements. We explain why we find none (...) of these arguments persuasive. This wide road leads only to destruction. (shrink)
This essay explores the validity of Gregory Boyd’s open theistic account of the nature of the future. In particular, it is an investigation into whether Boyd’s logical square of opposition for future contingents provides a model of reality for free will theists that can preserve both bivalence and a classical conception of omniscience. In what follows, I argue that it can.
In a pair of recent essays, William Lane Craig has argued that certain open theist understandings of the nature of the future are both semantically and modally confused. I argue that this is not the case and show that, if consistently observed, the customary semantics for counterfactuals Craig relies on not only undermine the validity of his complaint against the open theist, they actually support an argument for the openness position.
The Virtues by Craig A. Boyd and Kevin Timpe is supposed to be a work about the virtues themselves. Virtue is not limited by language or by race, so one would expect the book to be properly multicultural. However, the entire book is Graeco-Abrahamic, except for a single chapter on Confucianism, which is sometimes erroneous and ultimately below standard. The book is also permeated by an utterly unjustified notion of the instrumentality of virtuosity, which the authors treat as (...) though it were traditional. (shrink)
In the recent debate on future contingents and the nature of the future, authors such as G. A. Boyd, W. L. Craig, and E. Hess have made use of various logical notions, such as the Aristotelian relations of contradiction and contrariety, and the ‘open future square of opposition.’ My aim in this paper is not to enter into this philosophical debate itself, but rather to highlight, at a more abstract methodological level, the important role that Aristotelian diagrams can (...) play in organizing and clarifying the debate. After providing a brief survey of the specific ways in which Boyd and Hess make use of Aristotelian relations and diagrams in the debate on the nature of the future, I argue that the position of open theism is best represented by means of a hexagon of opposition. Next, I show that on the classical theist account, this hexagon of opposition ‘collapses’ into a single pair of contradictory statements. This collapse from a hexagon into a pair has several aspects, which can all be seen as different manifestations of a single underlying change. (shrink)
This paper retraces some of the contrast between Aquinas and Scotus with respect to the metaphysical foundations of morality in order to highlight how subtle differences pertaining to the relationship between the divine will and the divine intellect can tip a thinker toward either an unalloyed natural law theory (NLT) or something that at least starts to move in the direction of divine command theory (DCT). The paper opens with a brief consideration of three distinct elements in Aquinas’s work that (...) might tempt one to view him in a DCT light, namely: his discussion of the divine law in addition to the natural law; his position on the so-called immoralities of the patriarchs; and some of his assertions about the divine will in relation to justice. We then respond to each of those considerations. In the second and third of these cases, following CraigBoyd, we illustrate how Aquinas’s conviction that the divine will follows the ordering of the divine intellect can help inform the interpretive disputes in question. We then turn our attention to Scotus’s concern about the freedom of the divine will, before turning to his discussion of the natural law in relation to the Decalogue as a way of stressing how his two-source theory of the metaphysical foundations of morality represents a clear departure from Aquinas in the direction of DCT. (shrink)
In this discussion with Craig Browne, Luc Boltanski comments on how his recent work reconsiders the questions of agency and the nature of social explanation. Boltanski reflects on the connections between his investigations of grammars of justifications and his later work with Eve Chiapello on the historical transition to a new spirit of capitalism. The significance of politics, conflict and critique to Boltanski’s sociology are highlighted. Bolanski explains why he regards May 1968 as a major disruption of the capitalist (...) social order and how the conservative response to this contestation subsequently prevailed in France. The reorganisation of capitalism in recent decades has increased social division, yet Boltanski believes that the recent recession and existing discontent could lead to unexpected outcomes. (shrink)
Harry C. Boyte. Craig Calhoun. Geoff Eley. Nancy Fraser. Nicholas Garnham. JürgenHabermas. Peter Hohendahl. Lloyd Kramer. Benjamin Lee. Thomas McCarthy. Moishe Postone. Mary P.Ryan. Michael Schudson. Michael Warner. David Zaret.
To the surprise of many readers, Jürgen Habermas has recently made religion a major theme of his work. Emphasizing both religion's prominence in the contemporary public sphere and its potential contributions to critical thought, Habermas's engagement with religion has been controversial and exciting, putting much of his own work in fresh perspective and engaging key themes in philosophy, politics and social theory. Habermas argues that the once widely accepted hypothesis of progressive secularization fails to account for the multiple trajectories of (...) modernization in the contemporary world. He calls attention to the contemporary significance of "postmetaphysical" thought and "postsecular" consciousness - even in Western societies that have embraced a rationalistic understanding of public reason. Edited by Craig Calhoun, Eduardo Mendieta, and Jonathan VanAntwerpen, _Habermas and Religion_ presents a series of original and sustained engagements with Habermas's writing on religion in the public sphere, featuring new work and critical reflections from leading philosophers, social and political theorists, and anthropologists. Contributors to the volume respond both to Habermas's ambitious and well-developed philosophical project and to his most recent work on religion. The book closes with an extended response from Habermas - itself a major statement from one of today's most important thinkers. (shrink)
The essay presents Saul Kripke's argument for mind/body-dualism and makes the suppositions explicit on which it rests. My claim, inspired by Richard Boyd, is that even if one of Kripke’s central suppositions - the principle of necessity of identities using rigid designators - is shared by the non-traditional identity theorist, it is still possible for her to rebut Kripke’s dualism.
Background: Legislation on physician-assisted suicide is being considered in a number of states since the passage of the Oregon Death With Dignity Act in 1994. Opinion assessment surveys have historically assessed particular subsets of physicians.Objective: To determine variables predictive of physicians’ opinions on PAS in a rural state, Vermont, USA.Design: Cross-sectional mailing survey.Participants: 1052 physicians licensed by the state of Vermont.Results: Of the respondents, 38.2% believed PAS should be legalised, 16.0% believed it should be prohibited and 26.0% believed it should (...) not be legislated. 15.7% were undecided. Males were more likely than females to favour legalisation . Physicians who did not care for patients through the end of life were significantly more likely to favour legalisation of PAS than physicians who do care for patients with terminal illness . 30% of the respondents had experienced a request for assistance with suicide.Conclusions: Vermont physicians’ opinions on the legalisation of PAS is sharply polarised. Patient autonomy was a factor strongly associated with opinions in favour of legalisation, whereas the sanctity of the doctor–patient relationship was strongly associated with opinions in favour of not legislating PAS. Those in favour of making PAS illegal overwhelmingly cited moral and ethical beliefs as factors in their opinion. Although opinions on legalisation appear to be based on firmly held beliefs, approximately half of Vermont physicians who responded to the survey agree that there is a need for more education in palliative care and pain management. (shrink)
During the last several years, philosophers of religion have witnessed a long-drawn debate between Nelson Pike and John Fischer on the problems of theological fatalism, Fischer claiming in his most recent contribution to have proved that even if God's past beliefs are ‘nice soft facts’, still theological fatalism cannot be averted. Unfortunately, this debate has not – at least it seems to this observer – served substantially either to clarify the issues involved or to move toward a resolution of the (...) question, but has instead confused matters by its use of misleading terminology and diverted the discussion into unpromising side roads. (shrink)
This paper deals with, prepositional calculi with strong negation (N-logics) in which the Craig interpolation theorem holds. N-logics are defined to be axiomatic strengthenings of the intuitionistic calculus enriched with a unary connective called strong negation. There exists continuum of N-logics, but the Craig interpolation theorem holds only in 14 of them.
There has been a recent surge of evolutionary explanations of art. In this article I evaluate one currently influential example, Brian Boyd’s recent book On the Origin of Stories: Evolution, Cognition, and Fiction (2009). The book offers a stimulating collection of findings, ideas, and hypotheses borrowed from a wide range of research disciplines (philosophy of art and art criticism, anthropology, evolutionary and developmental psychology, neurobiology, ethology, etc.), brought together under the umbrella of evolution. However, in so doing Boyd (...) lumps together issues that need to be separated, most importantly, organic and cultural evolution. In addition, he fails to consider alternative explanations to art as adaptation such as exaptation and constraint. Moreover, the neurobiological literature suggests current evidence of biological adaptation for most of the arts is weak at best. Given these considerations, I conclude by proposing to regard the arts instead as culturally evolved practices building on pre-existing biological traits. (shrink)
It is widely acknowledged that individual moral obligations and responsibility entail shared (or joint) moral obligations and responsibility. However, whether individual epistemic obligations and responsibility entail shared epistemic obligations and responsibility is rarely discussed. Instead, most discussions of doxastic responsibility focus on individuals considered in isolation. In contrast to this standard approach, I maintain that focusing exclusively on individuals in isolation leads to a profoundly incomplete picture of what we're epistemically obligated to do and when we deserve epistemic blame. First, (...) I argue that we have epistemic obligations to perform actions of the sort that can be performed in conjunction with other people, and that consequently, we are often jointly blameworthy when we violate shared epistemic obligations. Second, I argue that shared responsibility is especially important to doxastic responsibility thanks to the fact that we don't have the same kind of direct control over our beliefs that we have over our actions. In particular, I argue that there are many cases in which a particular individual who holds some problematic belief only deserves epistemic blame in virtue of belonging to a group all the members of which are jointly blameworthy for violating some shared epistemic obligation. (shrink)
Virtually every aspect of the current philosophical discussion of self-deception is a matter of controversy including its definition and paradigmatic cases. We may say generally, however, that self-deception is the acquisition and maintenance of a belief (or, at least, the avowal of that belief) in the face of strong evidence to the contrary motivated by desires or emotions favoring the acquisition and retention of that belief. Beyond this, philosophers divide over whether this action is intentional or not, whether self-deceivers recognize (...) the belief being acquired is unwarranted on the available evidence, whether self-deceivers are morally responsible for their self-deception, and whether self-deception is morally problematic (and if it is in what ways and under what circumstances). The discussion of self-deception and its associated puzzles gives us insight into the ways in which motivation affects belief acquisition and retention. And yet insofar as self-deception represents an obstacle to self-knowledge, which has potentially serious moral implications, self-deception is more than an interesting philosophical puzzle. It is a problem of particular concern for moral development, since self-deception can make us strangers to ourselves and blind to our own moral failings. (shrink)
The counterfactual mental state of negligent criminal activity invites skepticism from those who see mental states as essential to responsibility. Here, I offer a revision of the mental state of criminal negligence, one where the mental state at issue is actual and not merely counterfactual. This revision dissolves the worry raised by the skeptic and helps to explain negligence’s comparatively reduced culpability.
Medical ethics, principles, persons, and perspectives is discussed under three headings: History, Theory, and Practice. Under Theory, the author will say something about some different approaches to the study and discussion of ethical issues in medicine—especially those based on principles, persons, or perspectives. Under Practice, the author will discuss how one perspectives based approach, hermeneutics, might help in relation first to everyday ethical issues and then to public controversies. In that context some possible advantages of moving from controversy to conversation (...) will be explored; and that will then be illustrated with reference to a current controversy about the use of human embryos in stem cell therapy research. The paper begins with history, and it begins in the author’s home city of Edinburgh. (shrink)
The publication in theJournal of the American Medical Association of a narrative entitled “It's Over, Debbie,” in which a gynecology resident apparently performs euthanasia, has stirred considerable debate characterized by varying interpretations not only of the ethical issues involved but of the meaning of the text itself. Formal analysis reveals the narrative to be strikingly literary in its ambiguity, its foregrounding of its own textuality, and its dominant structure of repetition and reversal. The analysis points to features that account for (...) some of the varying interpretations in the debate, and it calls into question the relation of the text to whatever events it may represent and to how the resident may have perceived these events. (shrink)
Moralism involves the distortion of moral thought, the distortion of reflection and judgement. It is a vice, and one to which many - from the philosopher to the media pundit to the politician - are highly susceptible. This book examines the nature of moralism in specific moral judgements and the ways in which moral philosophy and theories about morality can themselves become skewed by this vice. This book ranges across a wide range of topics: the problem of the demandingness of (...) morality; the conflict between moral and other values; the contrast between the practice of moral philosophy and other modes of moral thought or reflection; moralism in the media; and, moralism in the public discussion of literature and art. This highly original and provocative book will be of interest to students of philosophy, psychology, theology and media, and to anyone who takes a serious interest in contemporary morality. (shrink)
Following the socialist revolution, a colossal shift in everyday realities began in the 1920s and '30s in the former Russian empire. Faced with the Siberian North, a vast territory considered culturally and technologically backward by the revolutionary government, the Soviets confidently undertook the project of reshaping the ordinary lives of the indigenous peoples in order to fold them into the Soviet state. In Agitating Images, Craig Campbell draws a rich and unsettling cultural portrait of the encounter between indigenous Siberians (...) and Russian communists and reveals how photographs from this period complicate our understanding of this history. Agitating Images provides a glimpse into the first moments of cultural engineering in remote areas of Soviet Siberia. The territories were perceived by outsiders to be on the margins of civilization, replete with shamanic rituals and inhabited by exiles, criminals, and "primitive" indigenous peoples. The Soviets hoped to permanently transform the mythologized landscape by establishing socialist utopian developments designed to incorporate minority cultures into the communist state. This book delves deep into photographic archives from these Soviet programs, but rather than using the photographs to complement an official history, Campbell presents them as anti-illustrations, or intrusions, that confound simple narratives of Soviet bureaucracy and power. Meant to agitate, these images offer critiques that cannot be explained in text alone and, in turn, put into question the nature of photographs as historical artifacts. An innovative approach to challenging historical interpretation, Agitating Images demonstrates how photographs go against accepted premises of Soviet Siberia. All photographs, Campbell argues, communicate in unique ways that present new and even contrary possibilities to the text they illustrate. Ultimately, Agitating Images dissects our very understanding of the production of historical knowledge. (shrink)
Drunk drivers and other culpably incapacitated wrongdoers are often taken to pose a problem for reasons-responsiveness accounts of moral responsibility. These accounts predicate moral responsibility upon an agent having the capacities to perceive and act upon moral reasons, and the culpably incapacitated wrongdoers lack exactly those capacities at the time of their wrongdoing. Many reasons-responsiveness advocates thus expand their account of responsibility to include a tracing condition: The culpably incapacitated wrongdoer is blameworthy despite his incapacitation precisely because he is responsible (...) for becoming incapacitated. As some skeptics have suggested, it is not clear that we need tracing. Here, however, I make a stronger case against tracing: I show that tracing gets things wrong. I consider a new sort of case, the case of the Odysseus agent, whose incapacitation is non-culpable (sometimes merely permissible and sometimes praiseworthy). Tracing would have us hold responsible and therefore blame unlucky Odysseus agents, Odysseus agents who commit a wrongdoing in the throes of their non-culpably induced incapacitation. But we should not hold these unlucky Odysseus agents responsible for their incapacitated wrongdoing. Because tracing gets these cases wrong, we should reject tracing. (shrink)