This paper deals with modality in Peirce's existential graphs, as expressed in his gamma and tinctured systems. We aim at showing that there were two philosophically motivated decisions of Peirce's that, in the end, hindered him from producing a modern, conclusive system of modal logic. Finally, we propose emendations and modifications to Peirce's modal graphical tinctured systems and to their underlying ideas that will produce modern modal systems.
The situationist movement in psychology and, more recently, in philosophy has been associated with a number of striking claims, including that most people do not have the moral virtues and vices, that any ethical theory which is wedded to such character traits is empirically inadequate, and that much of our behavior is causally influenced, to significant degrees, by psychological influences about which we are often unaware. Yet Christian philosophers have had virtually nothing to say about situationist claims. The goal (...) of this paper is to consider whether Christians should start to be worried about them. (shrink)
Arab Christians and the Qurʾan from the Origins of Islam to the Medieval Period. Edited by Mark Beaumont. History of Christian-Muslim Relations, vol. 35. Leiden: Brill, 2018. Pp. xiv + 216. $120, €104.
In recent centuries Christians of various denominations have endorsed many different political philosophies that they see as being truly biblical in their approach. Over this time there has been an increasing hostility, by some Christians, towards free markets and political philosophies that hold human liberty as the highest goal such as libertarianism and classical liberalism. This criticism is unwarranted and misplaced as libertarianism and free markets are not only compatible with Christianity, they are also the most biblically sound of all (...) economics systems and political philosophies endorsed by Christians today. Therefore, this paper will argue that Christians of all denominations should endorse free markets and libertarianism if they wish to create a world that follows biblical principles and the teachings of Jesus. (shrink)
Contemporary Christian ethics encounters the challenge to communicate genuinely Christian normative orientations within the scientific debate in such a way as to render these orientations comprehensible, and to maintain or enhance their plausibility even for non-Christians. This essay, therefore, proceeds from a biblical motif, takes up certain themes from the Christian tradition (in particular the idea of social justice), and connects both with a compelling contemporary approach to ethics by secular moral philosophy, i.e. with Axel Honneth's reception (...) of Hegel, as based on Hegel's theory of recognition. As a first step, elements of an ethics of recognition are developed on the basis of an anthropological recourse to the conditions of intersubjective encounters. These conditions are then brought to bear on the idea of social justice, as developed in the social-Catholic tradition, and as systematically explored in the Pastoral Letter of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Economic Justice For All (1986). Proceeding from this basis, aspects of a Christian ethics of community service with regard to long-term care can be defined. (shrink)
This expository paper presents a general framework for representing levels and inter-level relations. The framework is intended to capture both epistemic and ontological notions of levels and to clarify the sense in which levels of explanation might or might not be related to a levelled ontology. The framework also allows us to study and compare different kinds of inter-level relations, especially supervenience and reduction but also grounding and mereological constitution. This, in turn, enables us to explore questions such as whether (...) supervenience implies explanatory reducibility and whether there can be irreducible higher-level explanations or even “emergent” higher-level properties. (shrink)
In the climate ethics debate, scholars largely agree that individuals should promote institutions that ensure the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. This paper aims to establish that there are individual duties beyond compliance with and promotion of institutions. Duties of individuals to reduce their emissions are often objected to by arguing that an individual’s emissions do not make a morally relevant difference. We challenge this argument from inconsequentialism in two ways. We first show why the argument also seems to undermine (...) the case for duties to promote institutions that the arguments’ proponents endorse. Second, we argue that individuals ought to cut emissions if they exceed their fair share of emissions entitlements and, by emitting, contribute to climate-related harm. In response to inconsequentialism, we specify the notion of ‘contribution’ via the so-called NESS theory, according to which an act is causally relevant for and contributes to an outcome if it is a Necessary Element of a Set of conditions that is Sufficient for the outcome. After refuting two objections to our approach, we conclude by discussing how to deal with possible conflicts between duties to promote institutions and to reduce one’s emissions. (shrink)
The shift of interest from community to individuality and freedom brought by modernity challenged the central place once occupied by religion, pushing it to the outskirts of human life. All these led to an increased indifference towards any transcendental guarantor that could act in a neutral reason-governed space. In the case of Islam, such a situation is impossible to tolerate, because it would mean God’s desecration by reducing the Qur’an to the statute of a simple book like many others that (...) offer an opinion on a Supreme Being who does not decide the destiny of humanity any more, but becomes a simple matter of opinion. While Western Christianity adjusted to modernity reaching even to justify the developments which led to a dissolution of sacred, stating that they were consistent with its essence, Islam accepted modernity only to the extent of this one’s capacity to verify the realities stated by the Qur’an. (shrink)
With few exceptions, the field of Eastern Christian studies has primarily been concerned with historical-critical analysis, hermeneutics, and sociology. For the most part it has not attempted to bring Eastern Christian philosophy into serious engagement with contemporary thought. This volume seeks to redress the matter by bringing the Eastern Christian tradition into a meaningful dialogue with contemporary philosophy. It boasts a diverse group of scholars―specialists in ancient philosophy, analytic philosophy, and continental philosophy―who engage with a wide range (...) of pressing issues. Among other things, it addresses such topics as contemporary atheism, the metaphysics of action, religious epistemology, the philosophy of language, bioethics, the philosophy of race, and human rights. In so doing, it aims to introduce contemporary readers to unique perspectives and novel arguments often overlooked by mainstream anglophone philosophy. (shrink)
This is the third volume in Alvin Plantinga's trilogy on the notion of warrant, which he defines as that which distinguishes knowledge from true belief. In this volume, Plantinga examines warrant's role in theistic belief, tackling the questions of whether it is rational, reasonable, justifiable, and warranted to accept Christian belief and whether there is something epistemically unacceptable in doing so. He contends that Christian beliefs are warranted to the extent that they are formed by properly functioning cognitive (...) faculties, thus, insofar as they are warranted, Christian beliefs are knowledge if they are true. (shrink)
Are companies, churches, and states genuine agents? Or are they just collections of individuals that give a misleading impression of unity? This question is important, since the answer dictates how we should explain the behaviour of these entities and whether we should treat them as responsible and accountable on the model of individual agents. Group Agency offers a new approach to that question and is relevant, therefore, to a range of fields from philosophy to law, politics, and the social sciences. (...)Christian List and Philip Pettit argue that there really are group or corporate agents, over and above the individual agents who compose them, and that a proper approach to the social sciences, law, morality, and politics must take account of this fact. Unlike some earlier defences of group agency, their account is entirely unmysterious in character and, despite not being technically difficult, is grounded in cutting-edge work in social choice theory, economics, and philosophy. (shrink)
Applied Christian Ethics addresses selected themes in Christian social ethics. Part one shows the roots of contributors in the realist school; part two focuses on different levels of the significance of economics for social justice; and part three deals with both existential experience and government policy in war and peace issues.
In the moral and spiritual vacuum left in Russia by the fall of the Soviet Union in 1989-1991, some of the thinkers who first opposed the Leninist revolution of 1917 have come to a new prominence, and among these is the religious philosopher Nikolai Berdyaev (1874-1948). He expressed a passionate protest against the revolution and was clearly the most comprehensive contemporary critic of the revolutionary project from a Christian perspective. From his consistently religious perspective he foresaw with precision much (...) of the inhuman and tyrannical potential of the revolutionary project. (shrink)
Literary scholars are generally suspicious of the concept of universals: there are presently no candidates for literary universals that a high proportion of literary scholars would accept as valid. This paper reports results from a content analysis of patterns of characterization in folktales from 48 culture areas, aimed at identifying patterns of characterization that apply across regions of the world and levels of cultural complexity. The search for these patterns was guided by evolutionary theory and the findings are consistent with (...) previous research on patterns of altruism, sex differences in mate preferences, sex differences in reproductive strategy, and differing emphases on male and female physical attractiveness. World literature, especially originally oral literature, represents a vast and neglected repository of information that researchers can use to more precisely map the contours of human nature. (shrink)
The phenomenon of apparently greater emphasis on human female physical attractiveness has spawned an array of explanatory responses, but the great majority can be broadly categorized as either evolutionary or social constructivist in nature. Both perspectives generate distinct and testable predictions. If, as Naomi Wolf (The beauty myth: How images of female beauty are used against women. New York: William Morrow, [originally published in 1991], 2002) and others have argued, greater emphasis on female attractiveness is part of a predominantly Western (...) “beauty myth,” then an analysis of a culturally diverse sample should reveal marked fluctuation in gendered attractiveness emphasis: there should be significant numbers of cultures in which male and female attractiveness are equally emphasized, and cultures in which male attractiveness receives more emphasis. On the other hand, an evolutionary perspective suggests that disproportionate emphasis on female attractiveness will be a universal or near-universal phenomenon. To test these hypotheses, we tallied references to male versus female attractiveness in 90 collections of traditional folktales from 13 diverse cultural areas. The results are consistent with the evolutionary predictions and inconsistent with the constructivist predictions. Across culture areas information on physical attractiveness was much more likely to be conveyed for female characters. Together with other recent studies, these results suggest that the main elements of the beauty myth are not myths: there are large areas of overlap in the attractiveness judgments of diverse populations, and cross-cultural emphasis on physical attractiveness appears to fall principally upon women. (shrink)
This article explores Muslim conversion to Christianity using a body of hagio-graphical sources in Arabic, Armenian, Georgian, Greek, and Latin. Through these lives of Christian martyrs, the article seeks to understand why Muslims undertook the surprising journey from “mosque to church” in the early centuries after the conquests. Many studies of Islamization are teleological, aiming to explain the large-scale conversion of the Middle East by the end of the Crusades. In contrast, this article aims to show why Islamization—especially in (...) the Umayyad and early ʿAbbāsid periods—could be highly contingent, even fragile, at a time when Muslims formed a numerical minority in many regions under their control. (shrink)
In recent years, researchers in the “psychedelic renaissance” have been reinvestigating the therapeutic potential of psychedelic compounds for conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder, clinical anxiety/depression, and addiction. Each of these has treatment-resistant cases, sometimes decades in the making, but studies employing psychedelics to address them are yielding impressive results. Given the evolving legal situation around these substances as well as corporate investment in them, their availability and appeal promise to increase. The question facing Christians is: How do these developments impact (...) the theological significance of psychedelics as a broader phenomenon? This paper argues that since the population standing to benefit from these treatments is likely to include Christians, a thoughtful and rigorous response is necessary. The inquiry proceeds by analyzing some of the pertinent research, showing the insufficiency of previous Christian responses, and considering some hurdles and objections before issuing a call to theologize on this timely and important cultural moment. (shrink)
This study contextualizes Konrad of Megenberg’s “Book of Natural Things” within the natural philosophy practiced by the Faculty of Arts in the 14th century. Albert the Great and texts of ps.-Albert emerge as significant in this interpretation.