The Middle Ages span a period of well over a millennium: from the emperor Constantine's Christian conversion in 312 to the early sixteenth century. DavidLuscombe's clear and accessible history of medieval thought steers a clear path through this long period, beginning with the three greatest influences on medieval philosophy: Augustine, Boethius, and Pseudo-Denis, and focusing on Abelard, Anselm, Aquinas, Ockham, Duns Scotus, and Eckhart among others in the twelfth to fifteenth centuries.
Philosophers have traditionally approached questions of meaning as part of the philosophy of language. In this book David Cooper broadens the analysis beyond linguistic meaning to offer a an account of meaning in general. He shows that not only words, sentences, and utterances in the linguistic domain can be described as meaningful but also items in such domains as art, ceremony, social action, and bodily gesture. Unlike much of the recent work in the philosophy of meaning, Cooper is not (...) concerned with trying to develop a theory of meaning but with examining the meaning of meaning through an overview of the behaviour and scope of "meaning" and its cognates, addressing questions about the import, function, and status of meaning. This fuller account of meaning not only addresses questions of the meaning of meaning but also the issues or problems that answers to those questions generate, such as, Is meaning just a misleading "folk" term for something more basic, such as the causal conditions governing the production of certain noises and movements? Is meaning something that we should strive for or should we let our lives "just be," rather than mean? By taking the problem of meaning out of the technical philosophy of language and providing a more general account Cooper is able to offer new insights into the meaning of meaning that will be of interest not only to philosophers of language but to philosophers working in other areas, such as epistemology and metaphysics. (shrink)
Can we do what we want with other species? How do conflicting international interests affect global issues? What do we owe the next generation? Just Environments investigates these questions and the ethics which lie at their core.
David Cooper explores and defends the view that a reality independent of human perspectives is necessarily indescribable, a "mystery." Other views are shown to be hubristic. Humanists, for whom "man is the measure" of reality, exaggerate our capacity to live without the sense of an independent measure. Absolutists, who proclaim our capacity to know an independent reality, exaggerate our cognitive powers. In this highly original book Cooper restores to philosophy a proper appreciation of mystery-that is what provides a measure (...) of our beliefs and conduct. (shrink)
Spirit of the Environment brings spiritual and religious concerns to environmental issues. Providing a much needed alternative to exploring human beings' relationship to the natural world through the restrictive lenses of 'science', 'ecology', or even 'morality', this book offers a fresh perspective to the field. Spirit of the Enironment addresses: * the environmental attitudes of the major religions; * the relationship between art and nature; * the Gaia hypothesis; * the non-instrumental values which have inspired environmental concern. Contributors range from (...) a variety of disciplines including philosophy, comparative religion, education and social anthropology, providing students with an intriguing survey on the role that spirituality and religion play in nature. This is a vital collection for those eager to examine the relationship between the spiritual and the environment. (shrink)
In _Religion and Nothingness_ the leading representative of the Kyoto School of Philosophy lays the foundation of thought for a world in the making, for a world united beyond the differences of East and West. Keiji Nishitani notes the irreversible trend of Western civilization to nihilism, and singles out the conquest of nihilism as _the_ task for contemporary philosophy. Nihility, or relative nothingness, can only be overcome by being radicalized to Emptiness, or absolute nothingness. Taking absolute nothingness as the fundamental (...) notion in rational explanations of the Eastern experience of human life, Professor Nishitani examines the relevance of this notion for contemporary life, and in particular for Western philosophical theories and religious believes. Everywhere his basic intention remains the same: to direct our modern predicament to a resolution through this insight. The challenge that the thought of Keiji Nishitani presents to the West, as a modern version of an Eastern speculative tradition that is every bit as old and as variegated as our own, is one that brings into unity the principle of reality and the principle of salvation. In the process, one traditional Western idea after another comes under scrutiny: the dichotomy of faith and reason, of being and substance, the personal and transcendent notions of God, the exaggerated role given to the knowing ego, and even the Judeo-Christian view of history itself. _Religion and Nothingness_ represents the major work of one of Japan's most powerful and committed philosophical minds. (shrink)
The Continental tradition has always placed great emphasis on the Logos. The Gift of Logos: Essays in Continental Philosophy celebrates and situates this emphasis in the genre of the gift and its giving. The process of receiving, or giving, of the gift overcomes the existential alienation and separation that is so present in the human condition. To ritualize giving and its gifting is to provide a syntax of solidarity that bespeaks our desire for cohesion and need for identities beyond our (...) own. To give a gift is to befriend. The gift of logos is more than a gift from the gods and goddesses; it is an act of giving for those friends of wisdom for those philosophers who give to each other and to their worlds and receive the blessings of logos from each other. The increasing objectification of human being has mobilized a regressive narcissism that shows the ego's reassertion in the light of the meaningless quantifying forces from without. By not reflecting deeply enough upon its conditions of existence in the modern world and on its orginary moments, philosophy itself has not been immune from this besotted sense of self. Although not an invective against thinking nor against modern and contemporary philosophy's genuine advances, The Gift of Logos portends to shed the delusion that theoretical re-description is somehow the same as transforming who we are. This transformation is our greatest gift to each other. To give it voice is the gift of Logos and what this collection of essays commemorates. (shrink)
Reflections on Citizenship and Multiculturalism in Contemporary Western Liberal Democracies explores the classical understanding of citizenship in dialogue with liberal contractual theorists and multicultural theorists in an effort to understand the complexity and diversity of perspectives on citizenship.
This short article responds to, and interprets, two epistemic claims made by Mark Wynn concerning truth and Christian ethics. The first claim concerns how the body knows something prior to an operation of reason. The second claim concerns the relationship between narrative and metaphysics, particularly when considering the eucharist. The article interprets these claims by drawing upon Wynn's previous work in religious epistemology, and it points to its moral and doctrinal relevance for Christian ethicists today.
In this paper, I consider Heidegger's call for the recapturing of radical techne or "the original Greek essence of science" because, he argues, it reminds us of our tragic impotence in the face of nature—that humans are in the throws of a fate beyond their determination. For Heidegger, our thinking, our building, our politics, and our art must be episphalês (precarious and prone to fall)—that is, its aim must not be to protect against or hide from, but to stand firm (...) against the collapse and confusion of Western thinking and civilization. (shrink)
Starting from the 2009 Istanbul Biennial, with its Brechtian curatorial theme, this essay considers the Left’s varying responses to art’s so-called ‘political turn’. Discussion ranges from the local and regional context of the Biennial’s function as part of Turkey’s bid to join the EU, through to a longer theoretical perspective on the critical debates over ‘art and life’, artistic autonomy and heteronomy, and the revival in avant-gardism. The authors propose that the standard accounts of the intimate connection between the commodity (...) and art have become politically counterproductive. They suggest that Marxist analysis needs to develop a more complexly-articulated philosophical reflection on the relation between economy, politics, and art ‐ and between political and aesthetic praxes ‐ if it is to advance its longstanding contributions to considerations of ‘aesthetics and politics’. (shrink)
The following paper investigates the possibility of an account of cosmopolitan thought inspired by Hegel's treatment of Kant's ethical theory and his associated social concept of recognition. Cosmopolitanism requires the agent to recognize themself as a global agent participating in a shared community, but conventional political strategies do not possess the resources to satisfy this demand for self-understanding. Such a self-understanding is enabled by the objective freedom of a common shared humanity grounded in rational self-determination. The paper shows that it (...) is possible to extrapolate Hegel's outline of the state in the Philosophy of Right to describe a global community coherent with such a subject. (shrink)
The beginning of any rigorous interdisciplinary study, as Hegel and later Marx predicted, is going to be the occasion for opposition, contradiction, negation and mediation. Sociobiology is not a mature field (thesis). Kitcher's critical work entitledVaulting Ambition seeks to at once expose the failings of this field (serving as antithesis) while simultaneously defining the requirements for more mature, and thus epistemologically satisfying, sociobiological explanations (synthesis). The sociobiological research agenda is thus implicitly given a green light provided certain methodological precautions are (...) taken into consideration. Confucius believed that under these circumstances the only way to restore order would be so to arrange affairs that the Emperor would continue to be Emperor, the nobles to be nobles, the ministers to be ministers, and the common people common people. That is, the actual must in each case be made to correspond to the name. This theory Confucius called theRectification of Names (cheng ming), a doctrine which he recognized as being of the utmost importance. (Fung, 1952, p. 59). Tzu-lu said, “If the Lord of Wei left the adminstration (cheng) of his state to you, what would you put first?” The Master said, “If something has to be put first, it is, perhaps, the rectification (cheng) of names.” (The Analects (Lun yü) of Confucius, Book XIII: 3) (Besides being homophones, the two words in Chinese are cognate, thus showing that the concept of ‘governing’ was felt to be related to that of ‘correcting’.) . (shrink)
A systematic philosophy that presupposes an ecocentric world view, rather than a homocentric or egocentric world view, can be a viable resource for investigating issues in environmental philosophy and conservation ethics. Generally speaking, the Japanese philosophical and religious tradition represents a commitment to ecocentrism. This philosophical orientation is in concert with the world view of manynaturalists. We explore one example of ecocentrism by unveiling the crosscultural connection between the naturalistic philosophy of Louis Agassiz, a nineteenth-century French-American biologist, and the early (...) writings of Nishida Kitarō, a twentieth-century Japanese philosopher. We suggest that the central player in understanding the ecocentric connection between Agassiz and Nishida is American philosopher-psychologist William James. James was once a student of Agassiz and his writings influenced Nishida's early work. Related issues concerning conservation ethics and the Japanese intellectual tradition are also addressed. (shrink)
There are two aims to the present paper. The first is to support the assertion that traditional justifications of revolution, rebellion and civil disobedience, though not wrong, are culturally inappropriate. The second is to outline, in the most basic of forms, what a “culturally appropriate” form of political resistance would require. The latter aim will be attempted by offering a counter-enlightenment model of resistance, derived in a large part from a Hegelian reading of Sartre's later work on groups, appropriate to (...) the cultural conditions of late modernity. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to assert that any moral critique or political censorship of sexually violent imagery cannot be justified with reference to participants nor matters of taste. Rather, the present paper seeks to distinguish objectification and alienation and apply this distinction to the issue of the representation of sexual violence. Alienation is the morally problematic category because systems of domination and control determine the expressions and consumption of desires, but this means that the violence in such material (...) may well be a red herring. (shrink)
This six volume Routledge Library Edition set is dedicated to the work of key nineteenth-century German thinker, Friedrich Nietzsche, whose hugely influential work in the field of philosophy continues to be felt to this day. The six volumes, published between 1948 and 1988, represent a truly wide-ranging analysis of Nietzsche’s life and work, offering an excellent overview of the cannon of critical analysis and interpretation on Nietzsche in the twentieth century. The collection covers Nietzsche’s perspectives and influence upon a variety (...) of sociological and philosophical debates, as well as placing his work in the context of contemporaries such as Richard Wagner, Fyodor Dostoyevsky and Max Stirner. (shrink)
_Fifty Modern Thinkers on Education_ looks at fifty of the twentieth century's most significant contributors to the debate on education. Among those included are: * Pierre Bourdieu * Elliot Eisner * Hans J. Eysenck * Michel Focault * Henry Giroux * Jurgen Habermas * Susan Isaacs * A.S. Neill * Herbert Read * Simone Weill. Together with _Fifty Major Thinkers on Education this book provides a unique history of educational thinking. Each essay gives key biographical information, an outline of the (...) individual's principal achievements and activities, an assessment of his or her impact and influence and a list of their major writings and suggested further reading._. (shrink)
In a footnote to ‘Of Miracles’, David Hume defined the miraculous as ‘… a transgression of a law of nature by a particular volition of the Deity, or by the interposition of some invisible agent .’ In the opening pages of the essay itself, however, Hume dropped the reference to agency in favour of the simpler declaration that any ‘ … miracle is a violation of the laws of nature …’ This preference for the simpler formulation was deliberate. According (...) to Hume, it was their violation of natural law that provided the genuinely intimidating obstacle against miracles. As the course of his argument makes clear, Hume believed that the massive accumulation of evidence supporting the regularity of nature invariably would overwhelm any meagre reports to the contrary. For this reason alone, questions of divine agency could be ignored as purely academic. (shrink)