This volume contains the editor’s informative “Preface to the Period”, the Quaestio that Edwards submitted in 1723 to complete his master’s degree at Yale, and 19 sermons. Some of the sermons were first preached during 1723 and 1724 in Bolton, Connecticut, but most were composed between 1726 and 1729 in Northampton, Massachusetts while Edwards was junior minister in the church of Solomon Stoddard, his grandfather; a few originated after Stoddard’s death in February, 1729, when Edwards became sole minister of (...) the Northampton congregation. (shrink)
Common Truths brings together the best minds writing on one of today's most important and heated issues: natural law. This diverse group of thinkers addresses the theoretical, historical, and--in a section of particular importance--the legislative and juridical aspects of natural law. A revival of natural law concepts, the essayists argue, is crucial to the refurbishing of American civil society. Anyone wanting to understand what the natural law is and why it matters will find this engaging book indispensable.
In this book, published in 1686, the scientist Robert Boyle attacked prevailing notions of the natural world which depicted 'Nature' as a wise, benevolent and purposeful being. Boyle, one of the leading mechanical philosophers of his day, believed that the world was best understood as a vast, impersonal machine, fashioned by an infinite, personal God. In this cogent treatise, he drew on his scientific findings, his knowledge of contemporary medicine and his deep reflection on theological and philosophical issues, arguing that (...) it was inappropriate both theologically and scientifically to speak of Nature as if it had a mind of its own: instead, the only true efficient causes of things were the properties and powers given to matter by God. As such, A Free Enquiry into the Vulgarly Received Notion of Nature represents one of the subtlest statements concerning the philosophical issues raised by the mechanical philosophy to emerge from the period of the scientific revolution. (shrink)
Though it is commonplace in discussions of science and religion to make the distinction between scientific explanations of how and religious explanations of why, the distinction does not hold up under close examination. In recent discussions of big bang cosmology, scientists are more and more addressing of the questions of why, particularly in discussions of the role of symmetry in contemporary physics and in debates about the relevance of the anthropic principle.
Recent theorizing about the cognitive underpinnings of dilemmatic moral judgment has equated slow, deliberative thinking with the utilitarian disposition and fast, automatic thinking with the deontological disposition. However, evidence for the reflective utilitarian hypothesis—the hypothesized link between utilitarian judgment and individual differences in the capacity for rational reflection has been inconsistent and difficult to interpret in light of several design flaws. In two studies aimed at addressing some of the flaws, we found robust evidence for a reflective minimalist hypothesis—high CRT (...) performers’ tendency to regard utility-optimizing acts as largely a matter of personal prerogative, permissible both to perform and to leave undone. This relationship between CRT and the “minimalist” orientation remained intact after controlling for age, sex, trait affect, social desirability, and educational attainment. No significant association was found between CRT and the strict utilitarian response pattern or CRT and the strict deontological response pattern, nor did we find any significant association between CRT and willingness to act in the utility-optimizing manner. However, we found an inverse association between empathic concern and a willingness to act in the utility-optimizing manner, but there was no comparable association between empathic concern and the deontological judgment pattern. Theoretical, methodological, and normative implications of the findings are discussed. (shrink)
In Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc., the U.S. Supreme Court made its first major pronouncement on the evaluation of scientific evidence, calling on judges to act as gatekeepers for scientific knowledge and validity, despite lack of scientific training among judges. Daubert offers the science studies community a case study for examining how judges engage in boundary-work and construct scientific validity. In constructing scientific validity under Daubert, judges must evaluate the scientific method behind a particular scientific claim, and will look (...) to the parties' experts and the relevant scientific community for assistance. To combat the oft-cited problem of the battle of the experts, judges may be tempted to obtain assistance from court-appointed neutral experts, an inquisitorial system in the civil law tradition of many European countries. The judicial evaluation of scientific evidence, the resulting construction of scientific validity, and the push for a greater use of court-appointed experts reveal judges' desire to segregate "objective" scientific facts from aspects of the legal process that are infused with adversaries' values. Yet the scientific and judicial construction of validity mixes empirical results and research methods with the personal, political, and institutional values of judges and scientists. (shrink)
Abstract. Few American scientists have devoted as much attention to religion and science as Harvard geologist Kirtley Fletcher Mather (1888–1978). Responding to antievolutionism during the 1920s, he taught Sunday School classes, assisted in defending John Scopes, and wrote Science in Search of God (1928). Over the next 40 years, Mather explored the place of humanity in the universe and the presence of values in light of what he often called “the administration of the universe,” a term and concept he borrowed (...) from his former teacher, geologist Thomas Chrowder Chamberlin. Human values, including cooperation and altruism, had emerged in such a context: “the administrative directive toward orderly organization of increasingly complex systems transcends the urge for survival.” He was also active in the early years of the Institute on Religion in an Age of Science, an organization created by his good friends Ralph Wendell Burhoe and Harlow Shapley. (shrink)
Though available for some time, this specialized Encyclopedia has received relatively scant attention in the philosophical press. Husserl Studies and Alter have printed in-depth reviews, but the concision and probity of the 166 entries comprising the volume, authored by leading specialists from the increasingly international phenomenological movement, merits further assessment. Under the direction of chief editor Lester Embree of the Center for Advanced Research in Phenomenology and ten assistant editors, the Encyclopedia is the product of a five-year gestation period of (...) research, writing, and editing. Embree briefly details the history and structure of the volume in a two-page preface. In a ten-page introduction, Embree and J.N. Mohanty explain phenomenology through five broad tendencies common to all phenomenological schools, and acknowledge four primary fields of endeavor: realistic, constitutive, existential, and hermeneutical phenomenology. This is followed by a cursory history of phenomenology, its early relation to neo-Kantianism, and the three twentieth century philosophical movements with which phenomenology, in Husserl’s wake, has had fruitful encounter: Marxism, psychoanalysis, and analytic philosophy. (shrink)