_A provocative essay challenging the idea of Buddhist exceptionalism, from one of the world’s most widely respected philosophers and writers on Buddhism and science_ Buddhism has become a uniquely favored religion in our modern age. A burgeoning number of books extol the scientifically proven benefits of meditation and mindfulness for everything ranging from business to romance. There are conferences, courses, and celebrities promoting the notion that Buddhism is spirituality for the rational, compatible with cutting‑edge science, indeed, “a science of the (...) mind.” In this provocative book, Evan Thompson argues that this representation of Buddhism is false. In lucid and entertaining prose, Thompson dives deep into both Western and Buddhist philosophy to explain how the goals of science and religion are fundamentally different. Efforts to seek their unification are wrongheaded and promote mistaken ideas of both. He suggests cosmopolitanism instead, a worldview with deep roots in both Eastern and Western traditions. Smart, sympathetic, and intellectually ambitious, this book is a must‑read for anyone interested in Buddhism’s place in our world today. (shrink)
This collection brings together several essays which have been written between the years 197 5 and 1983. During that period I have been occupied with the attempt to find a satisfactory explicate for the notion of tnithlike ness or verisimilitude. The technical results of this search have partly appeared elsewhere, and I am also working on a systematic presentation of them in a companion volume to this book: Truthlikeness. The essays collected in this book are less formal and more philos (...) ophical: they all explore various aspects of the idea that progress in science is associated with an increase in the truthlikeness of its results. Even though they do not exhaust the problem area of scientific change, together they constitute a step in the direction which I find most promising in the defence of critical scientific realism. * Chapter 1 appeared originally in Finnish as the opening article of a new journal Tiede 2000 - a Finnish counterpart to journals such as Science and Scientific American. This explains its programmatic character. It tries to give a compact answer to the question 'What is science?', and serves therefore as an introduction to the problem area of the later chapters. Chapter 2 is a revised translation of my inaugural lecture for the chair of Theoretical Philosophy in the University of Helsinki on April 8, 1981. It appeared in Finnish inParnasso 31, pp. (shrink)
Knowledge and skill are intimately connected. In this essay, I discuss the question of their relationship and of which (if any) is prior to which in the order of explanation. I review some of the answers that have been given thus far in the literature, with a particular focus on the many foundational issues in epistemology that intersect with the philosophy of skill.
Apologies can be profoundly meaningful, yet many gestures of contrition - especially those in legal contexts - appear hollow and even deceptive. Discussing numerous examples from ancient and recent history, I Was Wrong argues that we suffer from considerable confusion about the moral meanings and social functions of these complex interactions. Rather than asking whether a speech act 'is or is not' an apology, Smith offers a highly nuanced theory of apologetic meaning. Smith leads us though a series of rich (...) philosophical and interdisciplinary questions, explaining how apologies have evolved from a confluence of diverse cultural and religious practices that do not translate easily into secular discourse or gender stereotypes. After classifying several varieties of apologies between individuals, Smith turns to apologies from collectives. Although apologies from corporations, governments, and other groups can be quite meaningful in certain respects, we should be suspicious of those that supplant apologies from individual wrongdoers. (shrink)
Why. I. Am. Not. a. Christian. This lecture was delivered on March 6,1927, at Battersea Town Hall under the auspices of the South London Branch of the National Secular Society. AS YOUR Chairman has told you, the subject about which I am ...
[Time, the fundamental dimension of our existence, has fascinated artists, philosophers, and scientists of every culture and every century. All of us can remember a moment as a child when time became a personal reality, when we realized what a "year" was, or asked ourselves when "now" happened. Common sense says time moves forward, never backward, from cradle to grave. Nevertheless, Einstein said that time is an illusion. Nature's laws, as he and Newton defined them, describe a timeless, deterministic universe (...) within which we can make predictions with complete certainty. In effect, these great physicists contended that time is reversible and thus meaningless. (shrink)
There is one sound that will always be loudest in sports. It isn’t the squeak of sneakers or the crunch of helmets; it isn’t the grunts or even the stadium music. It’s the deafening roar of sports fans. For those few among us on the outside, sports fandom—with its war paint and pennants, its pricey cable TV packages and esoteric stats reeled off like code—looks highly irrational, entertainment gone overboard. But as Erin C. Tarver demonstrates in this book, sports fandom (...) has become extraordinarily important to our psyche, a matter of the very essence of who we are. Why in the world, Tarver asks, would anyone care about how well a total stranger can throw a ball, or hit one with a bat, or toss one through a hoop? Because such activities and the massive public events that surround them form some of the most meaningful ritual identity practices we have today. They are a primary way we—as individuals and a collective—decide both who we are who we are not. And as such, they are also one of the key ways that various social structures—such as race and gender hierarchies—are sustained, lending a dark side to the joys of being a sports fan. Drawing on everything from philosophy to sociology to sports history, she offers a profound exploration of the significance of sports in contemporary life, showing us just how high the stakes of the game are. (shrink)
Introduction to Sexology [Vvedenie v seksologiiu] by I. S. Kon has finally been published after having made the rounds of publishing houses for many years. This is the first Soviet publication devoted to a description and an analysis of the genesis, development, and state of a new branch of scientific knowledge about man-sexology-which affects every one of us. To be sure, General Sexual Pathology [Obshchaia seksopatologiia], a textbook for physicians edited by G. S. Vasil'chenko, which came out in 1977, has (...) an extensive introductory chapter on sexology, but it is limited to medical problems. Kon's book is an example of an interdisciplinary approach that provides an idea of the most essential components of sexology; it is thus addressed not only to the medical profession, but also to sociologists, philosophers of culture, psychologists, pedagogues, etc. The book takes into account the latest publications in this area of science. (shrink)
A Virtue Epistemology presents a new approach to some of the oldest and most gripping problems of philosophy, those of knowledge and scepticism. Ernest Sosa argues for two levels of knowledge, the animal and the reflective, each viewed as a distinctive human accomplishment. By adopting a kind of virtue epistemology in line with the tradition found in Aristotle, Aquinas, Reid, and especially Descartes, he presents an account of knowledge which can be used to shed light on different varieties of scepticism, (...) the nature and status of intuitions, and epistemic normativity. (shrink)
The subjct of this book is the first person in thought and language. The main question is what we mean when we say 'I'. Related to it are questions about what kinds of self-consciousness and self-knowledge are needed in order for us to have the capacity to talk about ourselves. The emphasis is on theories of meaning and reference for 'I', but a fair amount of space is devoted to 'I'-thoughts and the role of the concept of the self in (...) cognition. The first part of the book constitutes a critique of different solutions to the problem of how 'I' refers, while the second part advances a positive account of 'I'. It is argued that 'I' refers indirectly through a de re sense that is based on non-conceptual content. 'I' expresses an individual concept with two components: the de re sense and a context-independent, fundamental self-concept. By interacting with the environment the subject forms belifs about herself that are essentially first-personal. To have a full-blown self-consciousness and be a competent speaker of 'I', the subject must be able to connect these indexical beliefs with general ones and thus conceive of herself as part of the objective order. The use of 'I' moreover presupposes unity of consciousness and identity over time on the part of the speaker. (shrink)
C. I. Lewis was one of the most important thinkers of his generation. In this book, Sandra B. Rosenthal explores Lewis’s philosophical vision, and links his thought to the traditions of classical American pragmatism. Tracing Lewis’s influences, she explains the central concepts informing his thinking and how he developed a unique and practical vision of the human experience. She shows how Lewis contributed to the enrichment and expansion of pragmatism, opening new paths of constructive dialogue with other traditions. This book (...) will become a standard reference for readers who want to know more about one of American philosophy’s most distinguished minds. (shrink)
Educational worries about indoctrination are linked to matters of rationality and of the ethics of belief. These are both threatened by too 'open' approaches to moral education and by too 'closed' approaches to science education. The moral importance of what is involved points to the need to inform the teaching of all disciplines by reflection on their rational foundations.
In his graceful philosophical account, Alfred I. Tauber shows why Thoreau still seems so relevant today—more relevant in many respects than he seemed to his contemporaries. Although Thoreau has been skillfully and thoroughly examined as a writer, naturalist, mystic, historian, social thinker, Transcendentalist, and lifelong student, we may find in Tauber's portrait of Thoreau the moralist a characterization that binds all these aspects of his career together. Thoreau was caught at a critical turn in the history of science, between the (...) ebb of Romanticism and the rising tide of positivism. He responded to the challenges posed by the new ideal of objectivity not by rejecting the scientific worldview, but by humanizing it for himself. Tauber portrays Thoreau as a man whose moral vision guided his life's work. Each of Thoreau's projects reflected a self-proclaimed "metaphysical ethics," an articulated program of self-discovery and self-knowing. By writing, by combining precision with poetry in his naturalist pursuits and simplicity with mystical fervor in his daily activity, Thoreau sought to live a life of virtue—one he would characterize as marked by deliberate choice. This unique vision of human agency and responsibility will still seem fresh and contemporary to readers at the start of the twenty-first century. (shrink)
Richard Peters has been praised for the authenticity of his philosophy, and inquiry into aspects of the development of his philosophy reveals a profound authenticity. Yet authenticity is something he seems not to favour. The apparent paradox is resolved by observing historical changes in the understanding of authenticity as an important value. Possibilities are noted for further explorations as to how to understand and value it as an educational ideal.
Historical research has ~ecently made it dear that, prior to Austin and. his followers, there was but one author who developed a full-fledged theory of the given sort: the phenomenologist Adolf Reinach (1884-1917).' In his The A Priori I'oundutions of the Ciui/ I aIO, pubhshed. in 1918â' Reinach developed a theory of Ã¢â¬â 'as he termed them Ã¢â¬â "social acts*' which is not only on a par with the later speech act theories but in fact surpasses them in.
Classical phenomenology -- The transcendental tradition -- The logical investigations of the I -- From the I to the ego -- The grammar of the transcendental ego -- Strawson on the primacy of personhood -- Wittgenstein on the lure of words -- The grammar of the transcendental ego -- Zahavi on transcendental subjectivity as intersubjectivity -- Contemporary arguments for the transcendental ego : Marbach, Soffer -- Schutz, Theunissen on social phenomenology -- Husserl's later thought -- The multidiscipline of dialogical phenomenology (...) -- Sociolinguistics -- Personal pronouns : reconsidering the traditional view -- Egocentrism and polycentrism -- Person deixis and polycentrism -- Anscombe -- Wittgenstein -- Personal pronouns : reconsidering the traditional view -- I and we : a relational community -- Benveniste and I : you connectedness -- Objectification in the third person -- Castaneda's phenomeno-logic of the I -- Developmental perspectives -- Piaget's legacy -- Recent research on the sociality of children -- Proto-conversations in infancy -- The dialogic model of Jaffe and Feldstein -- From proto-conversation to conversation -- Perspectives from blindness and autism -- Polycentrism and personal pronoun acquisition: loveland and others -- An egocentric model of personal pronoun acquisition : Charney and others -- Philosophical implications and directions for future research -- Philosophy of dialogue -- Rosenstock-Huessy's grammatical method of social research -- Rosenzweig's speech-thinking -- Buber's I and you -- The primordial duality in Buber, Humboldt, Plato -- Buber and his critics -- Rosenstock-Huessy -- Levinas -- Dialogical phenomenology -- The dialogic dimension of meaning and experience -- The practice of phenomenology -- Implications for politics and feminism. (shrink)