Where has the Western attraction to the study and practice of shamanic techniques brought us? Where might it take us? In what ways have our Western biases and philosophical underpinnings influenced and changed how shamanism is practiced, both in the West and in the traditional cultures out of which they emerged? Is it time to stop using the umbrella term “shamanism” to refer to such diverse cross-cultural practices? What are our responsibilities, both as researchers and as spiritual seekers? In this (...) conversation, researcher-authors Stephan Beyer, Stanley Krippner, and Hillary S. Webb discuss their work in field and consider some of the ramifications of the Western world's intellectual and spiritual fascination with shamanic practices. Special attention is paid to the language used to describe these techniques and their practitioners, the developing relationship between researchers and cultural participants, and the ethical implications of merging what are often very distinct worldviews. (shrink)
The British idealists of the late 19th and early 20th century are best known for their contributions to metaphysics, logic, and political philosophy. Yet they also made important contributions to social and public policy, social and moral philosophy and moral education, as shown by this volume. Their views are not only important in their own right, but also bear on contemporary discussion in public policy and applied ethics. Among the authors discussed are Green, Caird, Ritchie, Bradley, Bosanquet, Jones, McTaggart, Pringle-Pattison, (...)Webb, Ward, Mackenzie, Hetherington, Muirhead, Collingwood and Oakeshott. The writings of idealist philosophers from Canada, South Africa, and India are also examined. Contributors include Avital Simhony, Darin Nesbitt, Carol A. Keene, Stamatoula Panagakou, David Boucher, Leslie Armour, Jan Olof Bengtsson, Thom Brooks, James Connelly, Philip MacEwen, Efraim Podoksik, Elizabeth Trott and William Sweet. (shrink)
The identity and diversity of individual objects may be grounded or ungrounded, and intrinsic or contextual. Intrinsic individuation can be grounded in haecceities, or absolute discernibility. Contextual individuation can be grounded in relations, but this is compatible with absolute, relative or weak discernibility. Contextual individuation is compatible with the denial of haecceitism, and this is more harmonious with science. Structuralism implies contextual individuation. In mathematics contextual individuation is in general primitive. In physics contextual individuation may be grounded in relations via (...) weak discernibility. (shrink)
Albert Einstein.--Bertrand Russell.--John Dewey.--R.A. Millikan.--Theodore Dreiser.--H.G. Wells.--Fridtjof Nansen.--Sir James Jeans.--Irving Babbitt.--Sir Arthur Keith.--J.T. Adams.--H.L. Mencken.--Julia Peterkin.--Lewis Mumford.--G.J. Nathan.--Hu Shih.--J.W. Krutch.--Irwin Edman.--Hilaire Belloc.--Beatrice Webb.--W.R. Inge.--J.B.S. Haldane.--Biographical notes. Note: This book was re-published by AMS Press, 1979.
This is a study of all the recent literature on william james written from a phenomenological perspective with the purpose of showing that william james made fundamental contributions to the phenomenological theory of the intentionality of consciousness, To the phenomenological theory of self-Identity, And to the phenomenological conception of noetic freedom as the basic concept of ethical theory.
William James’s theory of emotion has been controversial since its inception, and a basic analysis of Cannon’s critique is provided. Research on the impact of facial expressions, expressive behaviors, and visceral responses on emotional feelings are each reviewed. A good deal of evidence supports James’s theory that these types of bodily feedback, along with perceptions of situational cues, are each important parts of emotional feelings. Extensions to James’s theory are also reviewed, including evidence of individual differences in (...) the effect of bodily responses on emotional experience. (shrink)
Does Spinoza present philosophy as the preserve of an elite, while condemning the uneducated to a false though palliative form of ‘true religion’? Some commentators have thought so, but this contribution aims to show that they are mistaken. The form of religious life that Spinoza recommends creates the political and epistemological conditions for a gradual transition to philosophical understanding, so that true religion and philosophy are in practice inseparable.
In 1896 William James published an essay entitled The Will to Believe, in which he defended the legitimacy of religious faith against the attacks of such champions of scientific method as W.K. Clifford and Thomas Huxley. James's work quickly became one of the most important writings in the philosophy of religious belief. James Wernham analyses James's arguments, discusses his relation to Pascal and Renouvier, and considers the interpretations, and misinterpretations, of James's major critics. Wernham shows (...) convincingly that James was unaware of many destructive ambiguitities in his own doctrines and arguments, although clear and consistent in his view that our obligation to believe in theism is not a moral but a prudential obligation -- a foolish-not-to-believe doctrine, rather than a not-immoral-to-believe one. Wernham also shows that the doctrine is best read as affirming the wisdom of gambling that God exists, a notion which James failed to distinguish from believing and which, among other things, he explicitly identified with faith. James's pragmatism, a theory concerning the meaning of truth, is shown to be quite distinct from the doctrine of The Will to Believe. In concentrating on a careful analysis of this doctrine of the will-to-believe, Wernham not only makes a major contribution to understanding James's philosophy, but also clarifies issues in the philosophy of religion and in the analysis of belief and faith. (shrink)
James Beattie was appointed professor of moral philosophy and logic at Marischal College, Aberdeen, Scotland at the age of twenty-five. Though more fond of poetry than philosophy, he became part of the Scottish 'Common Sense' school of philosophy that included Thomas Reid and George Campbell. In 1770 Beattie published the work for which he is best known, An Essay on Truth, an abrasive attack on 'modern scepticism' in general, and on David Hume in particular, subsequently and despite Beattie's attack, (...) Scotland's most famous philosopher. The Essay was a great success, earning its author an honorary degree from Oxford and an audience with George III. Samuel Johnson declared in 1772 that 'We all love Beattie'. Hume, on the other hand, described the Essay as 'a horrible large lie in octavo', and dismissed its author as a 'bigotted silly Fellow'. Although Beattie is no match for Hume as a philosopher, the success of the Essay suggests that, unlike Hume, Beattie voices the characteristic assumptions, and anxieties, of his age. The first part of this selection—the first ever made from Beattie's prose writings—includes several key chapters from the Essay on Truth, along with extracts from all of Beattie's other works on moral philosophy. The topics treated include memory, the existence of God, the nature of virtue, and slavery. The second part of the selection is devoted to Beattie's contributions to literary criticism and aesthetics. Beattie's studies of poetry, music, taste, and the sublime are vital to the understanding of the literary culture out of which developed the early Romanticism of Wordsworth and Coleridge. (shrink)
James Harrington (1611-77) was a pioneer in applying the methods of Machiavelli and other civic humanists to English political society and its landed structure. In the century after his death, his ideas were adapted to become an important ingredient in the vocabulary of both English and American political opposition to the methods of Hanoverian parliamentary monarchy. There has been no complete edition of Harrington's writings since 1771, or of Oceana, his best-known work, since 1924. This is a modernised edition, (...) and includes all of his prose works on political subjects. The critical introduction attempts to revalue the evidence concerning Harrington's life and writings, to locate them in the context of Civil War, Commonwealth and Puritan thinking and to trace the development of Harringtonian and neo-Harringtonian ideology during subsequent generations. (shrink)
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a dramatically expanding area of activity for managers and academics. Consumer demand for responsibly produced and fair trade goods is swelling, resulting in increased demands for CSR activity and information. Assets under professional management and invested with a social responsibility focus have also grown dramatically over the last 10 years. Investors choosing social responsibility investment strategies require access to information not provided through traditional financial statements and analyses. At the same time, a group of mainstream (...) institutional investors has encouraged a movement to incorporate environmental, social, and governance information into equity analysis, and multi-stakeholder groups have supported enhanced business reporting on these issues. The majority of research in this area has been performed on European and Australian firms. We expand on this literature by exploring the CSR disclosure practices of a size-and industry-stratified sample of 50 publicly traded U. S. firms, performing a content analysis on the complete identifiable public information portfolio provided by these firms during 2004. CSR activity was disclosed by most firms in the sample, and was included in nearly half of public disclosures made during that year by the sample firms. Areas of particular emphasis are community matters, health and safety, diversity and human resources (HR) matters, and environmental programs. The primary venues of disclosure are mass media releases such as corporate websites and press releases, followed closely by disclosures contained in mandatory filings. Consistent with prior research, we identify industry effects in terms of content, emphasis, and reporting format choices. Unlike prior research, we can offer only mixed evidence on the existence of a size effect. The disclosure frequency and emphasis is significantly different for the largest one-fifth of the firms, but no identifiable trends are present within the rest of the sample. There are, however, identifiable size effects with respect to reporting format choice. Use of websites is positively related to firm size, while the use of mandatory filings is negatively related to firm size. Finally, and also consistent with prior literature, we document a generally self-laudatory tone in the content of CSR disclosures for the sample firms. (shrink)
William James is notorious for the large number of inconsistencies and at least apparent contradictions in his writings. Many readers conclude that he should be appreciated more for his profound but erratic insights than for any coherent philosophical perspective. Ellen Kappy Suckiel disagrees. She argues that James is far more careful and systematic than many readers realize. Her work on James is guided by the attempt to lay bare his coherent philosophical vision and the consistent philosophical methodology (...) underlying it. As a result of this approach, Suckiel's work on James is both sympathetic to his philosophical insights and carefully argued. In her first book, The Pragmatic Philosophy of William James (1982), Suckiel applies this approach to James's philosophy as a whole. The result is a work of remarkable clarity and insight that serves as a wonderful introduction to James's thought. In her more recent book, Suckiel applies this approach specifically to James's philosophy of religion, with similar felicitous results. Heaven's... (shrink)
ABSTRACT: Central to both James’s earlier psychology and his later philosophical views was a recurring distinction between percepts and concepts. The distinction evolved and remained fundamental to his thinking throughout his career as he sought to come to grips with its fundamental nature and significance. In this chapter, I focus initially on James’s early attempt to articulate the distinction in his 1885 article “The Function of Cognition.” This will highlight a key problem to which James continued to (...) return throughout his later philosophical work on the nature of our cognition, including in his famous “radical empiricist” metaphysics of “pure experience” around the turn of the century. We shall find that James grappled insightfully but ambivalently with the perceptual and conceptual dimensions of the “knowledge relation” or the “cognitive relation,” as he called it—or what, following Franz Brentano, philosophers would later call our object-directed thought or intentionality more generally. Some philosophers have once again returned to James’s work for crucial insights on this pivotal topic, while others continue to find certain aspects of his account to be problematic. What is beyond dispute is that James’s inquiries in this domain were both innovative and of lasting significance. (shrink)
Profit is a concept that both causes and manifests deep conflict and division. It is not merely that people disagree over whether it is good or bad. The very meaning of the concept and its role in competing theories necessitates the deepest possible disagreement; people cannot agree on what profit is. Still, simply learning the starkly different sentiments expressed about profit gives us some feel for the depth of the conflict. Friends of capitalism have praised profit as central to the (...) achievement of prosperity and to civilized modern life. Calvin Coolidge, that silent sentinel of American business, said, “Profit and civilization go hand in hand.” F. A. Hayek tells us that in the evolution of the structure of human activities, profitability works as a signal that guides selection towards what makes man more fruitful; only what is more profitable will, as a rule, nourish more people, for it sacrifices less than it adds. (shrink)
it is easy to think that he did. Clifford certainly had one. In a celebrated essay he argued for the thesis that “it is wrong always, everywhere and for anyone to believe anything upon insufficient evidence“; and his title was “The Ethics of Belief.” Clifford was not alone, for Huxley, also, was of that same opinion. For him, such belief was not just wrong: it was “the lowest depth of immorality.” With that opinion, and with those advocates of it, (...) class='Hi'>James was locked in a struggle throughout his life; and it is a reasonable suspicion that the opponent of one ethics of belief is himself an ethicist with a rival ethics of belief of his own. That suspicion, moreover, appears to be confirmed by James's best known essay. He himself came to the view that his The Will to Believe would have been better named The Right to Believe, and it is a commonplace that “right” is a word of the ethical vocabulary. In short, there are obvious signs pointing to a positive answer to our question. (shrink)