Reiner Schürmann speaks of the end of Western metaphysics as the end of a mode of thinking that relies on an overriding metaphysical principle that establishes the economies that provide the space for permissible and impermissible actions. In its wake, he proposes a project of an-archy, of living without the reliance to the domination of one central metaphysical concept, but rather of kata physin, of “following the way things enter into mutual relations.” Kenneth Schmitz, in reacting to Schürmann, points out (...) that there are elements in Christian thought that can also provide new patterns of thought and action at the twilight of the end of metaphysics, namely, the notions of: charity, the Trinity, and mystery. I shall take up the second suggestion of Schmitz and attempt to articulate what the Christian notion of the Trinity can contribute to our understanding of thought and action after the end of metaphysics. I argue that through the theological detour of Thomistic Trinitarian thought, we can chart out new patterns of thought and action, specifically on the notion of the tri-personality of the Trinity, leading to the analogical understanding of persons-as-relations. Such a consideration not only provides a sharp rebuttal to Schürmann in his understanding of “hard unity” in terms of metaphysical principles, but it also helps us understand the place of man in the contemporary world: one of charitable relationality. (shrink)
Research suggests that the reaching hand automatically deviates toward a target that changes location during the reach. In the current study, we investigated whether movement intention can influence the target jump’s impact on the hand. We compared the degree of trajectory deviation to a jumped target under three instruction conditions: GO, in which participants were told to go to the target if it jumped, STOP, in which participants were told to immediately stop their movement if the target jumped, and IGNORE, (...) in which participants were told to ignore the target if it jumped and to continue to its initial location. We observed a reduced response to the jump in the IGNORE condition relative to the other conditions, suggesting that the response to the jump is contingent on the jump being a task-relevant event. (shrink)
Religious identity has, in recent times, become an important point of inquiry because of the growing awareness of religious diversity. On the one hand, this reality of diversity has served as an impetus to return to the roots of one’s religion. On the other hand, others have called for a more pluralist stance, out of the need to open up to other traditions. In light of this polarity, I argue that one can commit to one’s religion while opening up to (...) the religious other in a way that does not threaten one’s own tradition. This is done through a hermeneutic analysis of the religious identity, taking off from Paul Ricoeur’s phenomenological hermeneutics – how this identity is formed and informed by the different significations of meaning within the tradition, and how the believer interacts with this tradition to construct his or her own narrative identity, through his or her imagination, mapping out the constellations of possible human action that root themselves in the necessity in encountering and working with the religious other, for this necessity is constitutive of one’s commitment to the tradition, embodied in the biblical narratives that call for this encounter. In sum, it is possible to be committed to one’s faith conviction while being hospitable to the religious other because it is constitutive of religion itself to encounter its other, and it is in this encounter that faith is truly understood as conviction. (shrink)
_Jefferson’s Political Philosophy and the Metaphysics of Utopia_ argues that Jeffersonian republicanism was fundamentally a political philosophy, content-rich and globally applicable. Jefferson’s philosophy is fleshed out and critically analyzed by examining key writings over the years and philosophically important books Jefferson assimilated.
Spontaneous eye blink rate has been linked to attention and memory, specifically working memory. sEBR is also related to striatal dopamine activity with schizophrenia and Parkinson’s disease showing increases and decreases, respectively, in sEBR. A weakness of past studies of sEBR and WM is that correlations have been reported using blink rates taken at baseline either before or after performance of the tasks used to assess WM. The goal of the present study was to understand how fluctuations in sEBR during (...) different phases of a visual WM task predict task accuracy. In two experiments, with recordings of sEBR collected inside and outside of a magnetic resonance imaging bore, we observed sEBR to be positively correlated with WM task accuracy during the WM delay period. We also found task-related modulation of sEBR, including higher sEBR during the delay period compared to rest, and lower sEBR during task phases that place demands on visual attention. These results provide further evidence that sEBR could be an important predictor of WM task performance with the changes during the delay period suggesting a role in WM maintenance. The relationship of sEBR to DA activity and WM maintenance is discussed. (shrink)
Scholars today are divided on the motivation behind what is often called Jefferson’s “moral agrarianism”. On the one hand, some scholars take Jefferson at his word when he mentions that agrarianism is a moral vision. For these individuals, Jefferson’s agrarianism is a moral vision and an indispensible part of the good life. On the other hand, other scholars maintain that Jefferson’s moral agrarianism is merely a bit of propaganda that insidiously sheaths a political or economic ideal. (...) For them, Jefferson is through and throughout a politician, and expressions of agrarianism as a moral ideal amount to mere cant. In this paper, I examine arguments for and against Jefferson’s moral agrarianism. I defend the position that Jefferson was an aboveboard moral agrarianist and that the ideal of agrarianism was not just one that was suited for Americans, given their surfeit of land and want of laborers, but an ideal that also applied universally. I end with thoughts on Jefferson’s recognition of the rise of manufacturing in American cities throughout his life. (shrink)
Thomas Jefferson and Philosophy: Essays on the Philosophical Cast of Jefferson’s Writings is a collection of essays on topics that relate to philosophical aspects of Jefferson’s thinking over the years. Much historical insight is given to ground the various philosophical strands in Jefferson’s thought and writing on topics such as political philosophy, moral philosophy, slavery, republicanism, wall of separation, liberty, educational philosophy, and architecture.
This article addresses the way in which therapeutic practice in an English prison creates conditions whereby both prisoners and prison officers are caught up in networks and relationships of power that contribute to the constitution of particular subjects. The development of therapeutic practice, in relation to prisons and probation, is described and contextualised. Subsequently, the practices of group therapy in operation at Grendon prison - a rather unique institution built on principles of therapeutic community – are analysed with a focus (...) on five ”practices of moulding,” namely, naming, confession, assessment and surveillance, tolerance and participation. The argument that psychotherapy, under conditions of imprisonment, is a form of repression or social control is discussed and dismissed as too simple a model to account for the relations of power and constitutive practices that effect all participants, not only prisoners. Members of staff, as well as prisoners, are shown to be caught up in the disciplinary web. Discipline, as opposed to control, is advocated as a more appropriate concept for understanding therapeutic practices in prison. The work of Thomas Mathiesen, on the concept of synoptic power, is introduced to help illustrate these dynamics. The article represents a shift in my own thinking, from scepticism to a pragmatic idealist position, that creates space for institutions like Grendon to be imagined as potential least worst options for people convicted of offences and obliged to serve “time”. It is my hope, argued for in the article, that Grendon can be conceived of as a “visionary space” with emancipatory potential. (shrink)
Plato noticed a sizeable problem apropos of establishing his republic—that there was always a ready pool of zealous potential rulers, lying in wait for a suitable opportunity to rule on their own tyrannical terms. He also recognized that those persons best suited to rule, those persons with foursquare and unimpeachable virtue, would be least motivated to govern. Ruling a polis meant that those persons, fully educated and in complete realization that the most complete happiness comprises solitary study of things unchanging, (...) would have to compromise their happiness for the wellbeing of their polis and of the people in it. Plato’s solution, in effect that the aristoi would merely recognize their duty to sacrifice personal happiness for the happiness of the polis, has perplexed and continues today to perplex scholars. Like Plato, Jefferson recognized that there was always a pool of eager sharks, ready to govern. His republicanism, comprising a ward system and general education, was founded on the fullest participation of its citizenry, suitably educated and a governing aristoi. The true aristoi, the “natural aristoi”, are the intelligent and virtuous and that government is best which allows for a “pure selection” of the natural aristoi into the governing offices. Nonetheless, as Jefferson’s own life shows, non-parochial governing meant being rent from domestic tranquility, being forced to leave behind one’s personal affairs to decay, and being tossed willy-nilly into the coliseum of nonstop political wrangling. Why would anyone, particularly one wanting to be happy, wish to govern? Thus, Jefferson faced the same problem that Plato faced. How could a state be structured so that the wisest and most virtuous would be motivated to rule? In this paper, I argue that Jefferson, in full recognition of the problem of encouraging the most intelligent and virtuous to govern, the problem of public service, offers a solution that is remarkably Platonic. (shrink)
Shapes that are rendered invisible through backward masking are still able to influence motor responses: this is called masked priming. Yet it is unknown whether this influence is on the control of ongoing action, or whether it merely influences the initiation of an already-programmed action. We modified a masked priming procedure such that the critical prime-mask sequence was displayed during the execution of an already-initiated goal-directed pointing movement. Psychophysical tests of prime visibility indicated that the identity of the prime shapes (...) were not accessible to participants for conscious report. Yet detailed kinematic analysis of the finger in motion revealed that masked primes had an influence on the pointing trajectories within 277 ms of their appearance, 56 ms earlier than the trajectory deviations observed in response to the visible masks. These results indicate that subliminal shapes can indeed influence the control of ongoing motor activity. (shrink)
In a series of essays that examine Thomas Jefferson’s own writings, Holowchak investigates the always profound and often provocative ideas of this founding father. Dutiful Correspondent explores Thomas Jefferson as a philosopher in his own right. Holowchak expands our view of Jefferson by examining his own words on issues such as race, politics, ethics, education, and the intersection of philosophy and science.
This book is about what makes law possible. A stranger to contemporary legal practice might think such a book unnecessary, but the eight authors of this book share the view that what makes law possible is under siege today. The authors also share the hope that by exploring how law is a humanistic practice that involves whole persons, the siege will be reversed. The pathbreaking work of University of Michigan Law professor Joseph Vining provides the authors' focus for their varied (...) analyses of how law works not through force but, instead, through affinity.Vining's four books and other writings, spanning four decades, reveal the hidden connections by which men and women freely create and sustain a world of meaning through the phenomena we associate with law. Drawing on legal philosophy, theology, musicology, and other humanistic disciplines, the authors join Vining in discovering how law is, as Vining has written, “evidence of view and belief far stronger than academic statement or introspection can provide.” Law as Vining and the other authors reveal it is evidence of our better selves, not of the totalizing and brutalizing selves humans are capable of becoming, sometimes even under cover of law.In addition to the three editors, the book's authors are Joseph Vining, Rev. John McCausland, Hon. John T. Noonan, Jr., Steven Smith, and James Boyd White.Lawyers and all who care about law, the human future, and what human freedom can do to connect person to person as valued will find much to ponder in the chapters of this book. By avoiding jargon and the cliché, the authors follow Vining's lead in illuminating the deep springs of law's vitality and authority. (shrink)
In a letter to Benjamin Rush, Jefferson includes a syllabus—a comparative account of the merits of Jewish morality, ancient philosophy, and the precepts of Jesus. Using the syllabus as a guide, this paper is a critical examination of the influence of ancient ethical and religious thinking on Jefferson’s ethical and religious thinking—viz., Jefferson’s views of the ethics and religion of the Hebrews, the ancient philosophers, and Jesus.
We asked whether the influence of an invisible prime on movement is dependent on conscious movement expectations. Participants reached to a central target, which triggered a directional prime–mask arrow sequence. Participants were instructed that the visible arrows would most often signal a movement modification in a specific direction. Kinematic analyses revealed that responses to the visible mask were influenced by participants’ intentional bias, as movements were fastest when the more probable mask was displayed. In addition, responses were influenced by the (...) invisible prime without regard to its relationship to the more probable mask. Analysis of the time of initial trajectory modifications revealed that both primes influenced responses in a similar manner after accounting for participants’ bias. These results imply that invisible stimuli automatically activate their associated responses and that unconscious priming of the motor system is insensitive to the conscious expectations of the participant making the pointing movements. (shrink)
Research suggests that perceptual experience of our movements adapts together with movement control when we are the agents of our actions. Is this agency critical for perceptual and motor adaptation? We had participants view cursor feedback during elbow extension–flexion movements when they actively moved their arm, or had their arm passively moved. We probed adaptation of movement perception by having participants report the reversal point of their unseen movement. We probed adaptation of movement control by having them aim to a (...) target. Perception and control of active movement were influenced by both types of exposure, although adaptation was stronger following active exposure. Furthermore, both types of exposure led to a change in the perception of passive movements. Our findings support the notion that perception and control adapt together, and they suggest that some adaptation is due to recalibrated proprioception that arises independently of active engagement with the environment. (shrink)
Perhaps the most difficult part of the famous inscription from Heraclea is the opening section of the extant text, where from a given form of procedure it is required to determine the subject matter. A solution of this puzzling problem, which I proposed some months ago, has recently been made the subject of an interesting article in this journal by Dr. E. G. Hardy. Mr. Hardy has long been engaged in this field, and has rendered much useful service. In this (...) article, however, he seems to be interested in my views chiefly in their relation to his own theory. This is apparent in his agreements with me. For example, one aim of my study was to identify the professiones of Cicero's letters ad Att. xiii. 33, 1, and ad Fam. xvi. 23, 1, with those provided for in the first section of the inscription. It appeared that the returns mentioned by Cicero were registrations of property, that they were to be made yearly, and that they had their prototype in the annual property census of Egypt. It also seemed clear that Caesar's recensus populi of 46 was modelled on the Egyptian kατ' oίkíαm άπoγραφήiKíαν. With these preliminary conclusions Mr. Hardy is not unwilling to agree. He even goes so far as to say that I have made a good case for ‘a new system of professiones somehow relating to property and introduced in 46.’ He thinks too that the settlement of the frumentations as a part of a more comprehensive legislative scheme would be most appropriate. So far so good, but when it comes to the vital point of admitting a connection between these matters and vv. 1–19 of the Tablet he draws back as if from some fatal step. (shrink)
Since 9/11, citizens of all nations have been searching for a democratic public philosophy that provides practical and inspiring answers to the problems of the twenty-first century. Drawing on the wisdom of past and present pragmatist thinkers, Judith M. Green maps a contemporary form of citizenship that emphasizes participation and cooperation and reclaims the critical role of social movements and nongovernmental organizations. Starting with empowering processes of storytelling, truth and reconciliation, and collaborative vision-questing that allow individuals to give voice and (...) new meaning to their loss, anxiety, and hope, Green frames cooperative inquiries to guide transformative actions. From this "second strand" of the democratic experience, leaders and participating citizens can help to shape a more desirable democratic future. In dialogue with Richard Rorty, Judith Butler, James Baldwin, Martin Luther King Jr., Elie Wiesel, Viktor Frankl, Cornel West, and other contemporary thinkers, Green defines the need for deeper understanding and fulfillment of the potentials of the democratic ideal. Drawing insights from Thomas Jefferson, Walt Whitman, William James, John Dewey, Jane Adams, and other earlier thinkers, Green frames a pragmatist understanding of emerging realities and possibilities, growing wells of shared truths, multifaceted histories, and mutually transformative experiences of citizenship. Employing examples from America's complex history and from recent world events, Green locates four sites for effective citizen activism: government at all levels, nonprofit organizations, issue-focused campaigns and social movements, and daily urban living. Green shows how citizens can revive social hope and deepen the democratic experience by drawing on their own knowledge and developing their capabilities through inclusive civic participation. (shrink)
When talk of philosophy of pedagogy comes up today, it is common to hear the names of Aristotle, Thomas Jefferson, John Dewey, or Paulo Freire, but the name of Paul Goodman, who campaigned vigorously for pedagogical reform much of his life, is seldom mentioned. In spite of neglect of his work, Goodman had much to say on pedagogical practice that is rich, poignant, and relevant today. In consequence, it is unfortunate that he is seldom read and discussed today. This (...) essay is an attempt to fill in the gap in the scholarship. I begin by presenting an elaboration of Goodman's key insights. I then offer a critical analysis of those pedagogical insights. (shrink)
Traditional theistic proofs are often understood as evidence intended to compel belief in a divinity. John Clayton explores the surprisingly varied applications of such proofs in the work of philosophers and theologians from several periods and traditions, thinkers as varied as Ramanuja, al-Ghazali, Anselm, and Jefferson. He shows how the gradual disembedding of theistic proofs from their diverse and local religious contexts is concurrent with the development of natural theologies and atheism as social and intellectual options in early modern (...) Europe and America. Clayton offers a fresh reading of the early modern history of philosophy and theology, arguing that awareness of such history, and the local uses of theistic argument, offer important ways of managing religious and cultural difference in the public sphere. He argues for the importance of historically grounded philosophy of religion to the field of religious studies and public debate on religious pluralism and cultural diversity. (shrink)
This article puts forth 2 competing notions of the American Dream, 1 radical and 1 conservative (both put forth by Thomas Jefferson), as the basis for 2 competing public philosophies of American democracy and education. This article traces out the ecology of inequality that has determined the context of these 2 competing public philosophies, especially in relation to the evolution of U.S. education. The ideology of the American Dream is still a potent philosophical means for constructing reformist discourses for (...) American politics and education. The rhetoric of the American Dream focuses on the unrealized promises found within the Declaration of Independence and it articulates the need of equality and freedom for all members of our society. This article traces the framework of these conflicting American Dreams from their inception and into our contemporary context. (shrink)
Here it is shown that 'vacant nature' is deployed as sign in Anglo-American landscape representation of the seventeenth to nineteenth centuries to support a Cartesian imaginary of spatial extension. The referent of this imaginary is variously denoted as 'America' (John Locke), the 'north west' (Jefferson), the 'wilderness' (Ralph Waldo Emerson), and the 'frontier' (Frederick Jackson Turner) but throughout it is essentially the same 'vacant' landscape; its function is to produce a site and space of appearance for an imperial self, (...) an isolate pursuing self-extension through commodity production and consumption. This spatial representation—the predecessor of the abstract space of shopping malls, interstates, commercial advertising, global markets, office buildings, and suburbs—is contrasted with 'place,' a space shaped by topography, collective memory, and ecological constraint. (shrink)
The political independence of the United States of America was proclaimed in a Declaration of Independence by the Second Continental Congress, in Philadelphia, on July 4, 1776. Thomas Jefferson drafted the document, and the changes made in the text reflected the struggle among different factions in the revolutionary camp. Jefferson's initial version was fundamentally retained, however; and that is precisely what makes the Declaration of Independence not merely a legal document but a vivid example of a bourgeois revolutionary (...) program expressing in concentrated form the ideology of the radical wing of the American Enlightenment. The form of the Declaration was an address to world public opinion explaining the causes and bases for the decisive political break of the 13 British colonies with the home country. In fact it provided a general philosophical justification for the validity of revolutionary change in the social order by the people. The Declaration became the legal ground for the American system of government, sanctioning its independence and serving as the basis for the documents of a constitutional nature that followed. The treatment of the nature of man and his rights is the most important feature of the revolutionary conclusions of the Declaration. (shrink)
Addressing Education: Purposes, Plans, and Politics is the first in the 10-volume series, Lynchburg College Symposium Readings, 3rd edition. Each volume presents primary texts organized around an interdisciplinary, liberal arts theme such as education, politics, social issues, science and technology, morals and ethics. The series has been developed by Lynchburg College faculty for use in the Senior Symposium and the Lynchburg College Symposium Readings Program (SS/LCSR). While these programs are distinctive to Lynchburg College, the texts are used on many college (...) campuses across the nation, as well as by readers interested in significant original texts on important topics. Addressing Education: Purposes, Plans, and Politics offers primary source readings on a wide range of topics in education. Here are the original writings that readers often only read about. In this volume, the educators speak for themselves in selections and excerpts from Plato (360 B.C. E.) to Paolo Freire (1968). Familiar luminaries Mann, Rousseau, DuBois, Keller, Jefferson, 21 in all gather together all in one volume to deliver these pivotal ideas with incomparable impact. Whether consumed cover-to-cover or piece-by-piece, the volume invites useful, critical debate on this important topic. (shrink)
This volume includes ninety-two items from 1935, 1936, and 1937, including Dewey’s 1935 Page-Barbour Lectures at the University of Virginia, published as _Liberalism and Social Action._ In essay after essay Dewey analyzed, criticized, and reevaluated liberalism. When his controversial _Liberalism and Social Action _appeared, asking whether it was still possible to be a liberal, Horace M. Kallen wrote that Dewey “restates in the language and under the conditions of his times what Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence affirmed in the language (...) and under the conditions of his.” The diverse nature of the writings belies their underlying unity: some are technical philosophy; other philosophical articles shade into social and political themes; social and political issues permeate the educational articles, which in turn involve Dewey’s philosophical ideas. (shrink)