A CONCERN TO UNDERSTAND THE POSSIBILITIES AND LIMITS of human freedom is as old as philosophy. Yet the question whether and in what sense human beings are free agents still provokes heated debate. Even a century ago, as William James began his discussion of the issue, he wondered, with some bemusement, whether there could possibly be any “juice” left in it! Happily, he concluded that there was still more to be said, but his eloquent defense of free will failed to (...) convince; it became just another chapter in the ongoing and seemingly endless dispute. In the years since, many additional essays and books have been written, covering every aspect and espousing every possible view of the matter. The deep disagreements continue. It is this very phenomenon, the remarkable persistence—and resistance—of the problem of freedom, upon which I wish to reflect. Why is it that after such a long history the same vigorous differences endure? Is it more than mere philosophical partisanship that keeps the discussants talking past one another? I believe that there is more to it. I suspect, much as Kant thought, that there is here a sort of antinomy in which valid but seemingly incompatible intuitions are expressed over and over again. Perhaps by considering this possibility we can, even now, squeeze out a bit more juice. (shrink)
PHILOSOPHY of nature is not currently considered standard fare in philosophy. Rather than the title of an area of inquiry, it has become the name of an isolated historical phenomenon—the Naturphilosophie of Schelling, Goethe, and Hegel, or a label for some school doctrine—the continuing tradition built upon the first books of Aristotle’s Physics or the newer one rooted in Whitehead’s Process and Reality. Philosophers do not typically see these systems of thought in terms of a common problematic, certainly not one (...) which is presently viable or important. (shrink)
In this thorough compendium, nineteen accomplished scholars explore, in some manner the values they find inherent in the world, their nature, and revelence through the thought of Frederick Ferré. These essays, informed by the insights of Ferré and coming from manifold perspectives—ethics, philosophy, theology, and environmental studies, advance an ambitious challenge to current intellectual and scholarly fashions.
In this thorough compendium, nineteen accomplished scholars explore, in some manner the values they find inherent in the world, their nature, and revelence through the thought of Frederick FerrZ. These essays, informed by the insights of FerrZ and coming from manifold perspectives—ethics, philosophy, theology, and environmental studies, advance an ambitious challenge to current intellectual and scholarly fashions.
This is a beautifully clear, detailed, and compelling revision of the received histories of late eighteenth and nineteenth-century German psychology and philosophy of mind. It focuses on the seemingly constant tension between what Hatfield calls normativism and naturalism. Participants in this story are often both philosophers and psychologists, in a mix in which it is difficult to see the differences. Hatfield presents us with the formative history of our present, uneasy distinction between "philosophical" and "psychological" approaches to the mind.
Marjorie Grene's work expresses the conviction that what is called "the new philosophy of science" will not become viable until it is rooted in an understanding of the knower and the known which breaks with the familiar Cartesian dualisms. In order to provide this understanding, she has sought to restore central significance to the phenomenon of life -- to the distinctive ways in which animals, including human beings, perceive and act in their worlds. It is argued that her fundamental premise (...) is that humans, as living beings, bring a shared experience of the world with them into scientific activity. On this basis, she is able to show how scientific objectivity may be seen as a form of pre-scientific exploration and how the scientifically known world may be seen as the pre-scientific life-world interpreted and enriched in scientific terms. (shrink)
Despite Platonism's unquestioned claim to being one of the most influential movements in the history of philosophy, for a long time the conventional wisdom was that Platonists of late antiquity, or Neoplatonists, were so focused on otherworldly metaphysics that they simply neglected any serious study of the sensible world, which after all is 'merely' an image of the intelligible world. Only recently has this conventional wisdom begun to be dispelled. In fact, it is precisely because these thinkers did see the (...) sensible world as an image of the intelligible world that they devoted so much time and energy to understanding its inner workings. Thus we find Neoplatonists writing on embryology, physiology, meteorology, and astronomy, among other subjects.Neoplatonism and the Philosophy of Nature collects essays by leading international scholars in the field which shed new light on how the Neoplatonists sought to understand and explain nature and natural phenomena. It is thematically divided into two parts, with the first part--The General Metaphysics of Nature--directed at the explication of central Neoplatonic metaphysical doctrines and their relation to the natural world, and the second part--Platonic Approaches to Individual Sciences--showing how these same doctrines play out in individual natural sciences such as elemental physics, geography, and biology. Together these essays show that a serious examination of Neoplatonic natural philosophy has far-reaching consequences for our general understanding of the metaphysics of Platonism as well as for our evaluation of their place in the history of science. (shrink)