Leon J. Goldstein critically examines the philosophical role of concepts and concept formation in the social sciences. The book undertakes a study of concept formation and change by looking at four critical terms in anthropology , politics , and sociology.
In this enlightening and original study on the cultivation of a religious understanding of nature, Leon Niemoczynski applies Charles Sanders Peirce's thought on metaphysics to 'ecstatic naturalism,' the philosophical perspective developed by Robert Corrington. Niemoczynski points to Peirce's phenomenological and metaphysical understanding of possibility-the concept of 'Firstness'-as especially critical to understanding how the divine might be meaningfully encountered in religious experience. He goes on to define his own concept of speculative naturalism, offering a new approach to thinking about nature (...) that joins the essence of pragmatism with the heretical boldness of speculative thought. (shrink)
The first part of the paper distinguishes between a real past which has nothing to do with historical events and an historical past made up of hypothetical events introduced for the purpose of explaining historical evidence. Attention is next paid to those so-called ancillary historical disciplines which study historical evidence, and it is noted that the historical event is brought in to explain the particular constellation of different kinds of historical evidence which are judged to belong together. The problem of (...) explaining events is then taken up, and an attempt is made to defend the view that such explanation must presuppose general laws. And this is followed by a discussion, partly speculative, of social-historical laws. The final section of the paper tries to argue that the subjective intentions of individuals are irrelevant to historical explanation. (shrink)
Collingwood's well-known dicta about history and its practice are not expressions of a perverse idealism but are rooted in reflection on his own work as historian. The problem which informs his writings on history was to make sense of the discipline of history without opening the way to historical skepticism. The early view of his Speculum Mentis, rooted in an external philosophical stance and not in the actual practice of history, was actually skeptical. In his middle years he regarded history (...) as the science of historical evidence, but this view left obscure the interest of history in the historical past. In his most mature view, as expressed in The Idea of History, Collingwood comes to see how the discipline of history, judged in terms of its own procedures and not by external norms imposed upon it from other sources, is able to make responsible knowledge claims and avoid the threat of skepticism. His well-known views about the historian's re-thinking past thought, the autonomy of history and the historical imagination all play roles to that end, and are entirely reasonable when it is understood what Collingwood intends by them. They are part of his theory of historical knowing, not of historical explanation. (shrink)
Process metaphysics has had a more limited impact in Roman Catholic theology than it has had in Protestant theology. In The One, the Many, and the Trinity, Marc Pugliese traces the development of Roman Catholic theology synthesized with process theology as it is found in the thought of Joseph A. Bracken, S. J. As the title indicates, Bracken’s process perspective concerning the Trinity is the main focus of the book. The One, the Many, and the Trinity consists of four chapters (...) wherein Pugliese carefully surveys Bracken’s philosophy, explaining how it incorporates a sweeping array of sources, including classical Greek thought, Thomism, modern philosophy, German idealism, American pragmatism, and .. (shrink)
Present-day interest in history among philosophers seems largely limited to a debate over the nature of historical explanation among those who for Humean reasons insist that all explanations must rest upon general laws and history cannot be an exception to this, and those who say the historians do explain and since they do not use general laws the Humean claim is obviously mistaken. Like the latter, the present paper takes the explanations of historians seriously, but unlike the latter it is (...) not willing to limit the role of philosophy of history merely to the elucidation of the language in which historians give final expression of their work. Rather it recognizes that those explanations themselves set the stage for further inquiry in that they are required to be justified. It is here that the theories or general laws demanded by Humean analysis come in. After examining examples of general laws offered by way of example of what the "Humean" philosophers are supposed to have in mind, each of which is an immediate generalization of the explanation it is called upon to explain and is, hence, an instance of what has been called "the dogma of universality," some examples of more promising prospects of theory in history are examined. (shrink)
There can be no question that Hans Blumenberg is a very learned scholar and the breadth of his knowledge is visible throughout the lengthy volume before us. Yet, for all that, it is not easy to follow the course of his discussion. One speaks of not being able to see the forest for the trees, but while it literally makes no sense to say it, I frequently thought that, in the end, there is no forest—only a collection of trees. A (...) colleague of mine who knows Blumenberg remarked that his writing is episodic. Perhaps that is the best way to put it. If there is an overarching argument that begins where the book begins and, at last, emerges to a proper conclusion almost six hundred pages later, I must confess that it has passed me by. I incline, however, to suspect that my colleague is right, and that what we have is a series of episodes in the history of European thought, but the episodes do not seem pointed in any obvious way to a determinate end point. (shrink)