Narratives of Jihadi-Salafi operations are often filled with praise for what are considered exemplary acts of self-renunciation in the vein of early Islamic tradition. While many studies sift through the biographies of these so-called martyrs for evidence of social, psychological, political, or economic strain in an effort to rationalize what are often labeled "suicide bombings," Nathan French argues that, through their legal arguments, Jihadi-Salafis craft a theodicy that is meant to address the suffering and oppression of the global Muslim (...) community. (shrink)
This textbook brings the humanities to students in order to evoke the humanity of students. It helps to form individuals who take charge of their own minds, who are free from narrow and unreflective forms of thought, and who act compassionately in their public and professional worlds. Using concepts and methods of the humanities, the book addresses undergraduate and premed students, medical students, and students in other health professions, as well as physicians and other healthcare practitioners. It encourages them to (...) consider the ethical and existential issues related to the experience of disease, care of the dying, health policy, religion and health, and medical technology. Case studies, images, questions for discussion, and role-playing exercises help readers to engage in the practical, interpretive, and analytical aspects of the material, developing skills for critical thinking as well as compassionate care. (shrink)
Introduction -- Overview of religious realism -- A realist interpretation of religious diversity -- Religious exclusivism : the problem of being arbitrary -- Overview of religious irrealism -- Religious non-realism : neither realist nor anti-realist -- Religious non-realism pushed beyond its limits -- Conclusion.
The nature of the information content of declarative sentences is a central topic in the philosophy of language. The natural view that a sentence like "John loves Mary" contains information in which two individuals occur as constituents is termed the naive theory, and is one that has been abandoned by most contemporary scholars. This theory was refuted originally by philosopher Gottlob Frege. His argument that the naive theory did not work is termed Frege's puzzle, and his rival account of information (...) content is termed the orthodox theory. In this detailed study, Nathan Salmon defends a version of the naive theory and presents a proposal for its extension that provides a better picture of information content than the orthodox theory gives. He argues that a great deal of what has generally been taken for granted in the philosophy of language over the past few decades is either mistaken or unsupported, and consequently, much current research is focused on the wrong set of questions. Salmon dissolves Frege's puzzle as it is usually formulated and demonstrates how it can be reconstructed and strengthened to yield a more powerful objection to the naive theory. He then defends the naive theory against the new Frege puzzle by presenting an idea that yields both a surprisingly rich and powerful extension of the naive theory and a better picture of information content than that of the original orthodox theory. Nathan Salmon is Professor of Philosophy, University of California at Santa Barbara. A Bradford Book. (shrink)
Locke's Education for Liberty presents an analysis of the crucial but often underestimated place of education and the family within Lockean liberalism. Nathan Tarcov shows that Locke's neglected work Some Thoughts Concerning Education compares with Plato's Republic and Rousseau's Emile as a treatise on education embodying a comprehensive vision of moral and social life. Locke believed that the family can be the agency, not the enemy, of individual liberty and equality. Tarcov's superb reevaluation reveals to the modern reader a (...) breadth and unity heretofore unrecognized in Locke's thought. (shrink)
Although compassion in healthcare differs in important ways from compassion in everyday life, it provides a key, applied microcosm in which the science of compassion can be applied. Compassion is among the most important virtues in medicine, expected from medical professionals and anticipated by patients. Yet, despite evidence of its centrality to effective clinical care, research has focused on compassion fatigue or barriers to compassion and neglected to study the fact that most healthcare professionals maintain compassion for their patients. In (...) contributing to this understudied area, the present report provides an exploratory investigation into how healthcare professionals report trying to maintain compassion. In the study, 151 professionals were asked questions about how they maintained compassion for their patients. Text responses were coded, with a complex mixture of internal vs. external, self vs. patient, and immediate vs. general strategies being reported. Exploratory analyses revealed reliable individual differences in the tendency to report strategies of particular types but no consistent age-related differences between older and younger practitioners emerged. Overall, these data suggest that while a range of compassion-maintaining strategies were reported, strategies were typically concentrated in particular areas and most professionals seek to maintain care using internal strategies. A preliminary typology of compassion maintaining strategies is proposed, study limitations and future directions are discussed, and implications for the study of how compassion is maintained are considered. (shrink)
“Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity”—so says Hanlon’s Razor. This principle is designed to curb the human tendency toward explaining other people’s behavior by moralizing it. We ask whether Hanlon’s Razor is good or bad advice. After offering a nuanced interpretation of the principle, we critically evaluate two strategies purporting to show it is good advice. Our discussion highlights important, unsettled questions about an idea that has the potential to infuse greater humility and civility into (...) discourse and debate. (shrink)
In the transcendental deduction, the central argument of the Critique of Pure Reason, Kant seeks to secure the objective validity of our basic categories of thought. He distinguishes objective and subjective sides of this argument. The latter side, the subjective deduction, is normally understood as an investigation of our cognitive faculties. It is identified with Kant’s account of a threefold synthesis involved in our cognition of objects of experience, and it is said to precede and ground Kant’s proof of the (...) validity of the categories in the objective deduction. I challenge this standard reading of the subjective deduction, arguing, first, that there is little textual evidence for it, and, second, that it encourages a problematic conception of how the deduction works. In its place, I present a new reading of the subjective deduction. Rather than being a broad investigation of our cognitive faculties, it should be seen as addressing a specific worry that arises in the course of the objective deduction. The latter establishes the need for a necessary connection between our capacities for thinking and being given objects, but Kant acknowledges that his readers might struggle to comprehend how these seemingly independent capacities are coordinated. Even worse, they might well believe that in asserting this necessary connection, Kant’s position amounts to an implausible subjective idealism. The subjective deduction ismeant to allay these concerns by showing that they rest on a misunderstanding of the relation between these faculties. This new reading of the subjective deduction offers a better fit with Kant’s text. It also has broader implications, for it reveals the more philosophically plausible account of our relation to the world as thinkers that Kant is defending – an account that is largely obscured by the standard reading of the subjective deduction. (shrink)
Intellectual humility is commonly thought to be a mindset, disposition, or personality trait that guides our reactions to evidence as we seek to pursue the truth and avoid error. Over the last decade, psychologists, philosophers, and other researchers have begun to explore intellectual humility, using analytical and empirical tools to understand its nature, implications, and value. This review describes central questions explored by researchers and highlights opportunities for multidisciplinary investigation.
A central claim of Deleuze's reading of Bergson is that Bergson's distinction between space as an extensive multiplicity and duration as an intensive multiplicity is inspired by the distinction between discrete and continuous manifolds found in Bernhard Riemann's 1854 thesis on the foundations of geometry. Yet there is no evidence from Bergson that Riemann influences his division, and the distinction between the discrete and continuous is hardly a Riemannian invention. Claiming Riemann's influence, however, allows Deleuze to argue that quantity, in (...) the form of ‘virtual number’, still pertains to continuous multiplicities. This not only supports Deleuze's attempt to redeem Bergson's argument against Einstein in Duration and Simultaneity, but also allows Deleuze to position Bergson against Hegelian dialectics. The use of Riemann is thereby an important element of the incorporation of Bergson into Deleuze's larger early project of developing an anti-Hegelian philosophy of difference. This article first reviews the role of discrete and continuous multiplicities or manifolds in Riemann's Habilitationsschrift, and how Riemann uses them to establish the foundations of an intrinsic geometry. It then outlines how Deleuze reinterprets Riemann's thesis to make it a credible resource for Deleuze's Bergsonism. Finally, it explores the limits of this move, and how Deleuze's later move away from Bergson turns on the rejection of an assumption of Riemann's thesis, that of ‘flatness in smallest parts’, which Deleuze challenges with the idea, taken from Riemann's contemporary, Richard Dedekind, of the irrational cut. (shrink)
Abstract Both parties in the active philosophical debate concerning the conceptual character of perception trace their roots back to Kant's account of sensible intuition in the Critique of Pure Reason. This striking fact can be attributed to Kant's tendency both to assert and to deny the involvement of our conceptual capacities in sensible intuition. He appears to waver between these two positions in different passages, and can thus seem thoroughly confused on this issue. But this is not, in fact, the (...) case, for, as I will argue, the appearance of contradiction in his account stems from the failure of some commentators to pay sufficient attention to Kant's developmental approach to philosophy. Although he begins by asserting the independence of intuition, Kant proceeds from this nonconceptualist starting point to reveal a deeper connection between intuitions and concepts. On this reading, Kant's seemingly conflicting claims are actually the result of a careful and deliberate strategy for gradually convincing his readers of the conceptual nature of perception. (shrink)
_On Mechanism in Hegel's Social and Political Philosophy_ examines the role of the concept of mechanism in Hegel’s thinking about political and social institutions. It counters as overly simplistic the notion that Hegel has an ‘organic concept of society’. It examines the thought of Hegel’s peers and predecessors who critique modern political intuitions as ‘machine-like’, focusing on J.G. Herder, Friedrich Schlegel and Novalis. From here it examines the early writings of Hegel, in which Hegel makes a break with the Romantic (...) way of thinking about ethical community. Ross argues that in this period, Hegel devises a new way of thinking about the integration of mechanistic and organic features within an organizational whole. This allows Hegel to offer an innovative theory of modern civil society as a component in ethical life. The second half of the book examines how Hegel develops this thought in his later works. It offers an in depth commentary on the chapter on mechanism in the Science of Logic, and it demonstrates the role of these thoughts in Hegel’s Philosophy of Right. _On Mechanism in Hegel's Social and Political Philosophy_ offers a critical response to debates over communitarianism by arguing against one of the central figures used by scholars to associate Hegel with communitarian thought, namely the notion that society is organic. In addition, it argues that Hegel political theory is deeply informed by his formal ontology, as developed in the Science of Logic. (shrink)
In his reply to the Nobis-Graham review of Tibor Machan's book, Putting Humans First, John Altick defends Machan's and Rand's theories of moral rights, specifically as they relate to the rights of non-human animals and non-rational human beings. Nobis and Graham argue that Altick's defense fails and that it would be wrong to eat, wear, and experiment on non-rational—yet conscious and sentient—human beings. Since morally relevant differences between these kinds of humans and animals have not been identified to justify a (...) difference in treatment or consideration, it is wrong to harm animals for these purposes also. (shrink)
Shadow Philosophy: Plato’s Cave and Cinema is an accessible and exciting new contribution to film-philosophy, which shows that to take film seriously is also to engage with the fundamental questions of philosophy. Nathan Andersen brings Stanley Kubrick’s film A Clockwork Orange into philosophical conversation with Plato’s Republic , comparing their contributions to themes such as the nature of experience and meaning, the character of justice, the contrast between appearance and reality, the importance of art, and the impact of images. (...) At the heart of the book is a novel account of the analogy between Plato’s allegory of the cave and cinema, developed in conjunction with a provocative interpretation of the most powerful image from A Clockwork Orange , in which the lead character is strapped to a chair and forced to watch violent films. Key features of the book include: a comprehensive bibliography of suggested readings on Plato, on film, on philosophy, and on the philosophy of film a list of suggested films that can be explored following the approach in this book, including brief descriptions of each film, and suggestions regarding its philosophical implications a summary of Plato’s Republic , book by book, highlighting both dramatic context and subject matter. Offering a close reading of the controversial classic film A Clockwork Orange , and an introductory account of the central themes of the philosophical classic The Republic , this book will be of interest to both scholars and students of philosophy and film, as well as to readers of Plato and fans of Stanley Kubrick. (shrink)
This book provides a study of Walter Benjamin's first philosophy in two senses: it focuses on his early philosophy as a source of insight into his later works, and it explores his thinking about the nature of truth, method, experience, the relation of body and mind, and the limits of human knowledge. While most attention is paid to Benjamin's later works, his writings from roughly 1914-1925 explore philosophical themes and develop a critical method. This book argues that this early work (...) founds a series of original and lasting questions and insights. Benjamin understands experience as a broken continuum of diverse forms of spiritual expression, each of which is ephemeral. This leads Benjamin to a series of thought figures: the notion of language as a medium of experience; a philosophy of perception based in the natural history of the human body; an emphasis on mimesis as a faculty of creative assimilation; and a discovery of memory as a power for excavation of meaning in past experience. This book demonstrates that the need for a new understanding of the metaphysical structure of experience, as well as a new conception of truth, play a special role in shaping Benjamin's subsequent work. Walter Benjamin's First Philosophy will be of interest to scholars and advanced students working on the thought of Walter Benjamin, 20th-century Continental philosophy, comparative literature, and modern German thought. (shrink)
We address the claim that nonhuman animals do not represent unobservable states, based on studies of physical cognition by rooks and social cognition by scrub-jays. In both cases, the most parsimonious explanation for the results is counter to the reinterpretation hypothesis. We suggest that imagination and prospection can be investigated in animals and included in models of cognitive architecture.
Jonathan Schaffer (2010) has summoned a new sort of demon – which he calls the debasing demon – that apparently threatens all of our purported knowledge. We show that any debasing skeptical argument must attack the justification condition and can do so only if a plausible thesis about justification is false.
A major point of debate about morally good motives concerns an ambiguity in the truism that good and strong-willed people desire to do what is right. This debate is shaped by the assumption that “what’s right” combines in only two ways with “desire,” leading to distinct de dicto and de re readings of the truism. However, a third reading of such expressions is possible, first identified by Janet Fodor, which has gone wholly unappreciated by philosophers in this debate. I identify (...) Fodor’s nonspecific reading of “desire to do what’s right” and briefly discuss its merits. (shrink)
Nathan Carlin revisits the role of religion in bioethics, an increasingly secular enterprise, and argues that pastoral theologians can enrich moral imagination in bioethics by cultivating an aesthetic sensibility that is theologically-informed, psychologically-sophisticated, therapeutically-oriented, and experientially-grounded. To achieve these ends, Carlin employs Paul Tillich's method of correlation by positioning four principles of bioethics with four images of pastoral care.
Originally published in 1991, this book focuses on a major problem in the philosophy of Martin Buber. This is the topic of immediacy which is presented in terms of the contact between human beings on the one hand, and man and God on the other. The basic theme throughout is whether the I-Thou relation refers to immediate contact between human beings, as Buber saw it, or whether that relation is something established or aspired to. This is an important study which (...) should be consulted in any future discussion of Martin Buber’s thought. At the same time, it raises critical issues for recent European philosophy. Students of philosophy, and religious and social thought will find its critical exposition extremely helpful. (shrink)
The wrong kind of reason (WKR) problem is a problem for attempts to analyze normative properties using only facts about the balance of normative reasons, a style of analysis on which the ‘Reasons First’ programme depends. I argue that this problem cannot be solved if the orthodox view of reasons is true --- that is, if each normative reason is numerically identical with some fact, proposition, or state-of-affairs. That’s because solving the WKR problem requires completely distinguishing between the right- and (...) wrong-kind reasons for an attitude. I argue that some facts give both right- and wrong-kind reasons for an attitude. Consequently, no such distinction between the two types of reasons is complete if reasons are facts or the like. I conclude by suggesting that reasons and facts are related by constitution, not identity. (shrink)
I propose and defend a novel view called ‘de se consequentialism’, which is noteworthy for two reasons. First, it demonstrates — contra Doug Portmore, Mark Schroeder, Campbell Brown, and Michael Smith, among others — that a consequentialist theory employing agent-neutral value is logically consistent with agent-centered constraints. Second, de se consequentialism clarifies both the nature of agent-centered constraints and why philosophers have found them puzzling, thereby meriting attention from even dedicated non-consequentialists. Scrutiny reveals that moral theories in general, whether consequentialist (...) or not, incorporate constraints by assessing states in a first-personal guise. Consequently, it is no coincidence that de se consequentialism mimics constraints: its distinctive feature is the very feature through which non-consequentialist theories enact them. (shrink)
The PEIRCE EDITION contains large sections of previously unpublished material in addition to selected published works. Each volume includes a brief historical and biographical introduction, extensive editorial and textual notes, and a full chronological list of all of Peirce’s writings, published and unpublished, during the period covered.
In her influential essay ‘Virtues and Vices,’ Philippa Foot argues that virtues are essentially corrective, moderating between two vicious extremes. She also contends that Aquinas champions this view, too. In contrast, I argue that Foot misreads Aquinas; that Aquinas's actual theory of virtue is incompatible with the corrective theory Foot defends; and that those who endorse Aquinas's Augustinian theology should side with his perfective theory of virtue rather than Foot's corrective one.
Metaphysics, Mathematics, and Meaning brings together Nathan Salmon's influential papers on topics in the metaphysics of existence, non-existence, and fiction; modality and its logic; strict identity, including personal identity; numbers and numerical quantifiers; the philosophical significance of Godel's Incompleteness theorems; and semantic content and designation. Including a previously unpublished essay and a helpful new introduction to orient the reader, the volume offers rich and varied sustenance for philosophers and logicians.
The end of the eighteenth century was a transformational period for the Muslim communities in the Russian Empire and their relationship with the tsarist state. One of the major figures to emerge out of this context was the reformer Abu Nasr Qursawi. A controversial religious scholar, he put forward a sweeping reform of the Islamic scholarly tradition that was influential among these communities into the twentieth century. Nathan Spannaus presents the first detailed analysis of Qursawi's reformism, both in its (...) contours and broad historical setting, addressing issues of modernity, secularity, tradition, and intellectual history. (shrink)
_ Source: _Volume 24, Issue 1, pp 60 - 94 One of the more astounding books produced by Bratslav Hasidism is _Liqquṭei tefilot_, composed by R. Nathan Sternhartz of Nemirov, which established a whole new genre in Bratslav literature. This article discusses the book’s genesis, publication, and primary goals, as well as the controversy it generated. The new Bratslav theology that emerged after the death of Rabbi Naḥman led to disputes, both internal and external, over the role and character (...) of R. Nathan. Examining this particularly obscure chapter in the early history of Bratslav Hasidism sheds light on the movement as it exists today in all its diversity, both ideological and social. (shrink)
Semiotics has not been warmly welcomed as an area of research concentration within philosophy, especially not within philosophy in the English empirical tradition. But when we consider that much of the focus of semiotic research is signification, reference, and representation, it seems evident that semiotic questions are as old as reflective thought itself. A look at how these questions have been treated throughout the history of philosophy suggests that Umberto Eco was right in claiming that most major philosophers have grappled (...) with sign theory, if only implicitly. The theory of signs was an active area of research during the Middle Ages and John Locke opened the Modern Age with the recommendation that semiotics should be cultivated. But the philosophers of Modernity embraced a Cartesian separation between mind and body unsupportive of a robust science of signs. When semiotics emerged as a discrete field of research in the writings of Charles S. Peirce and in the semiology of Ferdinand de Saussure, it remained on the fringes of philosophy. Around mid-20th century there was a resurgence of interest in semiotics and a promising attempt was made to merge American pragmatism and semiotics with the logical empiricism of the Vienna Circle. But that effort failed and semiotics was excluded from mainstream philosophy. There is now reason to suppose that philosophy, no longer under the domination of analytic philosophy, may be moving into a new period when a weakening commitment to epistemological nominalism will make room for a return to semiotic realism. Perhaps the time is right to follow Locke’s lead and to reconcile formal semiotics with philosophy—possibly heralding a new paradigm. (shrink)
Economists have long treated technological phenomena as events transpiring inside a black box and, on the whole, have adhered rather strictly to a self-imposed ordinance not to inquire too seriously into what transpires inside that box. The purpose of Professor Rosenberg's work is to break open and examine the contents of the black box. In so doing, a number of important economic problems be powerfully illuminated. The author clearly shows how specific features of individual technologies have shaped a number of (...) variables of great concern to economists: the rate of productivity improvement, the nature of learning processes underlying technological change itself, the speed of technology transfer, and the effectiveness of government policies that are intended to influence technologies in particular ways. The separate chapters of this book reflect a primary concern with some of the distinctive aspects of industrial technologies in the twentieth century, such as the increasing reliance upon science, but also the considerable subtlety and complexity of the dialectic between science and technology. Other concerns include the rapid growth in the development of costs associated with new technologies as well as the difficulty of predicting the eventual performance characteristics of newly emerging technologies. (shrink)
Simpson’s book provides a provocative and interesting reading of several important sections of the Phenomenology of Spirit. It treats this text as a whole as a study in the logic of induction, the logic of what it is to learn from experience. Simpson does not, therefore, consider Hegel’s work as “inductive” in the modern sense of adding facts upon facts in order to arrive at general conclusions. Rather, linking his employment of the term “induction” back to Aristotelian epistemology, he argues (...) that Hegel’s text develops as we learn from experience what is involved in learning from experience. In other words, he aims to read the Phenomenology in such a way that the concept of induction itself can be seen to develop inductively. The author presents his study as an elucidation of the sense in which the Phenomenology is rightly described by Hegel as presenting the “process of origination” of science as such or of knowledge. At the conclusion of his book, Simpson indicates briefly the way in which the “inductive” argument traced throughout Hegel’s “science of the experience of consciousness” both supports and coincides with the “deductive” side of Hegel’s argument that appears more often to be the focus of commentaries. Simpson’s thesis—that Hegel’s text traces a pathway whereby the capacity for conscious experiencing is shown to develop in response to progressively more sophisticated attempts to articulate and unify experience—seems quite plausible, and receives a capable and insightful defense here. (shrink)
As Vetter says, we are at the “beginning of the debate, not the end” (2015: 300) when it comes to evaluating her potentiality-based account of metaphysical modality. This paper contributes to this developing debate by highlighting three problems for Vetter’s account. Specifically, I begin (§1) by articulating some relevant details of Vetter’s potentiality-based view. This leads to the first issue (§2), concerning unclarity in the idea of degrees of potentiality. Similarly, the second issue (§3) raises trouble for Vetter’s proposed individuation (...) conditions for potentialities. Finally, the third issue (§4) is about apparently unmanifestable intrinsic potentialities, and suggests that there might be some deeper problems with anchoring metaphysical possibilities in concrete objects. More generally, though the issues detailed here are problematic, I do not take them to be fatal. However, they do show that, at minimum, further clarification of Vetter’s potentiality view is required. As Vetter says, we are at the “beginning of the debate, not the end” (2015: 300) when it comes to evaluating her potentiality-based account of metaphysical modality. This paper contributes to this developing debate by highlighting three problems for Vetter’s account. Specifically, I begin (§1) by articulating some relevant details of Vetter’s potentiality-based view. This leads to the first issue (§2), concerning unclarity in the idea of degrees of potentiality. Similarly, the second issue (§3) raises trouble for Vetter’s proposed individuation conditions for potentialities. Finally, the third issue (§4) is about apparently unmanifestable intrinsic potentialities, and suggests that there might be some deeper problems with anchoring metaphysical possibilities in concrete objects. More generally, though the issues detailed here are problematic, I do not take them to be fatal. However, they do show that, at minimum, further clarification of Vetter’s potentiality view is required. (shrink)