In "A Cosmological Argument for a Self-Caused Universe ," one of us (Smith) argued that the universe explains its own existence because (i) its existence is entailed by (and so explained by) the existence of the infinitely many instantaneous universe states that compose it, and (ii) each of those states is caused by (and so explained by) infinitely many earlier universe states. Moreover, (ii) is true even if the universe is finitely old because, given standard Big Bang cosmology (Friedmann (...) cosmology), the universe does not exist at t0 (i.e., the Big Bang singularity is not real) and no matter how close some moment tn (at which the universe does exist) is to t0, there are infinitely many (indeed continuum-many) moments at which the universe exists that are even closer. Thus, even a finitely old universe has no beginning in the sense of a first moment, and hence its state at any moment is (sufficiently) caused by (all of) the universe states that precede it. Further, since this explanation of the existence of the universe is complete despite making no reference to God, and since God by definition is a part of any complete explanation of the universe, it follows that God does not exist. (shrink)
This major volume assembles leading scholars to address and explain the significance of Paul Ricoeur's extraordinary body of work. Ricoeur's work is of seminal importance to the development of hermeneutics, phenomenology, and ideology critique in the human sciences. Opening with three key essays from Ricoeur himself--on Europe, fragility and responsibility, and love and justice--this fascinating volume offers a tour of his work ranging across topics such as the hermeneutics of action, narrative force, and the other and deconstruction, while discussing (...) his work in the context of such contemporary thinkers as Heidegger, Levinas, Arendt, and Gadamer. Offering a very useful overview of Paul Ricoeur's enormous contribution to modern thought, Paul Ricoeur will be invaluable for students and academics across the social and human sciences and philosophy. (shrink)
The self-portrait of an intellectual reveals his childhood in Vienna, wounds at the Russian front in the German army, encounters with the famous, innumerable love affairs, four marriages, and refusal to accept a "petrified and tyrannical ...
To claim that Hayden White has yet to be read seriously as a philosopher of history might seem false on the face of it. But do tropes and the rest provide any epistemic rationale for differing representations of historical events found in histories? As an explanation of White’s influence on philosophy of history, such a proffered emphasis only generates a puzzle with regard to taking White seriously, and not an answer to the question of why his efforts should be worthy (...) of any philosophical attention at all. For what makes his emphasis on narrative structure and its associated tropes of philosophical relevance? What, it may well be asked, did any theory that draws its categories from a stock provided by literary criticism contribute to explicating problems with regard to the warranting of claims about knowledge, explanation, or causation that represent those concerns that philosophy typically brings to this field? Robert Doran’s anthologizing of previously uncollected pieces, ranging as they do over a literal half-century of White’s published work, offers an opportunity to identify explicitly those philosophical themes and arguments that regularly and prominently feature there. Moreover, White’s essays in this volume demonstrate a credible knowledge of and interest in mainstream analytic philosophers of his era and also reveal White as deeply influenced by or well acquainted with other important philosophers of history. White thus invites a reading of his work as philosophy, and this volume presents the opportunity for accepting it as such. (shrink)
When Swiss artist Paul Klee died in 1940, he left behind not only paintings that are a testament to his prodigious skill and vision but also a trove of writings and lectures that highlight his impressive intellectual prowess. Paul Klee: Philosophical Vision: From Nature to Art is the fully illustrated catalog accompanying an eponymous exhibition opening in 2012 at the McMullen Museum of Art that focuses on the philosophical depth of Klee's art. Demonstrating how ideas developed in Klee's (...) written work are realized in his paintings, Paul Kleeputs a keen emphasis on the artist as philosopher, both in his theoretical writings and in his artistic works. Klee's philosophy of nature and of the genesis of natural things is explored, as are the ways in which Klee translated these ideas into form, line, and color. His paintings are also decoded to reveal Klee as an astute critic of modern society, taking up topics as various as the impact of technology on art and the political failures of Germany that led to the rise of Hitler and Nazism. The exhibition and catalog will also look at twentieth- and twenty-first-century philosophers who have discussed Klee's work, including Benjamin, Heidegger, Foucault, and Merleau-Ponty, and will articulate the broad impact that Klee's art has had on recent philosophical thought. This book brings together contributions by an international group of scholars and also includes a new translation of Klee's "On Modern Art." A beautiful and rigorous treatment of one of the twentiethcentury's most famous painters, Paul Klee not only reveals the man himself as a thinker and artist, but also creates a larger paradigm for how philosophical ideas shape art, and vice versa. (shrink)
I explore some of the ways that assumptions about the nature of substance shape metaphysical debates about the structure of Reality. Assumptions about the priority of substance play a role in an argument for monism, are embedded in certain pluralist metaphysical treatments of laws of nature, and are central to discussions of substantivalism and relationalism. I will then argue that we should reject such assumptions and collapse the categorical distinction between substance and property.
Proponents of the extended mind have suggested that phenomenal transparency may be important to the way we evaluate putative cases of cognitive extension. In particular, it has been suggested that in order for a bio-external resource to count as part of the machinery of the mind, it must qualify as a form of transparent equipment or transparent technology. The present paper challenges this claim. It also challenges the idea that phenomenological properties can be used to settle disputes regarding the constitutional (...) status of bio-external resources in episodes of extended cognizing. Rather than regard phenomenal transparency as a criterion for cognitive extension, we suggest that transparency is a feature of situations that support the ascription of certain cognitive/mental dispositional properties to both ourselves and others. By directing attention to the forces and factors that motivate disposition ascriptions, we arrive at a clearer picture of the role of transparency in arguments for extended cognition and the extended mind. As it turns out, transparency is neither necessary nor sufficient for cognitive extension, but this does not mean that it is entirely irrelevant to our understanding of the circumstances in which episodes of extended cognizing are apt to arise. (shrink)
The paper discusses some aspects of the relationship between Feyerabend and Kuhn. First, some biographical remarks concerning their connections are made. Second, four characteristics of Feyerabend and Kuhn's concept of incommensurability are discussed. Third, Feyerabend's general criticism of Kuhn's Structure of Scientific Revolutions is reconstructed. Forth and more specifically, Feyerabend's criticism of Kuhn's evaluation of normal science is critically investigated. Finally, Feyerabend's re-evaluation of Kuhn's philosophy towards the end of his life is presented.
Jean-Paul Sartre is one of the most famous philosophers of the twentieth century. The principal founder of existentialism, a political thinker and famous novelist and dramatist, his work has exerted enormous influence in philosophy, literature, politics and cultural studies. Jean-Paul Sartre: Basic Writings is the first collection of Sartre's key philosophical writings and provides an indispensable resource for readers of his work. Stephen Priest's clear and helpful introductions make the volume an ideal companion to those coming to Sartre's (...) writing for the first time. (shrink)
Jean-Paul Sartre is one of the most famous philosophers of the twentieth century. The principle founder of existentialism, a political thinker and famous novelist and dramatist, his work has exerted enormous influence in philosophy, literature, politics and cultural studies. Jean-Paul Sartre: Basic Writings is the first collection of Sartre's key philosophical writings and provides an indispensable resource for all students and readers of his work. Stephen Priest's clear and helpful introductions set each reading in context, making the volume (...) an ideal companion to those coming to Sartre's writings for the first time. (shrink)
Paul and Religion demonstrates the continuing and contemporary relevance of the most important, and most controversial, figure of early Christianity. Paul Gooch interrogates the Pauline writings for their meaning as well as implications for religion as an entire form of life, a stance on the world expressed in distinctive practices. Bringing a philosophical approach to this topic, he connects Paul's ideas to lived experience. In a conversational style, Gooch explores Paul's experience of grace and his dismissal (...) of distinctive markers of religious identity in favour of love as binding together a community. Contrary to common expectations, he finds within Paul's letters material for conversations about issues in our day, such as gender and sexuality. From his close reading of the Letters, Gooch argues that the Pauline religious form of life is not identical with institutional Christianity. Indeed, his conclusions may be welcome to those who belong to other faiths. (shrink)
This volume is a collection of essays in appreciation, analysis and honor of Paul Ziff, one of the leading American philosophers of the post-World War II period. The essays address questions that loomed large in Ziff's own work. Essays by Zeno Vendler, Jay Rosenberg, and Tom Patton address topics in philosophy of language: understanding, misunderstanding, rules, regularities, and proper names. Michael Resnik examines the nature of numbers, Rita Nolan addresses `mutant predicates', and Peter Alexander discusses microscopes and corpuscles. Douglas (...) C. Long ruminates on Ziff's claim that machines can neither think nor feel. The essays of Dale Jamieson, Bill E. Lawson, Douglas Dempster, and Joseph Ullian address various questions in aesthetics: aesthetic appreciation and morality, expression, the scope of appreciation, and the aesthetics of sport. In the spirit of Ziff, Douglas Stalker criticizes some of the `mush' that looms large in our intellectual lives. The volume begins with a reminiscence by Paul Benacerraf, and ends with selections from an unpublished volume of plays by Paul Ziff. The volume should appeal to anyone whose work has been influenced by Ziff, or is interested in central philosophical problems concerning language, mind, and art. (shrink)
This collection of essays by philosophers and educationalists of international reputation, all published here for the first time, celebrates Paul Hirst's professional career. The introductory essay by Robin Barrow and Patricia White outlines Paul Hirst's career and maps the shifts in his thought about education, showing how his views on teacher education, the curriculum and educational aims are interrelated. Contributions from leading names in British and American philosophy of education cover themes ranging from the nature of good teaching (...) to Wittgensteinian aesthetics. The collection concludes with a paper in which Paul Hirst sets out his latest views on the nature of education and its aims. The book also includes a complete bibliography of works by Hirst and a substantial set of references to his writing. (shrink)