PhillipCary argues that Augustine invented or created the concept of self as an inner space--as space into which one can enter and in which one can find God. This concept of inwardness, says Cary, has worked its way deeply into the intellectual heritage of the West and many Western individuals have experienced themselves as inner selves. After surveying the idea of inwardness in Augustine's predecessors, Cary offers a re-examination of Augustine's own writings, making the controversial (...) point that in his early writings Augustine appears to hold that the human soul is quite literally divine. Cary goes on to contend that the crucial Book 7 of the Confessions is not a historical report of Augustine's "conversion" experience, but rather an explanation of his intellectual development over time. (shrink)
This book is, along with Inner Grace, a sequel to PhillipCary's Augustine and the Invention of the Inner Self. In this work, Cary argues that Augustine invented the expressionist type of semiotics widely taken for granted in modernity, where words are outward signs giving inadequate expression to what lies within the soul. Augustine uses this new semiotics to explain why the authority of external teaching, including Biblical authority, is useful but temporary, designed to lead to a (...) more permanent Platonist vision granted by the inner teacher, Christ, who is the eternal Wisdom of God. In fact, for Augustine we literally learn nothing from words or other outward signs, which are useful only as admonitions or reminders pointing out the right direction for us to look in order to see for ourselves, with the inner eye of our own mind. Even our knowledge of other people is ultimately a matter of seeing what is in their souls, not putting faith in their words. Cary argues that for Augustine outward signs cannot give us knowledge because all bodily things are fundamentally powerless, incapable of conveying an inner good to the soul. This also leaves no room for a concept of efficacious external means of grace DL not even the flesh of Christ. The sacraments, which Augustine was the first to describe as outward signs of inner grace, signify what is necessary for salvation but do not confer it. Baptism, for example, is necessary for salvation, but its power is found not in water or word but in the inner unity, charity, and peace of the church. Along with its companion work, Inner Grace, this careful and insightful book breaks new ground in the study of Augustine's theology of grace and sacraments. (shrink)
Abstract. The modern concept of the inner self containing a private inner world has ancient philosophical and religious roots. These begin with Plato's intelligible world of ideas. In Plotinus, the intelligible world becomes the inner world of the divine Mind and its ideas, which the soul sees by turning “into the inside.” Augustine made the inner world into something merely human, not a world of divine ideas, so that the soul seeking for God must turn in, then up: entering into (...) itself and then looking above itself at the intelligible light of God. In modernity, “ideas” become the immediate object of every act of mental perception, the essential inner objects of the mind's eye. Locke makes the inner space inescapably private, excluding the divine inner light. Postmodern attempts to reconceive the relation of mind and world, rejecting the modern conception of a private inner self, will need to deal with lingering Platonist intuitions about the immediacy of the mind's vision. (shrink)
This book is, along with Outward Signs, a sequel to PhillipCary's Augustine and the Invention of the Inner Self. In this work, Cary traces the development of Augustine's epochal doctrine of grace, arguing that it does not represent a rejection of Platonism in favor of a more purely Christian point of view DL a turning from Plato to Paul, as it is often portrayed. Instead, Augustine reads Paul and other Biblical texts in light of his Christian (...) Platonist inwardness, producing a new concept of grace as an essentially inward gift. For Augustine, grace is needed first of all to heal the mind so it may see God, but then also to help the will turn away from lower goods to love God as its eternal Good. Eventually, over the course of Augustine's career, the scope of the soul's need for grace expands outward to include not only the inner vision of the intellect and the power of love but even the initial gift of faith. At every stage, Augustine insists that divine grace does not compromise or coerce the human will but frees, heals, and helps it, precisely because grace is not an external force but an inner gift of delight leading to true happiness. As his polemic against the Pelagians develops, however, he does attribute more to grace and less to the power of free will. In the end, it is God's choice which makes the ultimate difference between the saved and the damned, and we cannot know why he chooses to save one person and not another. From this Augustinian doctrine of divine choice or election stem the characteristic pastoral problems of predestination, especially in Protestantism. A more external, indeed Jewish, doctrine of election would be more Biblical, Cary suggests, and would result in a less anxious experience of grace. Along with its companion work, Outward Signs, this careful and insightful book breaks new ground in the study of Augustine's theology of grace and sacraments. (shrink)
The essays in this book, by a variety of leading Augustine scholars, examine not only Augustine's multifaceted philosophy and its relation to his epoch-making theology, but also his practice as a philosopher, as well as his relation to other philosophers both before and after him. Thus the collection shows that Augustine's philosophy remains an influence and a provocation in a wide variety of settings today.
pt. 1. lecture 1. Philosophy and religion as traditions ; lecture 2. Plato's inquiries ; lecture 3. Plato's spirituality ; lecture 4. Plato and Aristotle ; lecture 5. Plotinus ; lecture 6. The Jewish scriptures ; lecture 7. Platonist philosophy and scriptural religion ; lecture 8. The New Testament ; lecture 9. Rabbinic Judaism ; lecture 10. Church Fathers ; lecture 11. The development of Christian Platonism ; lecture 12. Jewish rationalism and mysticism (six cassettes) -- pt. 2. lecture 13. (...) Classical theism-proofs and attributes of God ; lecture 14. Medieval Christian theology-nature and grace ; lecture 15. Late-medieval nominalism and Christian mysticism ; lecture 16. Protestantism-problems of grace ; lecture 17. Descartes, Locke, and the crisis of modernity ; lecture 18. Leibniz and theodicy ; lecture 19. Hume's Critique of religion ; lecture 20. Kant-reason limited to experience ; lecture 21. Kant-morality as the basis of religion ; lecture 22. Schleiermacher-feeling as the basis of religion (five cassettes) -- pt. 3. lecture 23. Hegel-a philosophical history of religion ; lecture 24. Marx and the hermeneutics of suspicion ; lecture 25. Kierkegaard-existentialism and the leap of faith ; lecture 26. Nietzsche-critic of Christian morality ; lecture 27. Neo-orthodoxy-the subject and object of faith ; lecture 28. Encountering the biblical other-Buber and Levinas ; lecture 29. Process philosophy-God in time ; lecture 30. Logical empiricism and the meaning of religion ; lecture 31. Reformed epistemology and the rationality of belief ; lecture 32. Conclusion-philosophy and religion today (five cassettes). (shrink)
Church father -- Christian Platonist -- Confessions, the search for wisdom -- Confession, love and tears -- Confessions, the road home -- Augustine's career as a Christian writer -- Faith, love, grace -- Evil, free will, original sin & predestination -- Signs and sacrament -- The inner self -- The trinity and the soul -- The city of God.
Since the publication of the successful animal trials of the Biobag, a prototypical extrauterine support for extremely premature neonates, numerous ethicists have debated the potential implications of such a device. Some have argued that the Biobag represents a natural evolution of traditional newborn intensive care, while others believe that the Biobag would create a new class of being for the patients housed within. Kingma and Finn argued in Bioethics for making a categorical distinction between fetuses, newborns and ‘gestatelings’ in a (...) Biobag on the basis of a conceptual distinction between ectogenesis versus ectogestation. Applying their arguments to the clinical realities of newborn intensive care, however, demonstrates the inapplicability of their ideas to the practice of medicine. Here, I present three clinical examples of the difficulty and confusion their argument would create for clinicians and offer a possible remedy: namely, discarding the term ‘artificial womb’ in favour of ‘Biobag’. (shrink)
What we must do is step back and take a grand view of the perspectives in order to understand it on a more particular level. If we can picture all of God’s attributes on a bar graph scale, all of God’s attributes would max out at 100% each. These attributes are always operating at 100%; at no time does any attribute diminish or decrease below 100%. However, there are times when one of His attributes shows forth more than another does, (...) but they are all operating at a maximum level. (shrink)
Human cognition is said to be systematic: cognitive ability generalizes to structurally related behaviours. The connectionist approach to cognitive theorizing has been strongly criticized for its failure to explain systematicity. Demonstrations of generalization notwithstanding, I show that two widely used networks (feedforward and recurrent) do not support systematicity under the condition of local input/output representations. For a connectionist explanation of systematicity, these results leave two choices, either: (1) develop models capable of systematicity under local input/output representations; or (2) justify the (...) choice of similarity-based (nonlocal) component representations sufficient for systematicity. (shrink)
In recent metaethics, moral realists have advanced a companions-in-guilt argument against moral nihilism. Proponents of this argument hold that the conclusion that there are no categorical normative reasons implies that there are no epistemic reasons. However, if there are no epistemic reasons, there are no epistemic reasons to believe nihilism. Therefore, nihilism is false or no one has epistemic reasons to believe it. While this argument is normally presented as a reply to Mackie, who introduced the term “companions-in-guilt” in his (...) Ethics: Inventing Right and Wrong of 1977, Herbert J. Phillips presented a form of this argument in Ethics in 1940. In this paper, I will discuss Phillips’ version of the companions-in-guilt argument, demonstrate how recent epistemology bears out an important premise of the argument, and compare Phillips’ argument to Derek Parfit’s recent work. (shrink)
At root, the systematicity debate over classical versus connectionist explanations for cognitive architecture turns on quantifying the degree to which human cognition is systematic. We introduce into the debate recent psychological data that provides strong support for the purely structure-based generalizations claimed by Fodor and Pylyshyn (1988). We then show, via simulation, that two widely used connectionist models (feedforward and simple recurrent networks) do not capture the same degree of generalization as human subjects. However, we show that this limitation is (...) overcome by tensor networks that support relational processing. (shrink)
D. Z. Phillips is a leading figure in advocating a Wittgensteinian approach to the philosophical study of religion. His writings exert an important influence on contemporary philosophy of religion, giving a new direction to the philosophical discussion of religious belief and practice. Although his work has prompted much - often critical - comment, a thorough investigation has not been forthcoming. Grammars of Faith fills that gap. The book pays close attention to Wittgenstein's own remarks on religious belief, arranging them against (...) the background of his broader philosophical methodology, as well as to the efforts of the early Wittgensteinians at providing a more comprehensive Wittgensteinian philosophy of religion. Central to this study are Phillips's understanding of philosophical enquiry as a form of contemplation, and his descriptive accounts of religious belief. By means of a careful and methodical examination of Phillips's oeuvre, the study seeks to present a fair assessment of Phillips's position, showing not only its weaknesses, but also its strength. (shrink)
Modern thought typically opposes the authority of tradition in the name of universal reason. Postmodernism begins with the insight that the sociohistorical context of tradition and its authority is inevitable, even in modernity. Modernity can no longer take itself for granted when it recognizes itself as a tradition that is opposed to traditions. The left-wing postmodernist response to this insight is to conclude that because tradition is inevitable, irrationality is inevitable. The right-wing postmodernist response is to see traditions as the (...) home of diverse forms of rationality. This requires an understanding of the Socratic, self-critical aspect of intellectual traditions, which include both modern sciences and the great world religions. (shrink)
Our concept of knowing of other persons ought to include respect for them. Since respect implies considering whether what they say is true, I propose that believing others’ words is a necessary condition of knowing them. I explore the contribution such belief makes to knowledge of other persons, as well as some surprising but welcome implications, including theological consequences.
We invited five Cavell scholars to write on this topic. What follows is a vibrant exchange among Paola Marrati, Andrew Norris, Jörg Volbers, Cary Wolfe and Thomas Dumm addressing the question whether, in the contemporary political context, Cavell’s skepticism and his Emersonian perfectionism amount to a politics at all.
Through a critique of Karl Rahner and an exegesis of John of Damascus, the article argues that there is no difference in essential logic between Greek and Latin Trinitarianism. In particular, both traditions establish an epistemic gap between the doctrine of the immanent Trinity and the doctrine of the economic Trinity, which (contrary to prevailing theological opinion) is well-placed, but does not imply that the inner self of the Trivine God remains hidden and unknown in the economy of salvation.