In The City of God , XI, 10, St Augustine claims that the divine nature is simple because ‘it is what it has’ . We may take this as a slogan for the Doctrine of Divine Simplicity , a doctrine which finds its way into orthodox medieval Christian theological speculation. Like the doctrine of God's timeless eternality, the DDS has seemed obvious and pious to many, and incoherent, misguided, and repugnant to others. Unlike the doctrine of God's timeless eternality, the (...) DDS has received very little critical attention. The DDS did not originate with Augustine, but I am not primarily concerned with its pedigree. Nor am I concerned to ask how the doctrine interacts with trinitarian speculation. I will have my hands full as it is. In Section I of this paper I shall provide a rough characterization of the DDS, indicate its complexity, and focus on a particular aspect of the doctrine which will exercise us in the remainder of the paper, namely, the thesis that the divine attributes are all identical with each other and with God. In section n I shall discuss Alvin Plantinga's recent objections to Aquinas' version of the DDS. I shall then offer a more detailed presentation of what I take to be Aquinas' version , and recast it in terms of a theory of attributes which is significantly different from Plantinga's . Although the recasting of the doctrine will enable me to rebut Plantinga's objections , it by no means solves all the problems of the DDS. In section vi I shall discuss the chief lingering problem facing a defender of the DDS. (shrink)
The doctrine of divine simplicity, the doctrine that God has no physical or metaphysical complexity whatsoever, is not a doctrine designed to induce immediate philosophical acquiescence. There are severe questions about its coherence. And even if those questions can be answered satisfactorily in favour of the doctrine, there remains the question why anyone should accept it. Thomas V. Morris raises both sorts of questions about a version of the doctrine which I have put forward. In the following pages I shall (...) respond to what I take to be the most serious of Morris's objections. I shall argue that the doctrine survives Morris's onslaught, but that one observation of his points it in a direction I had hitherto not taken seriously. The bulk of Morris's paper raises questions of the first sort; perforce the bulk of my paper will also. I shall offer, at the end, a reason for thinking that neither of us is yet in a position to pronounce categorically on the second question. My remarks in this paper constitute an interim report on how I think things presently stand with divine simplicity. (shrink)
[pt. 1] Gerald Heard's psychological approach to the problem of the nature of history. (Reprinted from Social science, v. 15, no. 3, July, 1940)--[pt. 2] Troeltsch's theory of history. (Reprinted from the Personalist, v. 28, no. 1, 1947.
But in Why I Am Not a Secularist, distinguished political theorist William E. Connolly argues that secularism, although admirable in its pursuit of freedom and diversity, too often undercuts these goals through its narrow and intolerant ...
1 Non-reductive physicalists deny that there is any explanation of mentality in purely physical terms, but do not deny that the mental is entirely determined by and constituted out of underlying physical structures. There are important issues about the stability of such a view which teeters on the edge of explanatory reductionism on the one side and dualism on the other (see Kim 1998). 2 Save perhaps for eliminative materialism (see Churchland 1981 for a classic exposition). In fact, however, while.
Does a hard-headed realist approach to international politics necessarily involve scepticism towards progressive foreign policy initiatives and global reform? Should proponents of realism always be seen as morally complacent and politically combative? In this major reconsideration of the main figures of international political theory, Bill Scheuerman challenges conventional wisdom to reveal a neglected tradition of progressive realism with much to contribute to contemporary debates about international policy-making and world government. Far from seeing international reform as well-meaning but potentially irresponsible idealism, (...) progressive realists like E.H. Carr, John Herz, Hans J. Morgenthau, and Reinhold Niebuhr developed forward-looking ideas which offer an indispensable corrective to many presently influential views about global politics. Progressive realism, Scheuerman argues, offers a compelling and provocative vision of radical global change which - when properly interpreted, can help buttress current efforts to address the most pressing international issues. After recovering key subterranean strands in mid-twentieth century realism, Scheuerman underscores their relevance to contemporary international theory. Criticizing more recent realists for abandoning their tradition's best insights, he also demonstrates that reform-minded international theories - including versions of cosmopolitanism, constructivism, the English School, liberalism, and republicanism - could all benefit from taking Progressive Realism seriously. A major contribution both to the history of international relations and contemporary debates in international theory, The Realist Case for Global Reform concludes by considering how progressive realism informs the foreign policies of US President Barack Obama. (shrink)
The ideas of Hans Morgenthau dominated the study of international politics in the United States for many decades. He was the leading representative of Realist international relations theory in the last century and his work remains hugely influential in the field. In this engaging and accessible new study of his work, William E. Scheuerman provides a comprehensive and illuminating introduction to Morgenthau’s ideas, and assesses their significance for political theory and international politics. Scheuerman shows Morgenthau to be an uneasy (...) Realist, uncomfortable with conventional notions of Realism and sometimes unsure whether his reflections should be grouped under its rubric. He was a powerful critic of the existing state system and defended the idea of a world state. By highlighting Morgenthau’s engagement with the leading lights of European political and legal theory, Scheuerman argues that he developed a morally demanding political ethics and an astute diagnosis of the unprecedented perils posed by nuclear weaponry. Believing that the irrationalities of US foreign policy were rooted partly in domestic factors, he sympathized with demands for radical political and social change. Scheuerman illustrates that Morgenthau’s thinking has been widely misunderstood by both disciples and critics and that it offers many challenges to contemporary Realists who discount his normative aspirations. With the advent of the cosmopolitan goal of international reform, Morgenthau’s work serves up an unsettling mix of sympathy and hard-headed skepticism which remains crucially important in the development of the field. Lucidly and persuasively written, this book will be a valuable resource for students and scholars seeking to understand the continued importance of Morgenthau’s thinking. (shrink)
In _The Fragility of Things_, eminent theorist William E. Connolly focuses on several self-organizing ecologies that help to constitute our world. These interacting geological, biological, and climate systems, some of which harbor creative capacities, are depreciated by that brand of neoliberalism that confines self-organization to economic markets and equates the latter with impersonal rationality. Neoliberal practice thus fails to address the fragilities it exacerbates. Engaging a diverse range of thinkers, from Friedrich Hayek, Michel Foucault, Hesiod, and Immanuel Kant to (...) Voltaire, Terrence Deacon, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Alfred North Whitehead, Connolly brings the sense of fragility alive as he rethinks the idea of freedom. Urging the Left not to abandon the state but to reclaim it, he also explores scales of politics below and beyond the state. The contemporary response to fragility requires a militant pluralist assemblage composed of those sharing affinities of spirituality across differences of creed, class, gender, sexual orientation, and ethnicity. (shrink)
In _Facing the Planetary_ William E. Connolly expands his influential work on the politics of pluralization, capitalism, fragility, and secularism to address the complexities of climate change and to complicate notions of the Anthropocene. Focusing on planetary processes—including the ocean conveyor, glacier flows, tectonic plates, and species evolution—he combines a critical understanding of capitalism with an appreciation of how such nonhuman systems periodically change on their own. Drawing upon scientists and intellectuals such as Lynn Margulis, Michael Benton, Alfred North (...) Whitehead, Anna Tsing, Mahatma Gandhi, Wangari Maathai, Pope Francis, Bruno Latour, and Naomi Klein, Connolly focuses on the gap between those regions creating the most climate change and those suffering most from it. He addresses the creative potential of a "politics of swarming" by which people in different regions and social positions coalesce to reshape dominant priorities. He also explores how those displaying spiritual affinities across differences in creed can energize a militant assemblage that is already underway. (shrink)
William Connolly presents a lucid and concise defense of the thesis of "essentially contested concepts" that can well be read as a general introduction to political theory, as well as for its challenge to the prevailing understanding of political discourse. In Connolly's view, the language of politics is not a neutral medium that conveys ideas independently formed but an institutionalized structure of meanings that channels political thought and action in certain directions. In the new preface he pursues the implications (...) of this perspective for a distinctive conception of ethics and democracy. (shrink)
Strawson’s case in favor of panpsychism is at heart an updated version of a venerable form of argument I’ll call the ‘intrinsic nature’ argument. It is an extremely interesting argument which deploys all sorts of high caliber metaphysical weaponry (despite the ‘down home’ appeals to common sense which Strawson frequently makes). The argument is also subtle and intricate. So let’s spend some time trying to articulate its general form.
Over the past two decades, the renowned political theorist William E. Connolly has developed a powerful theory of pluralism as the basis of a territorial politics. In this concise volume, Connolly launches a new defense of pluralism, contending that it has a renewed relevance in light of pressing global and national concerns, including the war in Iraq, the movement for a Palestinian state, and the fight for gay and lesbian rights. Connolly contends that deep, multidimensional pluralism is the best (...) way to promote justice and inclusion without violence. He advocates a deep pluralism—in contrast to shallow, secular pluralism—that helps to create space for different groups to bring their religious faiths into the public realm. This form of deep pluralism extends far beyond faith, encompassing multiple dimensions of social and personal lives, including household organization and sexuality. Connolly looks at pluralism not only in light of faith but also in relation to evil, ethics, relativism, globalization, and sovereignty. In the process, he engages many writers and theorists—among them, Spinoza, William James, Henri Bergson, Marcel Proust, Gilles Deleuze, Giorgio Agamben, Talal Asad, Michael Hardt, and Antonio Negri. _Pluralism_ is the first book in which Connolly explains the relationship between pluralism and the experience of time, and he offers readings of several films that address how time is understood, including _Time Code_, _Far from Heaven_, _Waking Life_, and _The Maltese Falcon_. In this necessary book Connolly brings a compelling, accessible philosophical critique together with his personal commitment to an inclusive political agenda to suggest how we might—and why we must—cultivate pluralism within both society and ourselves. (shrink)
Complexity, agency, and time -- The vicissitudes of experience -- Belief, spirituality, and time -- The human predicament -- Capital flows, sovereign decisions, and world resonance machines -- The theorist and the seer.
This is the first full-length study in English of twentieth-century Germany's most influential authoritarian right-wing political theorist, Carl Schmitt, that focuses on the central place of his attack on the liberal rule of law. This is also the first book in any language to devote substantial attention to Schmitt's subterranean influence on some of the most important voices in political thought in the United States after 1945.
Scholarly and political interest in the controversial 20th Century German thinker Carl Schmitt has exploded in the last twenty years. This volume, focusing directly on Schmitt’s complex ideas about law, situates his views within broader debates about the rule of law and its fate, taking seriously his Nazi-era political and legal writings.
Suppose that God exists: what difference would that make to the world? The answer depends on the nature of God and the nature of the world. In this book, William E. Mann argues in one new and sixteen previously published essays for a modern interpretation of a traditional conception of God as a simple, necessarily existing, personal being. Divine simplicity entails that God has no physical composition or temporal stages; that there is in God no distinction between essence and (...) existence; that there is no partitioning of God's mental life into beliefs, desires, and intentions. God is thus a spiritual, eternal being, dependent on nothing else, whose essence is to exist and whose mode of existence is identical with omniscience, omnipotence, and perfectly goodness. In metaphysical contrast, the world is a spatial matrix populated most conspicuously by finite physical objects whose careers proceed sequentially from past to present to future. Mann defends a view according to which the world was created out of nothing and is sustained in existence from moment to moment by God. The differences in metaphysical status between creator and creatures raise questions for which Mann suggests answers. How can God know contingent facts and necessary truths without depending on them? Why is it so easy to overlook God's presence? Why would self-sufficient God create anything? Wouldn't a perfect God create the best world possible? Can God be free? Can we be free if God's power is continuously necessary to sustain us in existence? If God does sustain us, is God an accomplice whenever we sin? Mann responds to the Euthyphro dilemma by arguing for a kind of divine command metaethical theory, whose normative content lays emphasis on love. Given the metaphysical differences between us, how can there be loving relationships between God and creatures? Mann responds by examining the notions of piety and hope. (shrink)
William E. Connolly’s writings have pushed the leading edge of political theory, first in North America and then in Europe as well, for more than two decades now. This book draws on his numerous influential books and articles to provide a coherent and comprehensive overview of his significant contribution to the field of political theory. The book focuses in particular on three key areas of his thinking: Democracy: his work in democratic theory – through his critical challenges to the (...) traditions of Rawlsian theories of justice and Habermasian theories of deliberative democracy – has spurred the creation of a fertile and powerful new literature Pluralism: Connolly's work utterly transformed the terrain of the field by helping to resignify pluralism: from a conservative theory of order based on the status quo into a radical theory of democratic contestation based on a progressive political vision The Terms of Political Theory: Connolly has changed the language in which Anglo-American political theory is spoken, and entirely shuffled the pack with which political theorists work. (shrink)
In this new installation of his work, William E. Connolly examines entanglements between volatile earth processes and emerging cultural practices. He highlights relays between extractive capitalism, self-amplifying climate processes, migrations, democratic aspirations, and fascist dangers. In three interwoven essays, Connolly takes up thinkers in the "minor tradition" of European thought who, unlike Cartesians and Kantians, cross divisions between nature and culture. He first offers readings of Sophocles and Mary Shelley, asking whether close attention to the Anthropocene could perhaps have (...) arrived earlier had later humanists absorbed their lessons. He then joins Deleuze and Guattari's notion of an abstract machine with contemporary earth sciences, doing so to compare the Antique Little Ice Age in late Rome to relays today between extractive capitalism and accelerating climate processes. The final essay stages a dialogue between Alfred North Whitehead and Michel Foucault about the pursuit of truth during a time of planetary turbulence. With _Climate Machines, Fascist Drives, and Truth_, Connolly forges incisive interventions into key issues of our time. (shrink)
We can know some things about each others' mental lives. The view that some of this knowledge is genuinely perceptual is getting traction. But the idea that we can see any of each others' mental states themselves - the Simple Perceptual Hypothesis - remains unpopular. Very often the view that we can perceptually know, for example, that James is angry, is thought to depend either on our awareness of James' expression or on the way James appears - versions of what (...) I call the Expressive Hypothesis. The Expressive Hypothesis is intuitive. But in this chapter I argue that it does not allow us to do away with the thought that we sometimes perceive people's mental states. I take my arguments to provide some tentative support for the Simple Perceptual Hypothesis. (shrink)
How does the experience of busyness impact democratic political life? My hunch is that those reading this essay might very well offer the following answer: busyness means that we relegate political activities to the bottom of a long and sometimes tedious laundry list of “things to get done.” In fact, many of us no longer even bother to include the basic activities of citizenship –getting informed about the issues, deliberating with our peers about matters of common concern, attending a political (...) meeting, or even voting —on the list in the first place. Like this author, many of you probably feel somewhat guilty about this as well, and thus try to compensate in some way or another… At worst, busyness generates political disinterest and apathy: many of our fellow citizens openly describe the most fundamental form of democratic participation, the vote, as “a waste of time.” At best, it seems to privilege an acceleration of political activity: we seek speedy and rapidly consummated types of involvement that do not unduly add to the enormous time pressures we already feel. Unfortunately, it remains unclear whether even such high-speed forms of citizen involvement are normatively satisfactory. Can liberal democracy flourish when a growing number of us avoid the responsibilities of citizenship altogether, while even those of us who try to remain politically involved insist that they be dealt with quickly and painlessly? In this essay, I hope at the very least to deepen our understanding of this quagmire. If I am not mistaken, it provides a useful starting point for examining one of the core challenges of contemporary political life: how can we make sure that busyness and citizenship coexist in a potentially fruitful, though by no means necessarily harmonious, relationship? (shrink)
Contents: PART 1. MODELS IN SCIENTIFIC PROCESSES. Joseph AGASSI: Why there is no theory of models. Ma??l??gorzata CZARNOCKA: Models and symbolic nature of knowledge. Adam GROBLER: The representational and the non-representational in models of scientific theories. Stephan HARTMANN: Models as a tool for the theory construction; some strategies of preliminary physics. William HERFEL: Nonlinear dynamical models as concrete construction. Elzbieta KA??L??USZY??N??SKA: Styles of thinking. Stathis PSILLOS: The cognitive interplay between theories and models: the case of 19th century optics. PART (...) 2. TOOLS OF SCIENCE. Nancy D. CARTWRIGHT, Towfic SHOMAR, Maricio SUAREZ: The tool-box of science. Javier ECHEVERRIA: The four contexts of scientific activity. Katline HAVAS: Continuity and change; kinds of negation in scientific progress. Matthias KAISER: The independence of scientific phenomena. W??l??adys??l??aw KRAJEWSKI: Scientific meta-philosophy. Ilkka NIINILUOTO: The emergence if scientific specialities: six models. Leszek NOWAK: Antirealism, realism and idealization. Rinat M. NUGAYEV: Classic, modern and postmodern scientific unification. Veikko RANTALA: Translation and scientific change. Gerhard SCHURZ: Theories and their applications - a case of nonmonotonic reasoning. Witold STRAWI??N??SKI: The unity of science today. Vardan TOROSIAN: Are the ethic and logic of science compatible. PART 3. UNSHARP APPROACHES IN SCIENCE. Ernest W. ADAMS: Problems and prospects in a theory of inexact first-order theories. Wolfgang BALZER and Gerhard ZOUBEK: On the comparison of approximative empirical claims. Gianpierro CATTANEO, Maria Luisa DALLA CHIARA, Roberto GIUNTINI: The unsharp approaches to quantum theory. Theo A.F. KUIPERS: Falsification versus efficient truth approximation. Bernhard LAUTH: Limiting decidability and probability. Jaros??l??aw PYKACZ: Many-valued logics in foundations of quantum mechanics. Roman R. ZAPATRIN: Logico-algebraic approach to spacetime quantization. (shrink)