A medical information commons is a networked data environment utilized for research and clinical applications. At three deliberations across the U.S., we engaged 75 adults in two-day facilitated discussions on the ethical and social issues inherent to sharing data with an MIC. Deliberants made recommendations regarding opt-in consent, transparent data policies, public representation on MIC governing boards, and strict data security and privacy protection. Community engagement is critical to earning the public's trust.
Table of Contents -/- 1. Introduction and Overview: Two Entitlement Projects, Peter J. Graham, Nikolaj J.L.L. Pedersen, Zachary Bachman, and Luis Rosa -/- Part I. Engaging Burge's Project -/- 2. Entitlement: The Basis of Empirical Warrant, Tyler Burge 3. Perceptual Entitlement and Scepticism, Anthony Brueckner and Jon Altschul 4. Epistemic Entitlement Its Scope and Limits, Mikkel Gerken 5. Why Should Warrant Persist in Demon Worlds?, Peter J. Graham -/- Part II. Extending the Externalist Project -/- 6. Epistemic Entitlement and (...) Epistemic Competence, Ernest Sosa 7. Extended Entitlement, Adam Carter and Duncan Pritchard 8. Moorean Pragmatics, Social Comparisons and Common Knowledge, Allan Hazlett 9. Internalism and Entitlement to Rules and Methods, Joshua Schecter -/- Part III. Engaging Wright's Project -/- 10. Full Bloodied Entitlement, Martin Smith 11. Pluralist Consequentialist Anti-Scepticism, Nikolaj Jang Lee Linding Pedersen 12. Against (Neo-Wittensteinian) Entitlements, Annalisa Coliva 13. The Truth Fairy and the Indirect Consequentialist, Daniel Elstein and Carrie S. I. Jenkins 14. Knowledge for Nothing, Patrick Greenough . (shrink)
Heather M. Farley and Zachary A. Smith, Sustainability: If It’s Everything, Is It Nothing? xiv + 176 pp., index. New York: Routledge, 2014. $39.95 Leslie Paul Thiele, Sustainability. viii + 234 p., bibl., index. New York: Polity Press, 2013. $22.95 The authors of both of these books offer new definitions of sustainability. They do so in order to battle “faux interpretations” or “hypocritical” or “unsupported endorsements” of sustainability. While I think many people, including I expect many readers of (...) this journal, would agree that sustainability is a rather imprecise concept that sometimes gets misused, I am not convinced the definitions in these books offer a way forward. Partly this is due to the specific ways the authors develop their discussions, and partly it is due to issues connected to their shared methodological approach, viz. the search for a new, univocal, strong definition. After discussing each book, I examine briefly that shared .. (shrink)
Can new technology enhance purpose-driven, democratic dialogue in groups, governments, and societies? Online Deliberation: Design, Research, and Practice is the first book that attempts to sample the full range of work on online deliberation, forging new connections between academic research, technology designers, and practitioners. Since some of the most exciting innovations have occurred outside of traditional institutions, and those involved have often worked in relative isolation from each other, work in this growing field has often failed to reflect the full (...) set of perspectives on online deliberation. This volume is aimed at those working at the crossroads of information/communication technology and social science, and documents early findings in, and perspectives on, this new field by many of its pioneers. -/- CONTENTS: -/- Introduction: The Blossoming Field of Online Deliberation (Todd Davies, pp. 1-19) -/- Part I - Prospects for Online Civic Engagement -/- Chapter 1: Virtual Public Consultation: Prospects for Internet Deliberative Democracy (James S. Fishkin, pp. 23-35) -/- Chapter 2: Citizens Deliberating Online: Theory and Some Evidence (Vincent Price, pp. 37-58) -/- Chapter 3: Can Online Deliberation Improve Politics? Scientific Foundations for Success (Arthur Lupia, pp. 59-69) -/- Chapter 4: Deliberative Democracy, Online Discussion, and Project PICOLA (Public Informed Citizen Online Assembly) (Robert Cavalier with Miso Kim and Zachary Sam Zaiss, pp. 71-79) -/- Part II - Online Dialogue in the Wild -/- Chapter 5: Friends, Foes, and Fringe: Norms and Structure in Political Discussion Networks (John Kelly, Danyel Fisher, and Marc Smith, pp. 83-93) -/- Chapter 6: Searching the Net for Differences of Opinion (Warren Sack, John Kelly, and Michael Dale, pp. 95-104) -/- Chapter 7: Happy Accidents: Deliberation and Online Exposure to Opposing Views (Azi Lev-On and Bernard Manin, pp. 105-122) -/- Chapter 8: Rethinking Local Conversations on the Web (Sameer Ahuja, Manuel Pérez-Quiñones, and Andrea Kavanaugh, pp. 123-129) -/- Part III - Online Public Consultation -/- Chapter 9: Deliberation in E-Rulemaking? The Problem of Mass Participation (David Schlosberg, Steve Zavestoski, and Stuart Shulman, pp. 133-148) -/- Chapter 10: Turning GOLD into EPG: Lessons from Low-Tech Democratic Experimentalism for Electronic Rulemaking and Other Ventures in Cyberdemocracy (Peter M. Shane, pp. 149-162) -/- Chapter 11: Baudrillard and the Virtual Cow: Simulation Games and Citizen Participation (Hélène Michel and Dominique Kreziak, pp. 163-166) -/- Chapter 12: Using Web-Based Group Support Systems to Enhance Procedural Fairness in Administrative Decision Making in South Africa (Hossana Twinomurinzi and Jackie Phahlamohlaka, pp. 167-169) -/- Chapter 13: Citizen Participation Is Critical: An Example from Sweden (Tomas Ohlin, pp. 171-173) -/- Part IV - Online Deliberation in Organizations -/- Chapter 14: Online Deliberation in the Government of Canada: Organizing the Back Office (Elisabeth Richard, pp. 177-191) -/- Chapter 15: Political Action and Organization Building: An Internet-Based Engagement Model (Mark Cooper, pp. 193-202) -/- Chapter 16: Wiki Collaboration Within Political Parties: Benefits and Challenges (Kate Raynes-Goldie and David Fono, pp. 203-205) -/- Chapter 17: Debian’s Democracy (Gunnar Ristroph, pp. 207-211) -/- Chapter 18: Software Support for Face-to-Face Parliamentary Procedure (Dana Dahlstrom and Bayle Shanks, pp. 213-220) -/- Part V - Online Facilitation -/- Chapter 19: Deliberation on the Net: Lessons from a Field Experiment (June Woong Rhee and Eun-mee Kim, pp. 223-232) -/- Chapter 20: The Role of the Moderator: Problems and Possibilities for Government-Run Online Discussion Forums (Scott Wright, pp. 233-242) -/- Chapter 21: Silencing the Clatter: Removing Anonymity from a Corporate Online Community (Gilly Leshed, pp. 243-251) -/- Chapter 22: Facilitation and Inclusive Deliberation (Matthias Trénel, pp. 253-257) -/- Chapter 23: Rethinking the ‘Informed’ Participant: Precautions and Recommendations for the Design of Online Deliberation (Kevin S. Ramsey and Matthew W. Wilson, pp. 259-267) -/- Chapter 24: PerlNomic: Rule Making and Enforcement in Digital Shared Spaces (Mark E. Phair and Adam Bliss, pp. 269-271) -/- Part VI - Design of Deliberation Tools -/- Chapter 25: An Online Environment for Democratic Deliberation: Motivations, Principles, and Design (Todd Davies, Brendan O’Connor, Alex Cochran, Jonathan J. Effrat, Andrew Parker, Benjamin Newman, and Aaron Tam, pp. 275-292) -/- Chapter 26: Online Civic Deliberation with E-Liberate (Douglas Schuler, pp. 293-302) -/- Chapter 27: Parliament: A Module for Parliamentary Procedure Software (Bayle Shanks and Dana Dahlstrom, pp. 303-307) -/- Chapter 28: Decision Structure: A New Approach to Three Problems in Deliberation (Raymond J. Pingree, pp. 309-316) -/- Chapter 29: Design Requirements of Argument Mapping Software for Teaching Deliberation (Matthew W. Easterday, Jordan S. Kanarek, and Maralee Harrell, pp. 317-323) -/- Chapter 30: Email-Embedded Voting with eVote/Clerk (Marilyn Davis, pp. 325-327) -/- Epilogue: Understanding Diversity in the Field of Online Deliberation (Seeta Peña Gangadharan, pp. 329-358). -/- For individual chapter downloads, go to odbook.stanford.edu. (shrink)
Maynard Smith is right that one of the most striking features of contemporary biology is the ever-increasing prominence of the concept of information, along with related concepts like representation, programming, and coding. Maynard Smith is also right that this is surely a phenomenon which philosophers of science should examine closely. We should try to understand exactly what sorts of theoretical commitment are made when biological systems are described in these terms, and what connection there is between semantic descriptions (...) in biology and in other domains. (shrink)
One of the most important recent developments in the discussion of Kierkegaard's ethics is an interpretation defended, in different forms, by Philip Quinn and Stephen Evans. Both argue that a divine-command theory of moral obligation is to be found in Works of Love . Against this view, I argue that, despite significant overlap between DCT and the view of moral obligation found in Works of Love , there is at least one essential difference between the two: the former, but not (...) the latter, is committed to the claim that, necessarily, p is morally obligatory only if God commands that p. (shrink)
People convicted of crimes are subject to a criminal sentence, but they also face a host of other restrictive legal measures: Some are denied access to jobs, housing, welfare, the vote, or other goods. Some may be deported, may be subjected to continued detention, or may have their criminal records made publicly accessible. These measures are often more burdensome than the formal sentence itself. -/- In Beyond Punishment?, Zachary Hoskins offers a philosophical examination of these burdensome legal measures, called (...) collateral legal consequences. Drawing on resources in moral, legal, and political philosophy, Hoskins analyzes the various kinds of collateral consequences imposed in different legal systems and the important moral challenges they raise. Can collateral legal consequences ever be justified as forms of criminal punishment or as civil measures? Hoskins contends that, considered as forms of punishment, such restrictions should be constrained by considerations of proportionality and offender reform. He also argues that they may in a limited range of cases be permissible as risk-reductive civil measures. Whether considered as criminal punishment or civil measures, however, collateral legal consequences are justifiable in a far narrower range of cases than we find in current legal practice. -/- Considering just how pervasive collateral legal consequences have become and their dramatic effects on offenders' lives, Beyond Punishment? sheds valuable light on whether these restrictive measures are ever morally justified. (shrink)
Preface Introduction Christopher J. Berry: Adam Smith: Outline of Life, Times, and Legacy Part One: Adam Smith: Heritage and Contemporaries 1: Nicholas Phillipson: Adam Smith: A Biographer's Reflections 2: Leonidas Montes: Newtonianism and Adam Smith 3: Dennis C. Rasmussen: Adam Smith and Rousseau: Enlightenment and counter-Enlightenment 4: Christopher J. Berry: Adam Smith and Early Modern Thought Part Two: Adam Smith on Language, Art and Culture 5: Catherine Labio: Adam Smith's Aesthetics 6: James (...) Chandler: Adam Smith as Critic 7: Michael C. Amrozowicz: Adam Smith: History and Poetics 8: C. Jan Swearingen: Adam Smith on Language and Rhetoric: The Ethics of Style, Character, and Propriety Part Three: Adam Smith and Moral Philosophy 9: Christel Fricke: Adam Smith: The Sympathetic Process and the Origin and Function of Conscience 10: Duncan Kelly: Adam Smith and the Limits of Sympathy 11: Ryan Patrick Hanley: Adam Smith and Virtue 12: Eugene Heath: Adam Smith and Self-Interest Part Four: Adam Smith and Economics 13: Tony Aspromourgos: Adam Smith on Labour and Capital 14: Nerio Naldi: Adam Smith on Value and Prices 15: Hugh Rockoff: Adam Smith on Money, Banking, and the Price Level 16: Maria Pia Paganelli: Commercial Relations: from Adam Smith to Field Experiments Part Five: Adam Smith on History and Politics 17: Spiros Tegos: Adam Smith: Theorist of Corruption 18: David M. Levy & Sandra J. Peart: Adam Smith and the State: Language and Reform 19: Fabrizio Simon: Adam Smith and the Law 20: Edwin van de Haar: Adam Smith on Empire and International Relations Part Six: Adam Smith on Social Relations 21: Richard Boyd: Adam Smith, Civility, and Civil Society 22: Gavin Kennedy: Adam Smith on Religion 23: Samuel Fleischacker: Adam Smith and Equality 24: Maureen Harkin: Adam Smith and Women Part Seven; Adam Smith: Legacy and Influence 25: Spencer J. Pack: Adam Smith and Marx 26: Craig Smith: Adam Smith and the New Right 27: Tom Campbell: Adam Smith: Methods, Morals and Markets 28: Amartya Sen: The Contemporary Relevance of Adam Smith. (shrink)
What kind of evidence will lead people to revise their moral beliefs? Moral beliefs are often strongly held convictions, and existing research has shown that morality is rooted in emotion and socialization rather than deliberative reasoning. In addition, more general issues—such as confirmation bias—further impede coherent belief revision. Here, we explored a unique means for inducing belief revision. In two experiments, participants considered a moral dilemma in which an overwhelming majority of people judged that it was inappropriate to take action (...) to maximize utility. Their judgments contradicted a utilitarian principle they otherwise strongly endorsed. Exposure to this scenario led participants to revise their belief in the utilitarian principle, and this revision persisted over several hours. This method provides a new avenue for inducing belief revision. (shrink)
Attribution theorists assume that character information informs judgments of blame. But there is disagreement over why. One camp holds that character information is a fundamental determinant of blame. Another camp holds that character information merely provides evidence about the mental states and processes that determine responsibility. We argue for a two-channel view, where character simultaneously has fundamental and evidential effects on blame. In two large factorial studies (n = 495), participants rate whether someone is blameworthy when he makes a mistake (...) (burns a cake or misses a bus stop). Although mental state inferences predict blame judgments, character information does not. Using mediation analyses, we find that character information influences responsibility via two channels (Studies 3–4; n = 447), which are sensitive to different kinds of information (Study 5; n = 149). On the one hand, forgetfulness increases judgments of responsibility, because mental lapses manifest an objectionable character flaw. On the other hand, forgetfulness decreases judgments of state control, which in turn decreases responsibility judgments. These two channels cancel out, which is why we find no aggregate effect of forgetfulness on responsibility. Our results challenge several fundamental assumptions about the role of character information in moral judgment, including that good character typically mitigates blame. (shrink)
John E. Smith has contributed to contemporary philosophy in primarily four distinct capacities; first, as a philosopher of religion and God; second, as an indefatigable defender of philosophical reflection in its classical sense ( a sense inclusive of, but not limited to, metaphysics); third, as a participant in the reconstruction of experience and reason so boldly inaugurated by Hegel then redically transformed by the classical American pragmatists, and significantly augmented by such thinkers as Josiah Royce, william Earnest Hocking, and (...) Alfred North Whitehead; fourth, as an interpreter of philosophical texts and traditions (Kant, Hegel, and Nietzsche no less than Charles Peirce, WIlliam James and John Dewey; German idealism as well as American; the Augustinian tradition no less than the pragmatic). Reason, Experience, and God provides an important and comprehensive look at the work of John E. Smith by collected essays which each address aspects of his life-long work. A response by John E. Smith himself draws a line of continuity between the pieces. (shrink)
For decades, scholars in the social sciences and humanities have questioned the appropriateness and utility of prior review of their research by human subjects' ethics committees. This essay seeks to organize thematically some of their published complaints and to serve as a brief restatement of the major critiques of ethics review. In particular, it argues that 1) ethics committees impose silly restrictions, 2) ethics review is a solution in search of a problem, 3) ethics committees lack expertise, 4) ethics committees (...) apply inappropriate principles, 5) ethics review harms the innocent, and 6) better options exist. (shrink)
Orthodoxy holds that there is a determinate fact of the matter about every arithmetical claim. Little argument has been supplied in favour of orthodoxy, and work of Field, Warren and Waxman, and others suggests that the presumption in its favour is unjustified. This paper supports orthodoxy by establishing the determinacy of arithmetic in a well-motivated modal plural logic. Recasting this result in higher-order logic reveals that even the nominalist who thinks that there are only finitely many things should think that (...) there is some sense in which arithmetic is true and determinate. (shrink)
This book explores a question central to philosophy--namely, what does it take for a belief to be justified or rational? According to a widespread view, whether one has justification for believing a proposition is determined by how probable that proposition is, given one's evidence. In this book this view is rejected and replaced with another: in order for one to have justification for believing a proposition, one's evidence must normically support it--roughly, one's evidence must make the falsity of that proposition (...) abnormal in the sense of calling for special, independent explanation. This conception of justification bears upon a range of topics in epistemology and beyond. Ultimately, this way of looking at justification guides us to a new, unfamiliar picture of how we should respond to our evidence and manage our own fallibility. This picture is developed here. (shrink)
When Adam Smith published his celebrated writings on economics and moral philosophy he famously referred to the operation of an invisible hand. Adam Smith's Political Philosophy makes visible the invisible hand by examining its significance in Smith's political philosophy and relating it to similar concepts used by other philosophers, revealing a distinctive approach to social theory that stresses the significance of the unintended consequences of human action. This book introduces greater conceptual clarity to the discussion of the (...) invisible hand and the related concept of unintended order in the work of Smith and in political theory more generally. By examining the application of spontaneous order ideas in the work of Smith, Hume, Hayek and Popper, Adam Smith's Political Philosophy traces similarities in approach and from these builds a conceptual, composite model of an invisible hand argument. While setting out a clear model of the idea of spontaneous order the book also builds the case for using the idea of spontaneous order as an explanatory social theory, with chapters on its application in the fields of science, moral philosophy, law and government. (shrink)
The theory of Gestalt qualities arose from the attempt to explain how a melody is distinct from the collection of the tones which it comprehends. In this essay from 1890 Christian von Ehrenfels coined the term 'Gestaltqualität' to capture the idea of a pattern which is comprehensible in a single experience. This idea can be applied not only to melodies and other occurrent patterns, but also to continuant patterns such as shapes and colour arrays such as the array of a (...) chess board. Ehrenfel's essay gave birth to the Gestalt movement in psychology. (shrink)
"Adam Smith is widely regarded as the founder of political economy and one of the great thinkers of the Enlightenment period. Best-known for his founding work of economics, The Wealth of Nations, Smith's thought engaged equally with the nature of morality, above all in his Theory of Moral Sentiments. Smith's brilliance leaves us with an important question, however: Was he first and foremost a moral philosopher, who happened to turn to economics for part of his career? In (...) this outstanding philosophical introduction Samuel Fleischacker argues that Smith is a superb example of the broadly curious thinkers who flourished in the Enlightenment; one for whom morality, politics and economics were just a few of the many fascinating subjects that could be illuminated by naturalistic modes of investigation. After a helpful overview of his life and work, Fleischacker examines the full range of Smith's thought, including: epistemology, philosophy of science and aesthetics, moral sentimentalism, moral approval, sympathy, and judgement, the character of virtue advantages and disadvantages of Smith's moral philosophy, Smith's views on religion, justice and jurisprudence, governmental policy, economic principles, Smith's philosophical legacy and his place in the history of liberalism. Including chapter summaries, suggestions for further reading and a glossary, Adam Smith is essential reading for those studying ethics, political philosophy, the history of philosophy, and the Enlightenment, as well as those reading Smith in related disciplines such as economics, law and religion"--. (shrink)
People have always been xenophobic, but an explicit philosophical and scientific view of human racial difference only began to emerge during the modern period. Why and how did this happen? Surveying a range of philosophical and natural-scientific texts, dating from the Spanish Renaissance to the German Enlightenment, Nature, Human Nature, and Human Difference charts the evolution of the modern concept of race and shows that natural philosophy, particularly efforts to taxonomize and to order nature, played a crucial role. Smith (...) demonstrates how the denial of moral equality between Europeans and non-Europeans resulted from converging philosophical and scientific developments, including a declining belief in human nature's universality and the rise of biological classification. The racial typing of human beings grew from the need to understand humanity within an all-encompassing system of nature, alongside plants, minerals, primates, and other animals. While racial difference as seen through science did not arise in order to justify the enslavement of people, it became a rationalization and buttress for the practices of trans-Atlantic slavery. From the work of François Bernier to G. W. Leibniz, Immanuel Kant, and others, Smith delves into philosophy's part in the legacy and damages of modern racism. With a broad narrative stretching over two centuries, Nature, Human Nature, and Human Difference takes a critical historical look at how the racial categories that we divide ourselves into came into being. (shrink)
There are many actions that we attribute, at least colloquially, to states. Given their size and influence, states are able to inflict harm far beyond the reach of a single individual. But there is a great deal of unclarity about exactly who is implicated in that kind of harm, and how we should think about responsibility for it. It is a commonplace assumption that democratic publics both authorize and have control over what their states do; that their states act in (...) their name and on their behalf. In Not In Their Name, Holly Lawford-Smith approaches these questions from the perspective of social ontology, asking whether the state is a collective agent, and whether ordinary citizens are members of that agent. If it is, and they are, there’s a clear case for democratic collective culpability. She explores alternative conceptions of the state and of membership in the state; alternative conceptions of collective agency applied to the state; the normative implications of membership in the state; and both culpability (from the inside) and responsibility (from the outside) for what the state does. Ultimately, Lawford-Smith argues for the exculpation of ordinary citizens and the inculpation of those working in public services. (shrink)
In this paper, I defend divine conceptualism against one prominent critique from William Lane Craig in his book God and Abstract Objects. Craig argues that the divine conceptualist’s only way out of the “bootstrapping objection” results in an unpalatable concession of defeat to the metaphysical anti-realist. Craig’s argument depends on an analysis whereby God is causally or logically prior to the divine concepts. As such, the conceptualist may resist it by adopting—following Ralph Cudworth—a version of divine conceptualism which does not (...) construe the relationship between God and His thoughts as one of either causal or logical priority. (shrink)
Quentin Smith offers powerful arguments against the New Theory of Reference propounded by leading thhinkers in the philosophy of language. Smith defends the tensed theory of time and argues that the simultaneity is absoltue, basing this position on the theory that all propositions exist in time. Using detailed propostitions and a theory of cognitive significance, he introduces an alternative interpretation of reference that will be relevant to metaphysicians, philosophers of science and philosophers of language and may come to (...) be recognised as the definitive statement on the tensed theory of time. (shrink)
Adam Smith was a famous economist and moral philosopher. This book treats Smith also as a systematic philosopher with a distinct epistemology, an original theory of the passions, and a surprising philosophy mind. The book argues that there is a close, moral connection between Smith's systematic thought and his policy recommendations.
Adam Smith wrote two books, one about economics and the other about morality. How do these books go together? How do markets and morality mix? James Otteson provides a comprehensive examination and interpretation of Smith's moral theory and demonstrates how his conception of morality applies to his understanding of markets, language and other social institutions. Considering Smith's notions of natural sympathy, the impartial spectator, human nature and human conscience, the author addresses whether Smith thinks that moral (...) judgments enjoy a transcendent sanction. (shrink)
What should we do if we cannot figure what morality requires of us? Holly M. Smith argues that the best moral codes solve this problem by offering two tiers, one of which tells us what makes acts right and wrong, and the other of which provides user-friendly decision guides. She opens a path towards resolving a deep problem of moral life.
We all think that science is special. Its products—its technological spin-off—dominate our lives which are thereby sometimes enriched and sometimes impoverished but always affected. Even the most outlandish critics of science such as Feyerabend implicitly recognize its success. Feyerabend told us that science was a congame. Scientists had so successfully hood-winked us into adopting its ideology that other equally legitimate forms of activity—alchemy, witchcraft and magic—lost out. He conjured up a vision of much enriched lives if only we could free (...) ourselves from the domination of the ‘one true ideology’ of science just as our ancestors freed us from the domination of the Church. But he told us these things in Switzerland and in California happily commuting between them in that most ubiquitous product of science—the aeroplane. (shrink)
Theology and the University in Nineteenth-Century Germany examines the dual transformation of institutions and ideas that led to the emergence of theology as science, the paradigmatic project of modern theology associated with Friedrich Schleiermacher. Beginning with earlier educational reforms across central Europe and especially following the upheavals of the Napoleonic period, an impressive list of provocateurs, iconoclasts, and guardians of the old faith all confronted the nature of the university, the organization of knowledge, and the unity of theology's various parts, (...) quandaries which together bore the collective name of 'theological encyclopedia'. Schleiermacher's remarkably influential programme pioneered the structure and content of the theological curriculum and laid the groundwork for theology's historicization. Zachary Purvis offers a comprehensive investigation of Schleiermacher's programme through the era's two predominant schools: speculative theology and mediating theology. Purvis highlights that the endeavour ultimately collapsed in the context of Wilhelmine Germany and the Weimar Republic, beset by the rise of religious studies, radical disciplinary specialization, a crisis of historicism, and the attacks of dialectical theology. In short, the project represented university theology par excellence. Engaging in detail with these developments, Purvis weaves the story of modern university theology into the broader tapestry of German and European intellectual culture, with periodic comparisons to other national contexts. In doing so, he Purvis presents a substantially new way to understand the relationship between theology and the university, both in nineteenth-century Germany and, indeed, beyond. (shrink)
There is an undercurrent to be detected in Anselm's record of the meditative experience that issued in the Ontological Argument and, although it points to a profound and perennial problem in the interpretation of religion, this undercurrent has been largely ignored. The Argument, as is well known, moves entirely within the medium of reflective meaning focused on the idea of God and, unlike the cosmological arguments of later theologians, it makes no appeal whatever to a principle of causality or to (...) the discovery of a sufficient reason for finite existence. Anselm seems to have had his own sense of what one may call the unadulterated rationalism of the Argument when, in his own words, he wondered, ‘if perhaps it might be possible to find one single argument that for its proof required no other save itself, and that by itself would suffice to prove that God really exists’. Here we are entirely within that inner chamber of the mind so dear to the Augustinian tradition, a mind from which one is to exclude all thought save that of God. The task of the one who reflects is to penetrate the inner meaning of this thought in order to discover what it implies beyond what is evident on the surface. With such an eminently rational or logical aim occupying the centre of attention, it is quite understandable that the presence of another, and quite opposed, concern should have been overlooked - Anselm's concern, namely, to transcend, as it were, the medium of thought itself, and enter into the presence of God. The reason that this concern introduces a tension in the search for a proof is that the realization of presence would seem to render proof superfluous, while the inference in an argument - especially one moving towards existence – inevitably suggests, in some sense and to some degree, the absence of what is sought for. (shrink)
Some decades ago in his intriguing book on Jonathan Edwards, Perry Miller used to great effect the device of supposing a two-fold biography of Edwards, an external one consisting of the historical record embracing the major events of his life and times, and an internal one aimed at an interpretation of the mind of Edwards and the development of his thought.
Adam Smith’s ‘natural price’ has long been interpreted as a ‘normal price’ or ‘centre of gravitation price’ based on the famous gravitation metaphor of the Wealth of Nations I.vii, natural in the sense that it is the price that would … More ›.