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This book offers new arguments for determinism. It draws novel and surprising consequences from determinism for our attitudes toward such things as death, regret, grief, and the meaning of life. The book argues that rationalism is the right attitude to take toward reality. It then shows that rationalism implies determinism and that determinism has surprising and far-reaching consequences. The author contends that the existence of all of humanity almost certainly depends on the precise time and manner of your death and mine; that purely retrospective regret, relief, gratitude, and grief are irrational for all but those who hold extreme values; and that everyone's life has an unending impact on the future and thereby achieves the strongest kind of meaning that it makes sense to desire. Written in a direct and accessible style, Determinism, Death, and Meaning will be of interest to researchers and advanced students working in metaphysics, philosophy of religion, and value theory, as well as general readers with a serious interest in these topics.
There is a constant drumbeat of commentary claiming that STEM subjects science, technology, engineering, and math are far more valuable in today's economy than traditional liberal arts courses such as philosophy or history. Many even claim that the liberal arts are ""under siege"" by neoliberal politicians and cost-conscious university administrators. In a forceful response, The Problem with Rules establishes the essential value of the liberal arts as the pedagogical pathway to critical thinking and moral character and argues for more not less emphasis in higher education. John Churchill asserts that the liberal arts are more than decorative frills. Drawing from the philosophy of Wittgenstein to craft a cogent, inspired argument, Churchill insists on the liberal arts' indispensable role, providing in this book a clarion call to politicians, university administrators, and all Americans to recognize and actively support and nurture the liberal arts.
This work is ''a systematic ontology.'' Ontology is the study of being as such, and a systematic ontology is an account of the most fundamental ways of being something or other - of what they are and of how they are related to each other. The questions it pursues are not primarily about what causes things, but about what things are or consist in - though causal questions cannot be totally avoided. The title of the work, What Is, and What Is in Itself, marks the most important distinction in ways of being. What is includes everything there is, but not everything there is included in what is in itself. The first five chapters of the book define and examine the ways of being: in chapters 1 and 2, being actual or existing, or even just being something without existing or being actual; in chapter 3, being an intentional object, and perhaps a merely intentional object; in chapter 4, relations between things and their properties; and in chapter 5, being a thing in itself. Chapter 6 discusses whether only conscious beings are things in themselves, and suggests an affirmative answer. Chapter 7 discusses the epistemology of ontology. Chapters 8 and 9 discuss issues about thisness and identity. And chapters 10 and 11 discuss mainly occasionalist and panentheist answers to questions about the causal unity of the universe.
Theological thought has long been focused on the meaning to be found in our existence, but it has tended to neglect what it might offer to those seeking how to prolong and improve our physical existence in this world. In conversation with twentieth-century materialist art and thought, this book presents a radical theology that engages directly with the political and ecological issues of our time. The book introduces a new thinker to the theological sphere, Russian avantgarde artist Liubov Popova (1889-1924). She was a woman acknowledged for her artistic and intellectual talent and yet is never discussed in relation to the twentieth-century thinkers with whom her ideas have obvious connections. Popova's art and thought are discussed together with thinkers like Walter Benjamin, Donna Haraway, Gilles Deleuze and Paul Tillich, along with ecotheological and theopolitical perspectives. Inspired by the activist creativity of avantgarde art, the book's final chapter, playfully yet with deadly seriousness, presents a manifesto for radical theology today. This is a work of theological activism that demonstrates the benefit of allowing new voices into the conversations around art, spirituality and our planet. As such, it will be of keen interest to academics in Theology, Religion and the Arts and the Philosophy of Religion.
Originally published in 1961, this book originated in the belief that there was an urgent need for a greater association between philosophers and scientists and of both with men of religion. The problem of bringing this association into being is approached from different angles by the two authors, who, while agreeing on the main thesis, differ on many details, and the discussion is largely concerned with an examination of the points of difference. It ranges over the significance of scientific concepts, such as ether, energy, space and time, the place of mathematics in science and of linguistics in philosophy, the nature of scientific thought in relation to the universe as a whole, problems of life, mind, ethics and theology. It also raises questions of importance concerning the present attitudes of organizations dealing with these matters towards their respective concerns. While the main purpose is always kept in view, a certain amount of discursiveness allows for the introduction of incidental matters of interest in themselves as well as in their relation to the central theme. The book has been written for the layman, and the student, while not, by over-simplification, offending the expert and the erudite.
Dante and the Other brings together noted and emerging Dante scholars with theologians, philosophers, psychoanalysts, and psychotherapists, bridging the Florentine's premodern world to today's postmodern context. Exploring how alterity has become a potent symbol in religion, philosophy, politics, and culture, this book will be of interest to many related fields. The book offers a thorough foundation in approaching Dante as proto-phenomenologist. It includes an informative review of literature, historical insight into Dante's poetics-toward-ineffability as alternative to modern scientism, a foray into science fiction, existential elaborations, phenomenological analyses of Inferno's Canto I, and applications to psychotherapy and qualitative research. It also contains a poem from an imagined Virgil retiring in Limbo, and a meditation on Dante's complicated relationship to homosexuality. Dante and the Other presents the mystical passion of apophatic spirituality, the millennia-spanning Augustinianism of radical orthodoxy, Levinas, Heidegger, and many others-all driven by Dante's Labors of Love. It is essential reading for Dante scholars, as well as readers interested in his works.
At the beginning of the thirteenth century the recovery by western Christendom from the Arabs, Jews and Greeks of the metaphysical treatises of Aristotle, and their translation into Latin, caused a ferment in the intellectual world comparable to that produced by Darwin in the nineteenth century. To vindicate traditional methodoxy Albertus Magnus undertook to harmonize the doctrines of the Church with the Peripatetic philosophy, and this work was carried to its conclusion by his pupil, St Thomas Aquinas, with such success that the latter has become the official philosopher of Roman Catholicism. The system of Aquinas centres in his conception of God, to the exposition and criticism of which this book is devoted.
In this ground-breaking study, Jc Beall shows that the fundamental "problem" of Christology is simple to see from the role that Christ occupies: the Christ figure is to have the divine and essentially limitless properties of the one and only God but Christ is equally to have the human, essentially limit-imposing properties involved in human nature, limits essentially involved in being human. The role that Christ occupies thereby appears to demand a contradiction: all of the limitlessness of God, and all of the limits of humans. This book lays out Beall's contradictory account of Jesus Christ - and thereby a contradictory Christian theology.
Applies Dogen Kigen's religious philosophy and the philosophy of Nishida Kitaro to the philosophical problem of personal identity, probing the applicability of the concept of non-self to the philosophical problems of selfhood, otherness, and temporality which culminate in the conundrum of personal identity.
How would Socrates and Plato react to a modern world where secularism and religious fundamentalism are growing while the gap between the human mind and animal mind is narrowing? Using some creative license mixed with real history, science, and philosophy, Seeking Perfection addresses that question. Matt J. Rossano uses a narrative/dialogue format to superimpose on modern times ancient Greece's two most eminent philosophers, along with its government and culture. The story begins with Plato's daring escape from Sicily, where he tutored Dionysius II in philosophy. On board his homebound ship, Plato recounts his experiences in Sicily. In this narrative, the intellectual difference between practical rewards and the pursuit of ideals provides the basis for a series of dialogue on science, secularism, religion, and the uniqueness of the human mind. Upon the ship's arrival home, Plato's mentor, Socrates, is arrested and his trial provides the venue for the book's final dialogue. The final dialogue serves as a counterweight to the earlier ones. Rossano begins and ends with a philosopher imprisoned by his views, indicative of one of its main messages: the true philosopher uses a well-disciplined mind and the best knowledge of the day to get as close to the truth as possible. In doing so, he invariably gets into trouble. This imaginatively constructed tale will absorb those interested in what the philosophical masters might say about today's world.
First published in 1959, Our Experience of God examines the relationship between philosophy and religion. The author argues that, we cannot construct a religion for ourselves out of merely philosophical elements, and that the attempt to provide some philosophical or similar substitute for religion, as it normally presents itself, is misconceived. It brings themes like religion and belief; belief and mystery; religion and transcendence; history and dogma; material factors in religion; symbolism and tradition; art and religion; religion and morality; and encounter and immediacy, to show that the place of philosophy in religion is not to provide proofs for beliefs but to make more explicit for us what is the nature and status of the beliefs we do hold and commend to others. This book will be of interest to scholars and researchers of religion, philosophy, and theology.
This unique collection of essays has two main purposes. The first is to honour the pioneering work of Cora Diamond, one of the most important living moral philosophers and certainly the most important working in the tradition inspired by Ludwig Wittgenstein. The second is to develop and deepen a picture of moral philosophy by carrying out new work in what Diamond has called the realistic spirit. The contributors in this book advance a first-order moral attitude that pays close attention to actual moral life and experience. Their essays, inspired by Diamond's work, take up pressing challenges in Anglo-American moral philosophy, including Diamond's defence of the concept 'human being' in ethics, her defence of literature as a source of moral thought that does not require external sanction from philosophy, her challenge to the standard 'fact/value' dichotomy, and her exploration of non-argumentative forms of legitimate moral persuasion. There are also essays that apply this framework to new issues such as the nature of love, the connections of ethics to theology, and the implications of Wittgenstein's thought for political philosophy. Finally, the book features a new paper by Diamond in which she contests deep-rooted philosophical assumptions about language that severely limit what philosophers see as the possibilities in ethics. Morality in a Realistic Spirit offers a tribute to a great moral philosopher in the best way possible-by taking up the living ideas in her work and taking them in original and interesting directions.
Contemporary research in philosophy of religion is dominated by traditional problems such as the nature of evil, arguments against theism, issues of foreknowledge and freedom, the divine attributes, and religious pluralism. This volume instead focuses on unrepresented and underrepresented issues in the discipline. The essays address how issues like race, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, feminist and pantheist conceptions of the divine, and nonhuman animals connect to existing issues in philosophy of religion. By staking out new avenues for future research, this book will be of interest to a wide range of scholars in analytic philosophy of religion and analytic philosophical theology.
Tradition and Transformation in Christian Art approaches tradition and transculturality in religious art from an Orthodox perspective that defines tradition as a dynamic field of exchanges and synergies between iconographic types and their variants. Relying on a new ontology of iconographic types, it explores one of the most significant ascetical and eschatological Christian images, the King of Glory (Man of Sorrows). This icon of the dead-living Christ originated in Byzantium, migrated west, and was promoted in the New World by Franciscan and Dominican missions. Themes include tensions between Byzantine and Latin spiritualities of penance and salvation, the participation of the body and gender in deification, and the theological plasticity of the Christian imaginary. Primitivist tendencies in Christian eschatology and modernism place avant-garde interest in New Mexican santos and Greek icons in tradition.
The medieval philosopher and theologian John Duns Scotus (1266-1308) was one of the great thinkers of Western intellectual culture, exerting a considerable influence over many centuries. He had a genius for original and subtle philosophical analysis, with the motive behind his philosophical method being his faith. His texts are famous not only for their complexity, but also for their brilliance, their systematic precision, and the profound faith revealed. The texts presented in this new commentary show that Scotus' thought is not moved by a love for the abstract or technical, but that a high level of abstraction and technicality was needed for his precise conceptual analysis of Christian faith. Presenting a selection of nine fundamental theological texts of Duns Scotus, some translated into English for the first time, this book provides detailed commentary on each text to reveal Scotus' conception of divine goodness and the nature of the human response to that goodness. Following an introduction which includes an overview of Scotus' life and works, the editors highlight Scotus' theological insights, many of which are explored here for the first time, and shed new light on topics which were, and still are, hotly discussed. Scotus is seen to be the first theologian in the history of Christian thought who succeeds in developing a consistent conceptual framework for the conviction that both God and human beings are essentially free. Offering unique insights into Scotus' theological writings and faith, and a particular contribution to contemporary debate on Scotus' ethics, this book contributes to a clearer understanding of the whole of Scotus' thought.
In this short book Peter Sloterdijk clarifies his views on religion and its role in pre-modern and modern societies. He begins by returning to the Mount Sinai episode in the Book of Exodus, where he identifies the emergence of what he calls the 'Sinai Schema'. At the core of monotheism is the logic of belonging to a community of confession, of being a true believer - this is what Sloterdijk calls the Sinai Schema. To be a member of a people means that you submit to the beliefs of the community just as you submit to its language. Monotheism is predicated on the logic of one God who demands your utmost loyalty. Hence at the core of monotheism is also the fear of apotheosis, of heresy, of heterodoxy. So monotheism is associated first and foremost with a certain kind of internal violence D namely, a violence against those who violate their membership through a break in loyalty and trust. On the basis of this analysis of the inner logic of monotheism, Sloterdijk retraces its historical legacy and shows how this account enables us to understand why we react so nervously today to all forms of fundamentalism - whether that of radical Islamists, the Catholic Pius Brotherhood or evangelical sects in the USA
Of all the topics in the history of philosophy, the history of different forms of thinking and contemplation is one of the most important, and yet is also relatively overlooked. What is it to think philosophically? How did different forms of thinking-reflection, contemplation, critique and analysis-emerge in different epochs? This collection offers a rich and diverse philosophical exploration of the history of contemplation, from the classical period to the twenty-first century. It covers canonical figures including Plato, Aristotle, Descartes and Kant, as well as debates in less well-known areas such as classical Indian and Islamic thought and the role of speculation in twentieth-century Russian philosophy. Comprising twenty-two chapters by an international team of contributors, the volume is divided into five parts: * Flourishing and Thinking from Homer to Hume * The Thinking of Thinking from Augustine to Goedel * Images and Thinking from Plotinus to Unger * Bodies of Thought and Habits of Thinking from Plato to Irigaray * The Efficacy of Thinking from Sextus to Bataille Thought: A Philosophical History is the first comprehensive investigation of the history of philosophical thought and contemplation. As such, it is a landmark publication for anyone researching and teaching the history of philosophy, and a valuable resource for those studying the subject in related fields such as literature, religion, sociology and the history of ideas.
Hannah Arendt (1906-1975) was a philosopher and political theorist of astonishing range and originality and one of the leading thinkers of the twentieth century. A former student of Martin Heidegger and Karl Jaspers, she fled Nazi Germany to Paris in 1933, and subsequently escaped from Vichy France to New York in 1941. The Origins of Totalitarianism (1951) made her famous. After visiting professorships at Princeton, Berkeley, and the University of Chicago, she took up a permanent position at the New School in 1967. Renowned for The Human Condition, On Revolution, and The Life of the Mind, she is also known for her brilliant but controversial reporting and analysis of Adolf Eichmann's 1961 trial in Jerusalem-an experience that led to her to coin the phrase "the banality of evil." In this outstanding introduction to Arendt's thought Dana Villa begins with a helpful overview of Arendt's life and intellectual development, before examining and assessing the following important topics: Arendt's analysis of the nature of political evil and the arguments of The Origins of Totalitarianism political freedom and political action and the arguments of On the Human Condition, especially Arendt's return to the ancient Greek polis and her critique of modernity modernity and revolution and Arendt's text On Revolution responsibility and judgment and her reporting of the Eichmann trial Arendt's view of contemplation and the fundamental faculties of mental life Arendt's rich legacy and influence, including her civic republican understanding of freedom and her influence on the Frankfurt School, communitarianism, and democratic theory. Including a chronology, chapter summaries, and suggestions for further reading, this indispensable guide to Arendt's philosophy will also be useful to those in related disciplines such as politics, sociology, history, and economics.
William Desmond s original and creative work in metaphysics is attracting more and more attention from philosophers of religion. Putting Desmond in conversation with John D. Caputo, an important philosopher of religion from the Continental tradition, Christopher Ben Simpson casts new light on Desmond s complex, multifaceted, and nuanced thought. The comparative approach allows Simpson to get at the core of recent debates in the philosophy of religion. He develops a rich understanding of how ethics and religion are informed by metaphysics, and contrasts this approach to the decidedly anti-metaphysical stance in Continental philosophy. Religion, Metaphysics, and the Postmodern presents a systematic analysis of Desmond's thought as it advances work on Caputo s thinking and on the philosophy of religion."
This thematic introduction to classical Islamic philosophy focuses on the most prevalent philosophical debates of the medieval Islamic world and their importance within the history of philosophy. Approaching the topics in a comprehensive and accessible way in this new volume, Luis Xavier Lopez-Farjeat, one of the co-editors of The Routledge Companion to Islamic Philosophy, makes classical Islamic philosophy approachable for both the new and returning student of the history of philosophy, medieval philosophy, the history of ideas, classical Islamic intellectual history, and the history of religion. Providing readers with a complete view of the most hotly contested debates in the Islamic philosophical tradition, Lopez-Farjeat discusses the development of theology (kalam) and philosophy ( falsafa) during the 'Abbasid period, including the translation of Aristotle into Arabic, the philosophy and theology of Islamic revelation, logic and philosophy of language, philosophy of natural science, metaphysics, psychology and cognition, and ethics and political philosophy. This volume serves as an indispensable tool for teachers, students, and independent learners aiming to discover the philosophical problems and ideas that defined the classical Islamic world. Key Features * Offers readers a broad, thorough view of the history of Islamic philosophy by using a thematic approach. * Traces the dialogues between philosophers and theologians about important and controversial topics. * Offers both historical descriptions of the key debates in classical Islamic philosophy and current interpretations by contemporary scholars. * Includes extensive lists for further reading at the end of each chapter, directing curious students to the best avenues for further research.
This book looks at how religious studies is framed and taught in India. It addresses the contradiction between the country's vibrant religious life and the dearth of comparative and social scientific religious studies programs across Indian universities. The volume: * Studies the efforts by Rabindranath Tagore in Santiniketan and Mohan Malaviya in Varanasi, to introduce and institutionalize religious studies in India; * Discusses the notions of religion and spirituality and situates the failure of the 'secularization thesis' in the context of modern India; * Provides concrete suggestions on how to develop religious studies in relation to global citizenship and Indian cultural heritage with the hope of initiating a larger discussion. A unique contribution to the study of religion in society and education, the book will be indispensable to students and researchers of theology, history, philosophy, sociology, secularization, globalization, religious studies, education studies, and South Asian studies.
Celebrated Catholic Press Award-winner, Fr. Ronald Rolheiser knows how to make faith real and tangible for the contemporary reader." The Shattered Lantern" invites us to rediscover that while not all seems well, or just, faith truly can make sense of it all.
Provides the requisite knowledge and practical guidelines for some of the most common counseling situations.
Today's rabbis, in addition to being spiritual leaders of their congregations, are also expected to be competent counselors to members of their community. Yet rabbis often feel inadequately prepared for the difficult challenges of their counseling role.
To many, rabbinic counseling appears deceptively simple, requiring no more than good intuition, fair judgment and sincere empathy. Good counseling, in reality, is a complex process requiring a combination of knowledge, skill, self-awareness and an understanding of human dynamics.
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