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William James's Revolutionary Philosophy
William James claimed that his Pragmatism: A New Name for Some Old Ways of Thinking would prove triumphant and epoch-making. Today, after more than 100 years, how is pragmatism to be understood? What has been its cultural and philosophical impact? Is it a crucial resource for current problems and for life and thought in the future? John J. Stuhr and the distinguished contributors to this multidisciplinary volume address these questions, situating them in personal, philosophical, political, American, and global contexts. Engaging James in original ways, these 11 essays probe and extend the significance of pragmatism as they focus on four major, overlapping themes: pragmatism and American culture; pragmatism as a method of thinking and settling disagreements; pragmatism as theory of truth; and pragmatism as a mood, attitude, or temperament.
A Twelfth-Century Philosopher in His Context and Ours
Abelard in Four Dimensions: A Twelfth-Century Philosopher in His Context and Ours by John Marenbon, one of the leading scholars of medieval philosophy and a specialist on Abelard's thought, originated from a set of lectures in the distinguished Conway Lectures in Medieval Studies series and provides new interpretations of central areas of Peter Abelard's philosophy and its influence. The four dimensions of Abelard to which the title refers are that of the past (Abelard's predecessors), present (his works in context), future (the influence of his thinking up to the seventeenth century), and the present-day philosophical culture in which Abelard's works are still discussed and his arguments debated. For readers new to Abelard, this book provides an introduction to his life and works along with discussion of his central ideas in semantics, ethics, metaphysics, and philosophy of religion. For specialists, the book contains new arguments about the authenticity and chronology of his logical work, fresh evidence about Abelard’s relations with Anselm and Hugh of St. Victor, a new understanding of how he combines the necessity of divine action with human freedom, and reinterpretations of important passages in which he discusses semantics and metaphysics. For all historians of philosophy, it sets out and illustrates a new methodological approach, which can be used for any thinker in any period and will help to overcome the divisions between "historians" based in philosophy departments and scholars with historical or philological training.
"This excellent books is bound to stir debate on the abortion issue and to occupy a rather distinctive position." â€”R.G. Frey, Bowling Green State University With the current composition of the Supreme Court and recent challenges to Roe v. Wade, Peter S. Wenz's new approach to the ethical, moral, and legal issues related to a woman's right to elective abortion may turn the tide in this debate. He argues that the Supreme Court reached the right decision in Roe v. Wade but for the wrong reasons. Wenz contends that a woman's right to terminated her pregnancy should be based, not on her constitutional right to privacy, but on the constitutional guarantee of religious freedom, a basis for freedom of choice that is not subject to the legal criticisms advanced against Roe. At least up to the 20th week of a pregnancy, one's belief whether a human fetus is a human person or not is a religious decision. He maintains that because questions about the moral status of a fetus are religious, it follows that anti-abortion legislation, to the extent that it is predicated on such "inherently religious beliefs," is unconstitutional. In this timely and topical book, Wenz also examines related cases that deal with government intervention in an individual's procreative life, the regulation of contraceptives, and other legislation that is either applied to or imposed upon select groups of people (e.g., homosexuals, drug addicts). He builds a concrete argument that could replace Roe v. Wade. Reviews "In this important study of abortion and the Constitiution, legal philosopher Peter Wenz contends that Roe v. Wade was wrongly argued but well conlcuded. Wenz presents a substantial review of Supreme Court decisions on abortion, then critically exposes flaws, including the privacy justification for abortion as well as the trimester scheme. â€”Religious Studies Review "In this major work, Peter Wenz has analyzed the relation of the Constitution's religion clauses to the abortion controversy. His principal contribution is to shift the argument from the right of privacy (invoked, he believes, unsuccessfully in Roe v. Wade) to the Establishment Clause. The Court's concern in Roe was whether the statute unduly burdened a fundamental right. But tested by the Establishment Clause, statutes may violate the Constitution by implicitly endorsing a religious belief, namely, the personhood of the unborn. Wenz concludes that the Establishment Clause permits abortions prior to the twenty-first week of pregnancy." â€”C. Herman Prichett, Professor of Political Science Emeritus, University of California, Santa Barbara "This is an original and scholarly exposition of the view that abortion rights fall under the religion clauses of the First Amendment. The view defended is an important alternative to the privacy defense upon which the Roe v. Wade decision was based and should help to expand the ethical and constitutional debate about abortion rights." â€”Mary Anne Warren, Associate Professor of Philosophy, San Francisco State University, and author of Gendercide: The Implications of Sex Selection Contents Preface Introduction Roe v. Wade under Attack â€¢ Individual Rights and Majority Rule â€¢ Constitutional Interpretation â€¢ Preview of Chapters 1. The Derivation of Roe v. Wade Economic Substantive Due Process â€¢ Due Process and the Family â€¢ Contraception and Privacy in Griswold v. Connecticut â€¢ Contraception and Privacy in Eisenstadt v. Baird â€¢ Blackmun's Privacy Rationale in Roe v. Wade â€¢ Stewart's Due Process Rationale in Roe v. Wade â€¢ Tribe on Substantive Due Process â€¢ Conclusion 2. Potentiality and Viability The Roe v. Wade Decision â€¢ The Concept of Viability in Abortion Cases â€¢ Dividing the Gestational Continuum â€¢ The Genetic Approach to Personhood â€¢ Viability versus Similarity to Newborns â€¢ Two Consequentialist Arguments â€¢ Feminism and Viability â€¢ Conclusion 3. The Evolution of "Religion" Religion in the Abortion Debate â€¢ The Original Understanding of the Religion Clauses â€¢ The Evolution of Religion Clause Doctrine â€¢ Incorporation of the Religion Clauses â€¢ From Belief to Practice â€¢ Alleviating Indirect Burdens on Religious Practice â€¢ Expanding the Meaning of "Religion" â€¢ The Original Understanding View â€¢ Bork: Conservative or Moderate? â€¢ Conflicts between the Religion Clauses â€¢ The Elusive Meaning of "Religion" â€¢ Conclusion 4. The Definition of "Religion" The Adjectival Sense of Religion â€¢ Religious Beliefs Independent of Organized Religions â€¢ Religious Belief as Fundamental to Organized Religion â€¢ Secular Beliefs Related to Material Reality â€¢ Secular Beliefs Related to Social Interaction â€¢ Secular Facts versus Secular Values â€¢ The Court's Characterizations of Secular Beliefs â€¢ Secular (Nonreligious) Belief â€¢ The Epistemological Standard for Distinguishing Religious from Secular Belief â€¢ Judicial Examples of Religious Beliefs â€¢ General Characteristics of Religious Beliefs â€¢ Summary 5. "Religion" in Court The Epistemological Standard Applied â€¢ Cults and Crazies â€¢ Secular Religions â€¢ Tensions between the Religion Clauses â€¢ The Unitary Definition of "Religion" 6. Fetal Personhood as Religious Belief Anti-Contraception Laws and the Establishment Clause â€¢ Belief in the Existence of God â€¢ Belief in the Personhood of Young Fetuses â€¢ Distinguishing Religious from Secular Determinations of Fetal Personhood â€¢ Religious versus Secular Uncertainty â€¢ Environmental Preservation and Animal Protection versus Fetal Value â€¢ Greenawalt's Argument â€¢ The Reach of Secular Considerations â€¢ Secular versus Religious Matters â€¢ Conclusion 7. The Regulation of Abortion The Trimester Framework and Its Exceptions â€¢ O'Connor's Objections to the Trimester Framework â€¢ Superiority of the Establishment Clause Approach to the Trimester Framework â€¢ Required Efforts to Save the Fetus â€¢ The Neutrality Principle â€¢ Appropriate Judicial Skepticism â€¢ Undue Burdens and Unconstitutional Endorsements â€¢ Conclusion 8. Abortion and Others Public Funding of Abortion â€¢ The Establishment Clause Approach to Public Funding â€¢ The Court's Funding Rationale â€¢ The Court's Inconsistent Rationale â€¢ Publicly Funded Family Planning Clinics â€¢ Spousal Consent â€¢ The Court's Flawed Parental Consent Rationale â€¢ Information Requirements â€¢ Spousal and Parental Consent â€¢ The Establishment Clause Approach: Medical Dimension â€¢ The Establishment Clause Approach: Religious Dimension â€¢ Implications of the Establishment Clause Approach â€¢ The Court's Inconsistency â€¢ Equivalent Results â€¢ Parental Notification â€¢ Conclusion Conclusion Justice Scalia's View â€¢ The Fundamental Flaw in Roe â€¢ The Rationale for the Establishment Clause Approach â€¢ Advantages of the Establishment Clause Approach Notes Glossary of Terms Annotated Table of Cases Bibliography Index About the Author(s): Peter S. Wenz is Professor of Philosophy and Legal Studies at Sangamon State University.
Personal Meaning and Religious Authority
German rabbi, scholar, and theologian Abraham Geiger (1810--1874) is recognized as the principal leader of the Reform movement in German Judaism. In his new work, Ken Koltun-Fromm argues that for Geiger personal meaning in religion -- rather than rote ritual practice or acceptance of dogma -- was the key to religion's moral authority. In five chapters, the book explores issues central to Geiger's work that speak to contemporary Jewish practice -- historical memory, biblical interpretation, ritual and gender practices, rabbinic authority, and Jewish education. This is essential reading for scholars, rabbis, rabbinical students, and informed Jewish readers interested in Conservative and Reform Judaism.
Published with the generous support of the Lucius N. Littauer Foundation.
The Call of Transcendence
Abraham Joshua Heschel (1907-1972) was a prolific scholar, impassioned theologian, and prominent activist who participated in the black civil rights movement and the campaign against the Vietnam War. He has been hailed as a hero, honored as a visionary, and endlessly quoted as a devotional writer. In this sympathetic, yet critical, examination, Shai Held elicits the overarching themes and unity of Heschel’s incisive and insightful thought. Focusing on the idea of transcendence—or the movement from self-centeredness to God-centeredness—Held puts Heschel into dialogue with contemporary Jewish thinkers, Christian theologians, devotional writers, and philosophers of religion.
This book will appeal to professional scholars and graduate students with an interest in Aristotles ethics and in ethics generally. It proposes comprehensive interpretations of some difficult passages in Aristotles two major ethical works ( the Nicomachean Ethics and the Eudemian Ethics ). It brings to bear upon the analysis of human behavior passages in Aristotles logical works and in his Physics. It also draws connections among areas of particular interest to contemporary ethics: action theory, the analysis of practical reason, and virtue ethics.
Miller's Metaphysics of Democracy
The ancient antagonism between the active and the contemplative lives is taken up in this innovative and wide-ranging examination of John William Miller’s effort to forge a metaphysics of democracy. The Active Life sheds new light on Miller’s actualist philosophy—its scope, its systematic character, and its dialectical form. Michael J. McGandy persuasively sets Miller’s actualism in the context of Hannah Arendt’s understanding of the active life and skillfully presents actualism as a response to Whitman’s challenge to craft a democratic form of metaphysics. McGandy concludes that Miller reveals how the philosophical and the political are inextricably connected, how there is no active life without the contemplative life, and that the contemplative life is founded in the active life.
At a time of great and increasing interest in the work of Emmanuel Levinas, this volume draws readers into what Levinas described as "philosophy itself" "a discourse always addressed to another." Thus the philosopher himself provides the thread that runs through these essays on his writings, one guided by the importance of the fact of being addressed the significance of the Saying much more than the Said. The authors, leading Levinas scholars and interpreters from across the globe, explore the philosopher's relationship to a wide range of intellectual traditions, including theology, philosophy of culture, Jewish thought, phenomenology, and the history of philosophy. They also engage Levinas's contribution to ethics, politics, law, justice, psychoanalysis and epistemology, among other themes.
The Convent Philosophy of Port-Royal
In seventeenth-century France, southwest of Paris, the Port-Royal convent became the center of the Jansenist movement and of its adherents’ resistance to church and throne. Three abbesses from the Arnauld family spearheaded this resistance: Mère Angélique Arnauld (1591-1661), Mère Agnès Arnauld (1593-1671), and Mère Angélique de Saint-Jean Arnauld d'Andilly (1624-1684). Although many books have been written about the tragic lives of the Port-Royal nuns, John J. Conley provides the first study of the radical Augustinian philosophy developed by these remarkable abbesses during decades of persecution by Louis XIV and his ecclesiastical allies. Openly declaring themselves “disciples of Saint Augustine,” the Arnauld abbesses forged a philosophy notable for its original treatment of the attributes that stressed divine otherness; a moral philosophy of virtue rooted in grace; and a politics that supported the right of women to resist abuses of religious and civil authority. Although their philosophy was clearly influenced by their male Jansenist mentors, the nuns’ radical Augustinianism maintains its own gendered originality: their philosophy of virtue is closely tied to practices valued in a contemplative convent setting; their defense of freedom of conscience is linked to their defense of women’s right to exercise religious authority; and their negative theology, focused on divine incomprehensibility, depicts a God beyond sexual difference. A fascinating account that includes translations ranging from abbatial conferences to private letters, Adoration and Annihilation is an important chronicle of the doctrinal battles of early modern Catholicism.