State University of New York Press

SUNY series in Constructive Postmodern Thought (discontinued)

David Ray Griffin

Published by: State University of New York Press

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SUNY series in Constructive Postmodern Thought (discontinued)

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End of Modern Medicine, The

Biomedical Science under a Microscope

The End of Modern Medicine chronicles the work of a small, influential band of medical theorists and clinicians who over the past decade have sought to redress the physical fundamentalism of the biomedical model that shaped their professional training. Laurence Foss challenges the prevailing medical model whereby mind and body are essentially separated, and charts a new “psychobiological” course. Asking fresh questions, raising new possibilities, probing long-established preconceptions, Foss presents a radically reconfigured medical model. This model accounts for the full range of findings in the experimental literature, most notably those surfacing over the past quarter century in psychophysiological studies which show a correlation between psychosocial variables and disease susceptibility that are in line with what more basic sciences tell us about the behavior of material systems and the nature of scientific explanation. Foss also critically analyzes the regulative ideals of today’s medical research community and puts modern science itself, from which these ideals derive, under a microscope.

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Higher Education in the Making

Pragmatism, Whitehead, and the Canon

George Allan argues that the so-called “culture wars” in higher education are the result of the dogmatic and unyielding certainty that both canonists and anti-canonists bring to any discussion of how best to organize an undergraduate curriculum. He then proposes a middle way. Drawing from William James, John Dewey, and Alfred North Whitehead, he contrasts the absolutist claims of both canonists and anti-canonists with a fallibilist approach and argues for a more pragmatic canon that is normative and always in need of renovation. A wide variety of voices are heard in Allan’s conversation about the nature and meaning of an education canon, including philosophers Aristotle, Descartes, Arthur Lovejoy, Hannah Arendt, Spengler, Emerson, Lyotard, and Rorty. Contemporary voices include Eva Brann, Charles Anderson, Francis Oakley, Martha Nussbaum, Gerald Graff, Henry Louis Gates Jr., and Bill Readings.

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Jewish Theology and Process Thought

Presents essays by Jewish thinkers who have found process thought to be a useful framework for contemporary Jewish thought and a set of conversations between Jewish and Christian thinkers on the appropriateness of process thought for Judaism and Christianity. This collection constitutes the first extended discussion of the relationship between Judaism and process thought. In the last half century the philosophies of Alfred North Whitehead and Charles Hartshorne have become important sources for contemporary theological reflection. Recently, a number of Jewish thinkers have examined process thought as a potentially valuable resource for postmodern Jewish theology. This book brings together many Jewish thinkers who have pioneered this discussion. Jewish thinkers who have found process thought to be a useful framework for contemporary Jewish thought discuss issues that are primarily theological, such as God’s transcendence and immanence, the problem of evil, the idea of revelation. Also included is a dialogue between Jewish and Christian thinkers on the appropriateness of process thought for their religious traditions. Critical reflection on the continuities and discontinuities between Judaism and the process model is also covered.

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Mothership Connections

A Black Atlantic Synthesis of Neoclassical Metaphysics and Black Theology

Bringing a black Atlantic approach to constructive postmodern efforts to understand and transcend modern worldviews and modern world orders, Mothership Connections draws upon the work of scholars in the tradition of W. E. B. Du Bois, Charles H. Long, Alfred North Whitehead, and Charles Hartshorne. The author shows that connections to the originating influences of transatlantic slavery and black Atlantic experiences are essential to any adequate account of modernity and postmodernity. He also argues that metaphysics is essential to theology and moral theory, synthesizing neoclassical metaphysics and black theology to develop a black Atlantic account of metaphysical aspects of struggle, power, and ethical deliberation.

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Physics and Whitehead

Quantum, Process, and Experience

Featuring discussions and dialogue by prominent scientists and philosophers, this book explores the rich interface of contemporary physics and Whitehead-inspired process thought. The contributors share the conviction that quantum physics not only corroborates many of Whitehead’s philosophical theses, but is also illuminated by them. Thus, though differing in perspective or emphasis, the contributions by Geoffrey Chew, David Finkelstein, Henry Stapp and other scientists conceptually dovetail with those of Philip Clayton, Jorge Nobo, Yutaka Tanaka and other process philosophers.

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Postmodernism and Public Policy

Reframing Religion, Culture, Education, Sexuality, Class, Race, Politics, and the Economy

One of America’s preeminent systematic theologians, John B. Cobb Jr. examines a range of social issues in his latest groundbreaking work, Postmodernism and Public Policy. Cobb uses a naturalistic postmodern perspective to make constructive proposals about a wide range of topics in the public eye. Postmodernism and Public Policy shows how a postmodern Christianity can contribute positively to thinking about religious and cultural pluralism, and how this can give direction to the educational enterprise. It proposes ways of understanding sex, gender, and race that take diversity seriously without lapsing into a debilitating relativism that inhibits political action. Arguing for a shift from individualism to thinking of persons-in-community, it proposes that the world be organized from the bottom up in communities of communities, and spells out what this implies for the political and economic orders and the relationship between them. Cobb shows that formulations on all these topics can be coherently interconnected and he develops the implications of such thinking for some specific ethical and political issues that now trouble the United States, such as abortion, physician-assisted suicide, and homosexuality.

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Process and Difference

Between Cosmological and Poststructuralist Postmodernisms

The similarities and creative tensions between French-based poststructuralism and Whiteheadian process thought are examined here by leading scholars. Although both approaches are labeled “postmodern,” their own proponents often take them to be so dissimilar as to be opposed. Contributors to this book, however, argue that processing these differences of theory at a deeper level may cultivate fertile and innovative modes of reflection. Through their comparisons, contrasts, and hybridizations of process and poststructuralist theories, the contributors variously redefine concepts of divinity and cosmos, advance the interaction between science and religion, and engage the sex/gender and religious ethics of otherness and subjectivity.

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Whitehead's Philosophy

Points of Connection

This volume explores the range of Alfred North Whitehead’s philosophy and his relevance to contemporary philosophical traditions. While philosophers and theologians with only a passing acquaintance with Whitehead might think that his philosophy is unconnected to our Western philosophical tradition, the contributors prove that nothing could be further from the truth. The most respected scholars in the field—George Allan, Lisa Bellantoni, John B. Cobb Jr., Frederick Ferré, David L. Hall, William S. Hamrick, Robert Cummings Neville, Janusz A. Polanowski, Patrick Shade, and Donald W. Sherburne—illustrate points of connection between Whitehead’s ideas to the following: Descartes, the so-called “Father of Modern Philosophy”; classical American thought; several contemporary American thinkers, including Richard Rorty and Alasdair MacIntyre; aspects of European philosophy; and current reflections upon the environment and technology.

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