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This unique anthology of new, contributed essays offers a range of perspectives on various aspects of ontic vagueness. It seeks to answer core questions pertaining to onticism, the view that vagueness exists in the world itself. The questions to be addressed include whether vague objects must have vague identity, and whether ontic vagueness has a distinctive logic, one that is not shared by semantic or epistemic vagueness. The essays in this volume explain the motivations behind onticism, such as the plausibility of mereological vagueness and indeterminacy in quantum mechanics and they offer various arguments both for and against ontic vagueness; onticism is also compared with other, competing theories of vagueness such as semanticism, the view that vagueness exists only in our linguistic representation of the world.
Gareth Evans s influential paper of 1978, Can There Be Vague Objects? gave a simple but cogent argument against the coherence of ontic vagueness.Onticism was subsequently dismissed by many. However, in recent years, researchers have become aware of the logical gaps in Evans s argument and this has triggered a new wave of interest in onticism. Onticism is now widely regarded as at least a coherent view. Reflecting this growing consensus, the present anthology for the first time puts together essays that are focused on onticism and its various facets and it fills in the lacuna in the literature on vagueness, a much-discussed subject in contemporary philosophy."
This book gives a succinct explanation of Schopenhauer's metaphysical system, concentrating on the original aspects of thought which inspired many artists and thinkers such as Nietzsche, Wagner, Freud, and Wittgenstein. Schopenhauer's central notion is that of the will - a blind, irrational force which he uses to interpret both the human mind and the whole of nature. Christopher Janaway confronts Schopenhauer's uncompromising, pessimistic view that for the human individual non-existence would be preferable, and his claim that only aesthetic experience and saintly self-denial - escape from the will - can give life value. Schopenhauer is revealed as a challenging, progressive,
In The New Philosophy of Universalism Nicholas Hagger outlined a new philosophy that restates the order within the universe, the oneness of humankind and an infinite Reality perceived as Light; and its applications in many disciplines, including literature. In this work of literary Universalism which carries forward the thinking in T.S. Eliot's 'Tradition and the Individual Talent' and other essays, Hagger traces the fundamental theme of world literature, which has alternating metaphysical and secular aspects: a quest for Reality and immortality; and condemnation of social vices in relation to an implied virtue. Since classical times these two antithetical traditions have periodically been synthesised by Universalists. Hagger sets out the world Universalist literary tradition: the writers who from ancient times have based their work on the fundamental Universalist theme. These can be found in the Graeco-Roman world, the Middle Ages and Renaissance, in the Baroque Age, in the Neoclassical, Romantic Victorian and Modernist periods, and in the modern time. He demonstrates that the Universalist sensibility is a synthesis of the metaphysical and secular traditions, and a combination of the Romantic inspired imagination (the inner faculty by which Romantic poets approached the Light) and the Neoclassical imitative approach to literature which emphasizes social order and proportion, a combination found in the Baroque time of the Metaphysical poets, and in Victorian and Modernist literature. Universalists express their cross-disciplinary sensibility in literary epic, as did Homer, Virgil, Dante and Milton, and in a number of genres within literature - and in history and philosophy. Universalist historians claim that every civilisation is nourished by a metaphysical vision that is expressed in its art, and when it declines secular, materialist writings lose contact with its central vision. As Universalist literary works restate the order within the universe, reveal metaphysical Being and restore the vision of Reality, Hagger excitingly argues that the Universalist sensibility renews Western civilisation's health. Literary Universalism is a movement that revives the metaphysical outlook and combines it with the secular, materialistic approach to literature that has predominated in recent times. It can carry out a revolution in thought and culture and offer a new direction in contemporary literature. This work conveys Universalism's impact on literature, and should be read by all who have concerns about the sickness and decline of contemporary European/Western culture.
This new edition of one of Heidegger's most important works features a revised and expanded translators' introduction and an updated translation, as well as the first English versions of Heidegger's draft of a portion of the text and of his later critique of his own lectures. Other new features include an afterword by Petra Jaeger, editor of the German text. "This revised edition of the translation of Heidegger's 1935 lectures, with its inclusion of helpful new materials, superbly augments the excellent translation provided in the first edition. The result is a richly rewarding volume, to be recommended to every student of Heidegger's works, whether a novice or a long-time reader."-Daniel Dahlstrom, Boston University
Is there a shared nature common to all human beings? What essential qualities might define this nature? These questions are among the most widely discussed topics in the history of philosophy and remain subjects of perennial interest and controversy. The Nature of Human Persons offers a metaphysical investigation of the composition of the human essence. For a human being to exist, does it require an immaterial mind, a physical body, a functioning brain, a soul? Jason Eberl also considers the criterion of identity for a developing human being-that is, what is required for a human being to continue existing as a person despite undergoing physical and psychological changes over time? Eberl's investigation presents and defends a theoretical perspective from the thirteenth-century philosopher and theologian Thomas Aquinas. Advancing beyond descriptive historical analysis, this book places Aquinas's account of human nature into direct comparison with several prominent contemporary theories: substance dualism, emergentism, animalism, constitutionalism, four-dimensionalism, and embodied mind theory. These theories inform various conclusions regarding when human beings first come into existence-at conception, during gestation, or after birth-and how we ought to define death for human beings. Finally, each of these viewpoints offers a distinctive rationale as to whether, and if so how, human beings may survive death. Ultimately, Eberl argues that the Thomistic account of human nature addresses the matters of human nature and survival in a much more holistic and desirable way than the other theories and offers a cohesive portrait of one's continued existence from conception through life to death and beyond.
This compelling study of the origins of all that exists, including explanations of the entire material world, traces the responses of philosophers and scientists to the most elemental and haunting question of all: why is anything here or anything anywhere? Why is there something rather than nothing? Why not nothing? It includes the thoughts of dozens of luminaries from Plato and Aristotle to Aquinas and Leibniz to modern thinkers such as physicists Stephen Hawking and Steven Weinberg, philosophers Robert Nozick and Derek Parfit, philosophers of religion Alvin Plantinga and Richard Swinburne, and the Dalai Lama. * The first accessible volume to cover a wide range of possible reasons for the existence of all reality, from over 50 renowned thinkers, including Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas, Descartes, Leibniz, Hume, Bertrand Russell, Stephen Hawking, Steven Weinberg, Robert Nozick, Derek Parfit, Alvin Plantinga, Richard Swinburne, John Polkinghorne, Paul Davies, and the Dalai Lama * Features insights by scientists, philosophers, and theologians * Includes informative and helpful editorial introductions to each section * Provides a wealth of suggestions for further reading and research * Presents material that is both comprehensive and comprehensible
Time has always been the great Given, a fact of existence which cannot be denied or wished away; but the character of lived time is changing dramatically. Medical advances extend our longevity, while digital devices compress time into ever briefer units. We can now exist in several time-zones simultaneously, but we suffer from endemic shortages of time. We are working longer hours and blurring the distinctions between labour and leisure. For many, in an inversion of the old adage, time has become more valuable than money. In this look at life's most ineffable element, spanning fields from biology and culture to psychoanalysis and neuroscience, Eva Hoffman asks: are we coming to the end of time as we know it?
Accessible and wide-ranging, this introduction to contemporary Philosophy of Action guides the reader through the major views and arguments. The topics addressed include the nature of intentional action and its explanation, the nature of reasons, the role of desire and intention in action, the nature of autonomy and the possibility of group agents.
In Continental Realism Paul Ennis tackles the rise of realist metaphysics in contemporary continental philosophy. Pitted against the dominant antirealist and transcendental continental hegemony Ennis argues that continental thinking must establish an alliance between metaphysics, speculation, and realism if we are to truly get back to the things themselves.
In his book, philosopher and law professor Ken Levy explains why he agrees with most people, but not with most other philosophers, about free will and responsibility. Most people believe that we have both - that is, that our choices, decisions, and actions are neither determined nor undetermined but rather fully self-determined. By contrast, most philosophers understand just how difficult it is to defend this "metaphysical libertarian" position. So they tend to opt for two other theories: "responsibility skepticism" (which denies the very possibility of free will and responsibility) and "compatibilism" (which reduces free will and responsibility to properties that are compatible with determinism). In opposition to both of these theories, Levy explains how free will and responsibility are indeed metaphysically possible. But he also cautions against the dogma that metaphysical libertarianism is actually true, a widespread belief that continues to cause serious social, political, and legal harms. Levy's book presents a crisp, tight, historically informed discussion, with fresh clarity, insight, and originality. It will become one of the definitive resources for students, academics, and general readers in this critical intersection among metaphysics, ethics, and criminal law. Key features: Presents a unique, qualified defense of "metaphysical libertarianism," the idea that our choices, decisions, and actions can be fully self-determined. Written clearly, accessibly, and with minimal jargon - rare for a book on the very difficult issues of free will and responsibility. Seamlessly connects philosophical, legal, psychological, and political issues. Will be provocative and insightful for professional philosophers, students, and non-philosophers.
Solipsism is one of the philosophical thesis or ideas that has generally been regarded as highly implausible, or even crazy. The view that the world is "my world" in the sense that nothing exists independently of my mind, thought, and/or experience is, understandably, frowned up as a genuine philosophical position. For this reason, solipsism might be regarded as an example of a philosophical position that does not "matter" at all. It does not seem to play any role in our serious attempts to understand the world and ourselves. However, by arguing that solipsism does matter, after all, Why Solipsism Matters more generally demonstrates that philosophy, even when dealing with highly counterintuitive and "crazy" ideas, may matter in surprising, unexpected ways. It will be shown that the challenge of solipsism should make us rethink fundamental assumptions concerning subjectivity, objectivity, realism vs. idealism, relativism, as well as key topics such as ethical responsibility - that is, our ethical relations to other human beings - and death and mortality. Why Solipsism Matters is not only an historical review of the origins and development of the concept of solipsism and a exploration of some of its key philosophers (Kant and Wittgenstein to name but a few) but it develops an entirely new account of the idea. One which takes seriously the global, socially networked world in which we live in which the very real ramifications of solipsism - including narcissism - can be felt.
Why does the universe exist and what are you supposed to do in it? This question has been addressed by religions since time immemorial, but popular answers often fail to account for obvious aspects of reality. Indeed, if God knows everything, why do we need to learn through pain and suffering? If God is omnipotent, why are we needed to do good? If the universe is fundamentally good, why are wars, crime, and injustice all around us? In modern society, orthodox science takes the rational high-ground and tackles these contradictions by denying the very need for, and the existence of, meaning. Indeed, many of us implicitly accept the notion that rationality somehow contradicts spirituality. That is a modern human tragedy, not only for its insidiousness, but for the fact that it is simply not true. In this book, the author constructs a coherent and logical argument for the meaning of existence, informed by science itself. A framework is laid out wherein all aspects of human existence have a logical, coherent reason and role, including the ones often perceived as negative. The powerful logic of this framework inescapably leads to insightful and inspiring guidelines for living a purposeful and meaningful life.
This volume critically engages with the work of the acclaimed Australian sociologist John Carroll. It makes the argument for a metaphysical sociology, which Carroll has proposed should focus on the questions of fundamental existence that confront all humans: 'Where do I come from?', 'What should I do with my life?' and 'What happens to me when I die?'. These questions of meaning, in the secular modern West, have become difficult to answer. As contemporary individuals increasingly draw on their inner resources, or 'ontological qualities', to pursue quests for meaning, the key challenge for a metaphysical sociology concerns the cultural resources available to people and the manner in which they are cultivated. Through wide-ranging discussions which include, film, romantic love, terrorism and video games, Metaphysical Sociology takes up this challenge. The contributors include emerging and established sociologists, a philosopher, a renowned actor and a musician. As such, this collection will appeal to scholars of social theory and sociology, and to the general reader with interests in morality, art, culture and the fundamental questions of human existence.
Possibility is a concept central to both philosophy and social theory. But in what philosophical soil, if any, does the possibility of a better society grow? At the intersection of metaphysics and social theory, What Would Be Different looks to Theodor W. Adorno to reflect on the relationship between the possible and the actual. In repeated allusions to utopia, redemption, and reconciliation, Adorno appears to reference a future that would break decisively with the social injustices that have characterized history. To this end, and though he never explains it in any detail-let alone in the form of a full-blown theory or metaphysics-he also makes extensive technical use of the concept of possibility. Taking Adorno's critical readings of other thinkers, especially Hegel and Heidegger, as his guiding thread, Iain Macdonald reflects on possibility as it relates to Adorno's own writings and offers answers to the question of how we are to articulate such possibilities without lapsing into a vague and naive utopianism.
'Dreaming humanity's future. There is nothing like the dream to create the future' - Victor Hugo. 'Dream lofty dreams, and as you dream, so you shall become. Your vision is the promise of what you shall one day be; your ideal is the prophecy of what you shall at last unveil' - James Allen. What is it we, as a human race, desire in the world? What dreams do we have to shape our future? Over 100 artists, activists, authors, educators, speakers, environmentalists, scientists, young entrepreneurs, visionaries, and Elders were asked for the following: A written description of your perfect world, or your dream world. This can be one sentence or many pages; a poem or researched essay. Your dream world can be as fantastic and marvelous as you want it to be. There are no rules, no right or wrong descriptions, only the world of your imagination and the world of your dreams.
Joshua Gert presents an original account of color properties, and of our perception of them. He employs a general philosophical strategy - neo-pragmatism - which challenges an assumption made by virtually all other theories of color. Neo-pragmatism rejects the standard representationalist strategy for solving "placement problems" in philosophy, which relies on the existence of a substantive notion of reference and truth. Instead, it makes use of deflationary accounts of such semantic notions. Applied to the domain of color, the result is a view according to which colors are primitive properties of objects, irreducible to physical or dispositional properties. In this way they are more like numbers, and less like natural kinds such as water or gold. Objective colors are also - contrary to current dogma - insufficiently determinate in their nature to allow them to be associated with precise points in standard color spaces. A given color can present different veridical appearances in different viewing circumstances, and to different normal viewers. It is these appearances, which are to be understood in an adverbial way, that can be located in standard color spaces. In explaining the distinction between objective color and color appearance, a central analogy to which Gert appeals is that between the perceptible three-dimensional shape of an object, and the various ways in which that shape appears from various perspectives. Primitive Colors also offers an account of color constancy, a moderated version of representationalism about visual experience, and a criticism of the thesis of the transparency of experience.
In recent years, academic interest in Margaret Cavendish has greatly increased as scholars from across the humanities strive to outline her contributions to seventeenth-century debates about natural philosophy. This edition aims to make her most mature and important work more accessible to students and scholars of the period. Grounds of Natural Philosophy is important not only because it is Cavendish's final articulation of her metaphysics, but also because it succinctly outlines her fundamental views on 'the nature of nature'-or the base substance and mechanics of all natural matter-and vividly demonstrates her probabilistic approach to philosophical enquiry. Moreover, Grounds spends considerable time discussing the human body, including the functions of the mind, a topic of growing interest to both historians of philosophy and literary scholars. This Broadview Edition opens to modern readers a vibrant, unique, and provocative voice of the past that challenges our standard view of seventeenth-century English philosophy. Key Features The only existing print edition of Cavendish's most mature philosophical text. Grounds is important to Cavendish's oeuvre, not only because it is the final statement of her metaphysics but also because it demonstrates how Cavendish's philosophical thought evolved over time. Thematically broad, Grounds discusses, among other things, health and the human body, perception, motion, materialism, and the mind - topics that connect with other works in early modern philosophy and with the philosophical concerns of today. Cavendish is one of the few early modern women who wrote and published extensively in philosophy and who dared to publically dispute major issues with her more famous contemporaries; her work offers a vital and alternative voice to the male-dominated realm of seventeenth-century natural philosophy. A substantial introduction to this edition places Cavendish within her philosophical context while also outlining her career, surveying recent critical debates, and explaining some of the most important philosophical aspects of the text. Appendices include excerpts from Cavendish's other major philosophical treatise, Observations upon Experimental Philosophy, as well as relevant selections of correspondence and excerpts from contemporaneous works of philosophy.
Taking into account significant developments in the metaphysical thinking of E. J. Lowe over the past 20 years, "More Kinds of Being: A Further Study of Individuation, Identity, and the Logic of Sortal Terms" presents a thorough reworking and expansion of the 1989 edition of "Kinds of Being"
Brings many of the original ideas and arguments put forth in "Kinds of Being" thoroughly up to date in light of new developmentsFeatures a thorough reworking and expansion of the earlier work, rather than just a new editionReflects the author's conversion to what he calls 'the four-category ontology, ' a metaphysical system that takes its inspiration from AristotleProvides a unified discussion of individuation and identity that should prove to be essential reading for philosophers working in metaphysics.
This book brings together philosophers, mathematicians and logicians to penetrate important problems in the philosophy and foundations of mathematics. In philosophy, one has been concerned with the opposition between constructivism and classical mathematics and the different ontological and epistemological views that are reflected in this opposition. The dominant foundational framework for current mathematics is classical logic and set theory with the axiom of choice (ZFC). This framework is, however, laden with philosophical difficulties. One important alternative foundational programme that is actively pursued today is predicativistic constructivism based on Martin-Loef type theory. Associated philosophical foundations are meaning theories in the tradition of Wittgenstein, Dummett, Prawitz and Martin-Loef. What is the relation between proof-theoretical semantics in the tradition of Gentzen, Prawitz, and Martin-Loef and Wittgensteinian or other accounts of meaning-as-use? What can proof-theoretical analyses tell us about the scope and limits of constructive and predicative mathematics?
Truth is a pervasive feature of ordinary language, deserving of systematic study, and few theorists of truth have endeavoured to chronicle the tousled conceptual terrain forming the non-philosopher's ordinary view. In this book, the author recasts the philosophical treatment of truth in light of historical and recent work in experimental philosophy. He argues that the commonsense view of truth is deeply fragmented along two axes, across different linguistic discourses and among different demographics, termed in the book as endoxic alethic pluralism. To defend this view, four conclusions must be reached: (1) endoxic alethic pluralism should be compatible with how the everyday person uses truth, (2) the common conception of truth should be derivable from empirical data, (3) this descriptive metaphysical project is one aspect of a normative theory of truth, and (4) endoxic alethic pluralism is at least partially immune to challenges facing the ecological method in experimental philosophy and alethic pluralism.
In Church of the Ever Greater God, Aaron Pidel offers the first major English-language study of the ecclesiology of Erich Przywara, S.J., one of the most important Catholic theologians of the twentieth century. As Pidel shows, Przywara's idea of analogia entis, or analogy of being, shaped his view of ecclesiology. According to this theory, every creature is made of various tensions or polarities in its being. Creatures flourish when these tensions are in equilibrium but transgress their creaturely limits when they absolutize one polarity over the other. Pidel demonstrates how Przywara used the concept of analogia entis to describe the structure and rhythm of the Catholic Church. In Przywara's view, the Church, too, is essentially constituted by her tensions or polarities, and the members of the Church conform to that analogical tension to varying degrees of fidelity. Przywara claims that analogia entis not only describes the Church as she is but also can be used as a criterion for discerning the spiritual health of the Church by helping her to see where her equilibrium has become imbalanced. Pidel maintains that Przywara thought that the biggest risk to the Church's analogical equilibrium in the last century was a de-emphasis of the typically Ignatian ideas of reverence for the Divine Majesty and missionary extraversion. Przywara's vision of the Church is presented as a corrective to this one-sided imbalance. In drawing attention to Przywara's metaphysically informed and deeply Ignatian ecclesiology, Pidel's study will appeal not only to scholars of Przywara but also to all those who study ecclesiology and Catholic theology more broadly.
This book presents a comprehensive examination of Gottfried Leibniz's views on the nature of agents and their actions. Julia Jorati offers a fresh look at controversial topics including Leibniz's doctrines of teleology, the causation of spontaneous changes within substances, divine concurrence, freedom, and contingency, and also discusses widely neglected issues such as his theories of moral responsibility, control, attributability, and compulsion. Rather than focusing exclusively on human agency, she explores the activities of non-rational substances and the differences between distinctive types of actions, showing how the will, appetitions, and teleology are key to Leibniz's discussions of agency. Her book reveals that Leibniz has a nuanced and compelling philosophy of action which has relevance for present-day discussions of agency. It will be of interest to scholars and students of early modern philosophy as well as to metaphysicians and philosophers of action.
"Might this be a dream?" In this book, distinguished philosopher J. J. Valberg approaches the familiar question about dream and reality by seeking to identify its subject matter: what is it that would be the dream if "this" were a dream? It turns out to be a subject matter that contains the whole of the world, space, and time but which, like consciousness for Sartre, is nothing "in itself." This subject matter, the "personal horizon," lies at the heart of the main topics--the first person, the self, and the self in time--explored at length in the book.
The personal horizon is, Valberg contends, the subject matter whose center each of us occupies, and which for each of us ceases with death. This ceasing to be presents itself solipsistically not just as the end of everything "for me" but as the end of everything absolutely. Yet since it is the same for everyone, this cannot be. Death thus confronts us with an impossible fact: something that cannot be but will be.
The puzzle about death is one of several extraphilosophical puzzles about the self that Valberg discusses, puzzles that can trouble everyday consciousness without any contribution from philosophy. Nor can philosophy resolve the puzzles. Its task is to get to the bottom of them, and in this respect to understand ourselves--a task philosophy has always set itself.
To be 'soul-filled' has become an expression for intense sensations and experiences. And yet, aren't human beings emotional creatures, feeling impaired when psychological perceptions become dulled? Swiss Psychiatrist Professor Daniel Hell direct-ed the famed Burgholzli Psychiatric Clinic in Zurich for many years. This book, discussing the role of the soul in human existence, is one of the primary fruits of his devoted labours.
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