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Series: Vernon Series in Philosophy

Self, History and Future

A work on the modality of history

Tetsuaki Iwamoto

June 2016 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-473-3
Availability: In stock
$45 £30 €40

Be it Foucault’s insight into a society based on ‘power-knowledge’ or Fukuyama’s attempts to predict the future based on the end-game situation of ‘liberal democracy’, both are like trying to work out a curvature of a line from a given point by using pre-calculus maths. No amount of elaborate narratives based on a quasi-dynamic, phenomenological concept like ‘discourses’ or a static concept like ‘liberal democracy’ will capture the dynamism of moving events and their fluid directions called ‘future’. You need the methodology of operative concepts that process moving events. My essay is based on a holistic and dynamic concept with logical progressions. Instead of capturing movements as a still picture I try to record constantly changing situations in terms of modality of history. It is the necessity of tangencies and encompassments for Circles of Identity (CI) that forms history. The momentum of ‘self’ that bridges the past and the future is the propellant of CIs, which follows certain rules to suggest our destiny.

In the Sphere of the Personal: New Perspectives in the Philosophy of Persons

Edited by Simon Smith, University of Surrey and James Beauregard, Rivier University

May 2016 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-063-6
Availability: In stock
$70 £50 €60

The papers in this collection were originally presented at the 13th International Conference on Persons, held at the University of Boston in August 2015. This biennial event, founded by Thomas O. Buford and Charles Conti in 1989, attracts a host of international scholars, both the venerable and the aspiring. It is widely regarded as the premier event for those whose research concerns the philosophical tradition known as ‘personalism’. That tradition is, perhaps, best known today in its American and European manifestations, although there remains a small but fiercely defended stronghold in Britain. Personalism is not an exclusively Western development, however; its roots are also found in India, China, and Japan. What unites these disparate intellectual cultures may seem quite small. There is little, if any, methodological or doctrinal consensus among them. They are all, however, responses to the impersonal and depersonalising forces perceived to be at work in philosophy, theology, and, most recently, the natural and political sciences. Their common aim is to place persons at the heart of these discourses, to defend the idea that persons are the metaphysical, epistemological, and moral ‘bottom line’, the vital clue to knowledge of self, reality, and all conceivable values. The authors in this collection do not simply reflect upon this tradition, they put it to work on a range of philosophical and theological problems, both classical and contemporary; problems of free will, personal identity, and the nature of reality, as well as the very current concerns of environmental philosophers, bio- and neuro-ethicists. Their perspectives, too, are many and varied, so offer profound insights into key debates among other philosophical traditions, such as the Kantian, Hegelian, phenomenological, and process schools.

The Impact Of Reason On Faith, Ethics And Belief

Geran F. Dodson, University of North Georgia

April 2016 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-057-5
Availability: In stock
$65 £50 €55

The purpose of the book is to examine the theological claims of ethics, faith and belief from a philosophical perspective. The Abrahamic and Mosaic covenants of the Old Testament, Jesus of the synoptic gospels, and Paul’s writings serve as the frame of reference in examining a biblical expression of reason and structured logic. The message of Jesus centered on the Kingdom of God, defined the meaning of faith and belief, established a new ethic, and framed the message in logic forms. The life and death of Jesus brought the realization of God’s final covenant as prophesied by the Old Testament. However, Paul appropriated and developed the Jesus of history into the mythological eschatological Christ figure. The clash of philosophy and theology is evident with theological presuppositions that are based on spiritual insight and divine revelation. Logic in scripture employs propositions based primarily on revealed proof that is within the context of that which cannot be proven absolutely. Uncovering the identity of YHWH in the manuscripts and religious practices of Canaanite culture clearly associated YHWH with the polytheism of the Ugarit texts. YHWH was one of the seventy sons of the Canaanite Most High God El and took on a unique identity that was rooted in El and the polytheistic nature of the pantheon of gods. Theological truths stand within the context of faith and reason stands apart from faith and infers only that which can be proven based on evidence. That which is knowable by faith cannot be known by reason since reason cannot validate that which is not proven to exist.

Darwin’s Incomplete Idea

Wittgenstein, language, our place in nature and our responsibility for the environment.

Gunnar Odhner

October 2015 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-474-0
Availability: In stock
$60 £48 €55

Why is progress in environmental protection slow and faltering? Is it because we misunderstand our place in nature? This book argues that it is the normative implications of Darwinism and their powerful grip on collective social consciousness that are partly responsible for the tardiness. For all its positive explanatory power and undoubted veracity, the normative implications of Darwinist thinking for our environmental predicament are stark: If we are children of Mother Nature equipped by her with a human nature, the responsibility for the deterioration of nature is partly Hers. This book takes a different standpoint. We are indeed children of Nature, but not primarily of the green nature or animal world but of the nature of language. We can understand how through the philosophy of Ludwig Wittgenstein, who states that “Language is a graft on instinctive behavior.” In our instinctive use of words we are parts of nature in a way resembling mice, frogs and giraffes. We are not as free as we think when we talk about our “free will”, because language uses us when we use it, hence our double roles as victims and instigators. The main thesis of this book is that rather than merely possessing language, we are language. If accepted, this realization may point the way to a more optimistic future for environmental protection and lay the foundations for a new analytical perspective on modern social behavior. "Darwin's Incomplete Idea" was much discussed when first published in Sweden (Bokförlaget Anomali, 2013). The English edition exposes, for the first time, this important work to an international audience. It should be of interest to philosophers of language and social scientists concerned about the environment and our place in it.

The Flying Termite

Laszlo Katona

October 2015 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-019-3
Availability: In stock
$20 £15 €18

The argument advanced in this short essay is that intelligence has a universal, non-anthropomorphic meaning. If there are laws of ‘conservation of mass’ and ‘conservation of energy’ then there needs to be something akin to a law of ‘conservation of intelligence’. We can perceive intelligence in dogs, dolphins or gorillas without understanding it. Intelligence can be also seen in many other things from insects and the wonders of the Solar System to elementary particles or the rules of a triangle. Where is the program of a Jacquard-loom, a computer or of DNA? Is it in material or in the sequence? But that doesn’t mean intelligence comes from Intelligent Design, yet alone a Designer. It simply seems to be the ‘state of things’ in the Universe. Posing more questions than is capable of answering, "The Flying Termite" represents a fiery criticism against materialism and anti-materialism.

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