dunnettreader + teleology   21

Robert A. Markus - Saeculum: History & Society in the Theology of St Augustine (1970, rev 2007) | Cambridge University Press
Significant intro to rev'd edition, included in downloaded frontmatter along with TOC and original Preface. -- In this book Professor Markus's main concern is with those aspects of Augustine's thought which help to answer questions about the purpose of human society, and particularly with his reflections on history, society and the Church. He relates Augustine's ideas to their contemporary context and to older traditions, and shows which aspects of his thought he absorbed from his intellectual environment. Augustine appears from this study as a thinker who rejected the 'sacralization' of the established order of society, and the implications of this for a theology of history are explored in the last chapter. -- Downloaded frontmatter, excerpt & index via Air to DBOX - added to Evernote
books  downloaded  intellectual_history  theology  philosophy_of_history  Late_Antiquity  Early_Christian  Augustine  human_nature  eschatology  social_order  Providence  teleology  religion-established  politics-and-religion  religious_culture  Roman_Empire  paganism  pluralism  secularism  Roman_religion  secularization  Papacy  ecclesiology 
september 2016 by dunnettreader
Josine H. Blok - Quests for a Scientific Mythology: F. Creuzer and K. O. Müller on History and Myth | JSTOR - History and Theory ( Dec 1994)
History and Theory, Vol. 33, No. 4, Theme Issue 33: Proof and Persuasion in History (Dec., 1994), pp. 26-52 -- Classical scholarship played a vital role in the intellectual concerns of early 19thC Germany. ... Greek mythology in particular was expected to shed light on the origins of civilization. In the search for the true nature of myth, the hermeneutic problems involved in historical understanding were intensified. As myth was held to be of a different nature than rationality, to read the sources was to look for a completely different referent of the texts than was the case in historical reconstruction. In the quests for a scientific mythology, K. O. Müller (1797-1840) was often regarded as an opponent of F. Creuzer (1771-1858). Yet an analysis of their published work and of their private documents shows that they had much in common -- deeply Romantic views on the religious origin of culture, in Müller's case inspired by Pietism, in Creuzer's by neo-Platonism. -- Müller differed from Creuzer in his views on the relationship of myth to history. Myth was not the reflection of a universal religion, sustained by a priestly class (as Creuzer had claimed), but the outcome of the encounter between the mental endowment of a people and local, historical circumstances. In the case of the Amazons, however, Müller assessed the connection of myth to history in defiance of his own theory, guided by his views on gender difference and on sexual morality. -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  jstor  intellectual_history  epistemology-history  Hellenophiles  German_scholars  German_Idealism  Romanticism  Pietist  Neoplatonism  cultural_history  cultural_authority  cultural_transmission  religious_history  religious_culture  national_origins  historical_change  teleology  Amazons  ancient_history  myth  cultural_influence  cultural_change  positivism  hermeneutics  downloaded 
january 2016 by dunnettreader
Alan Jacobs - Fantasy and the Buffered Self - The New Atlantis - Winter 2014
If fantasy rose to centrality as a form of nostalgia for a day when the porous self was at least surrounded by other sentient beings rather than a dark and silent cosmos, it may now have become something else altogether, a kind of ultimate disenchantment where even our own selves are vacated in favor of a world prefabricated for us by others. This raises again that key question from American Gods: Is resistance futile? Is it simply the case that “all we’re facing here is a f — ing paradigm shift”? Or might there be forces of resistance capable of waging a “mighty battle” on behalf of human freedom?(..) we might take comfort from what seems to me the authentic core of the fantastic as a genre, as we see it from the standpoint of late modernity: fantasy may best be taken as an acknowledgment that the great problem of the pagan world — how to navigate as safely as possible through an ever-shifting landscape of independent and unpredictable powers who are indifferent to human needs — is our problem once more. (..) American Gods is an especially important text for this moment, because it rightly identifies technologies as gods and simultaneously sides with the older gods as being intrinsically closer to the proper human lifeworld. Imaginatively, if not in substantive belief, we are pagans once more. (..) We may choose to believe that we can buffer ourselves, protect ourselves against unknown powers. But that’s a kind of wager: if the powers are real, our disbelief won’t deter them. And it may be that certain powers profit from being disregarded or treated as mere fancies. -- downloaded as pdf to Note
article  SFF  religious_belief  religious_culture  gods-antiquity  technology  self  teleology  cosmology  modernity  disenchantment  sublime  humanism  Taylor_Charles  philosophical_anthropology  cultural_change  downloaded 
july 2015 by dunnettreader
Ronald Osborn - The Great Subversion: The Scandalous Origins of Human Rights | IASC: The Hedgehog Review - Volume 17, No. 2 (Summer 2015)
Hopgood’s bracing critique of rights talk and his call for a less lofty, more pragmatic dispensation forces us to face the implications of the loss of theological anthropology for concepts of human equality and dignity. Can we have a rationally coherent, morally compelling, and historically sustainable discourse as well as a practice of humanistic values and human rights absent a “thick” metaphysical or religious framework, such as the one provided in the Western tradition for some two millennia by Judeo-Christian sources? Put another way, the question “Can we be good without God?” does not strike nearly deep enough. The urgent question is: Will we still be good to the stranger in our midst, or good in the same ways, once we have fully grasped the contestable character of humanism and once we have utterly abandoned the essentially religious idea that every person is made, in the enigmatic language of Scripture, in the image of God? It is a question that even committed atheists, for the sake of good atheism, should find worthy of consideration. -- balance behind paywall
books  reviews  human_rights  theodicy  teleology  cosmology  modernity  disenchantment  morality-divine_command  philosophical_anthropology  moral_philosophy  moral_psychology  imago_dei  recognition  dignity  equality  foundationalism 
july 2015 by dunnettreader
Peter K. J. Park - Africa, Asia, and the History of Philosophy: Racism in the Formation of the Philosophical Canon 1780-1830 | SUNY Pess 2013
... a penetrating account of a crucial period in the development of philosophy as an academic discipline. (..) a number of European philosophers influenced by Kant began to formulate the history of philosophy as a march of progress from the Greeks to Kant—(..) supplanted existing accounts beginning in Egypt or W. Asia at a time when European interest in Sanskrit and Persian lit was flourishing. Not without debate, these traditions were ultimately deemed outside the scope of philosophy and relegated to the study of religion. Park uncovers this debate and recounts the development of an exclusionary canon of philosophy in the decades of the late 18thC and early 19thC. To what extent was this exclusion of Africa and Asia a result of the scientization of philosophy? To what extent was it a result of racism? (..)the most extensive description available of Gérando’s Histoire comparée des systèmes de philosophie, F. Schlegel’s lectures on the history of philosophy, Ast’s and Rixner’s systematic integration of Africa and Asia into the history of philosophy, and the controversy between Hegel and the theologian Tholuck over “pantheism.” 1. The Kantian School and the Consolidation of Modern Historiography of Philosophy -- 2. The Birth of Comparative History of Philosophy: Joseph-Marie de Gérando’s Histoire comparée des systèmes de philosophie -- 3. India in Friedrich Schlegel’s Comparative History of Philosophy -- 4. The Exclusion of Africa and Asia from the History of Philosophy: The Formation of the Kantian Position -- 5. Systematic Inclusion of Africa and Asia under Absolute Idealism: Friedrich Ast’s and Thaddä Anselm Rixner’s Histories of Philosophy -- 6. Absolute Idealism Reverts to the Kantian Position: Hegel’s Exclusion of Africa and Asia -- 7. The Comparative History of Philosophy in August Tholuck’s Polemic against Hegel -- downloaded excerpt
books  intellectual_history  intellectual_history-distorted  18thC  19thC  philosophy  ancient_Greece  ancient_India  Sanskrit  Persia  religious_history  historiography-18thC  historiography-19thC  Kant  Schlegel  German_Idealism  Hegel  German_scholarship  philohellenism  ancient_history  ancient_religions  history_of_science  biology  racism  Africa  Asia  Enlightenment  comparative_religion  pantheism  philology  teleology  cosmopolitanism  colonialism  comparative_history  comparative_anthropology  philosophical_anthropology  human_nature  downloaded 
may 2015 by dunnettreader
Abdelmajid Hannoum, review essay - What is an Order of Time? - History & Theory, 2007 | Majid Hannoum - Academia.edu
Discussion of François Hartog, Regimes of Historicity (French, 2003), English translation 2015, Columbia University Press -- bookmarked and downloaded pdf to Note
reviews  books  kindle-available  intellectual_history  historiography  Koselleck  modernity  progress  teleology  presentism  historicism  anthropology  structuralist  downloaded 
march 2015 by dunnettreader
Jeffrey K. McDonough, review - Justin E. H. Smith, Divine Machines: Leibniz and the Sciences of Life // Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // April 17, 2012
Justin E. H. Smith, Divine Machines: Leibniz and the Sciences of Life, Princeton University Press, 2011, 392pp., $45.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780691141787.
Reviewed by Jeffrey K. McDonough, Harvard University -- It is widely recognized that Leibniz's philosophical thought is deeply influenced by the mathematics, physics and philosophical theology of his era. Justin E. H. Smith's Divine Machines argues that many of Leibniz's most central philosophical doctrines are similarly bound up with the life sciences of his time, where the "life sciences" are understood very broadly to include fields as diverse as alchemy, medicine, taxonomy, and paleontology. Smith's groundbreaking exploration represents an important contribution to our understanding of both Leibniz's philosophy and the study of life in the early modern era. It is to be recommended to historians, philosophers, and historians of philosophy alike. Below I highlight four central topics in Smith's book, raising some reservations along the way.
books  reviews  kindle-available  intellectual_history  17thC  Leibniz  history_of_science  philosophy_of_science  metaphysics  monads  causation  species  teleology  anatomy  biology  medicine  microscope  fossils  reproduction  theodicy  creation  mechanism  organism 
september 2014 by dunnettreader
Jeff McDonough's CV - Harvard University - Philosophy Department
Areas of Specialization: Early Modern Philosophy, History and Philosophy of Science. -- Areas of Competence:Medieval Philosophy, Metaphysics, Philosophy of Religion -- papers, conference presentations focus on Leibniz with some Berkeley, Hume
academia  intellectual_history  history_of_science  philosophy_of_science  metaphysics  philosophy_of_religion  17thC  18thC  Leibniz  Berkeley  causation  teleology  theodicy  Descartes  Spinoza  Hume  Malebranche  bibliography 
september 2014 by dunnettreader
Richard Marshall interview - Jeffrey K. McDonough -Leibniz, Berkeley, Kant, Frege; bees, toasters and Julius Caesar » 3:AM Magazine - September 2014
Good overview of different approaches to Leibniz. Causation and relation of divine and creaturely activity - Scholastics, Berkeley, Malebranche, Leibniz. Difference between Malebranche and Berkeley’s idealism. Kant on refutation of idealism re Cartesian scepticism of external world.
intellectual_history  17thC  18thC  Leibniz  Berkeley  Malebranche  Kant  substance  metaphysics  causation  teleology  theodicy  creation  mind-body  volition  mechanism  physics  philosophy_of_science  history_of_science  optics  idealism  scepticism  EF-add 
september 2014 by dunnettreader
Kenan Malik - THE DEATH OF GOD AND THE FALL OF MAN | Pandaemonium July 2014
Transcript of talk for Institute of Ideas -- The moral vision of modernity may have been, in other words, nourished by the crumbling of the God-ordained order. It was – it had to be – however, also rooted in faith, but a faith of a different kind – faith that humans were capable of acting rationally and morally without guidance from beyond. It was through the 19thC that religious faith truly began to crumble. But it was also in the 19thC that faith in the human capacity to act without God began also to erode. The optimism that had once suffused the humanist impulse began to ebb away and there began to develop a much darker view of what it meant to be human. By the late 19thC European societies came to experience both a crisis of faith and a ‘crisis of reason’, the beginnings of a set of trends that were to become highly significant in the 20thC – the erosion of Enlightenment optimism, a disenchantment with ideas of progress, a disbelief in concepts of truth, the growth of a much darker view of human nature. -- The death of God, in other words, went hand in hand with what we might call, if we were to continue to use religious symbolism, the Fall of Man. And the Fall of Man transformed the meaning of the Death of God. God is a metaphor for the desire for an authority beyond ourselves to frame our existence and guide our lives, the death of God for the insistence on acting without guidance from beyond. There are two aspects to the death of God. The decline of religious belief and the growth of a new faith in the capacity of humans to act without guidance from beyond. The first has always been overstated. The second has always been undervalued. - frames talk around Anscombe and MacIntyre
intellectual_history  religious_history  cultural_history  18thC  19thC  20thC  morality-Christian  religious_belief  ancient_philosophy  ancient_Greece  pagans  gods-antiquity  monotheism  teleology  human_nature  morality-conventional  morality-objective  progress  Enlightenment  Fin-de-Siècle  humanism  anti-humanism  Counter-Enlightenment  political_philosophy  reason  Anscombe  MacIntyre  tradition  identity  autonomy  individualism  community  communitarian  social_order  change-social  historical_change  historicism  EF-add 
august 2014 by dunnettreader
Jack Miles - Tilting Against Naïve Materialism: On Thomas Nagel's "Mind and Cosmos" | The Los Angeles Review of Books - Feb 2013
Nagel is a professed scientific realist. He does not put scientific knowledge in scare quotes. He believes that reason is reliable and that science does engage reality. But when an account of the origin of reason that links it entirely to reproductive success has this self-subversive corollary, he chooses to trust reason and question the account rather than trust the account and question reason.Here, for this reviewer, is the core challenge, the core disturbance, of this challenging and intentionally disruptive work. Mind and Cosmos, which has been taken as an oblique defense of creationism, is actually a defense of reason. Yet it is also a fabulous effort of the imagination. The place of imagination, of fantasy, even of dream-life in the history of human thought is a large one. Nagel admits that he is not a scientist, but it would call for imagination and not just analysis for a scientist in any given field to begin thinking past contemporary science as a whole toward the contours of what might someday succeed it. Unless one is a scientific Whig, one must strongly suspect that something someday will indeed succeed it. Nagel’s Mind and Cosmos does not build a road to that destination, but it is much to have gestured toward a gap in the hills through which a road might someday run. -- Swift would agree
books  reviews  kindle-available  philosophy_of_science  evolutionary_biology  evolution  Darwinism  Nagel  reason  epistemology  teleology  monism  panpsychic_monism  materialism  reductionism  truth  Swift  historiography-Whig  history_of_science  consciousness  mind  cosmology  imagination  creativity  human_nature  evo_psych  EF-add 
august 2014 by dunnettreader
Devin Henry. "Organismal Natures" | Apeiron: a journal for ancient philosophy and science (2008): 47-74.
Aristotle agrees with the negative conclusion of Galen that the growth and development of living things cannot be due to material forces operating according to chance. For Aristotle, the process of development is structured according to the form of the organism being generated by it. Development ‘follows upon’ the organism’s substantial being and exists for the sake of it rather than vice versa. This confers a certain order and direction on the process that cannot be accounted for in terms of the random motions of atoms or the undirected actions of Love and Strife (Empedocles). He accepts that natural generation involves material-level forces of the sort Democritus proposed; however, he insists that when operating by themselves these undirected causes would only produce a living thing by chance. And generation is far too regular for that. But Aristotle rejects the further inference — endorsed by Galen — that the teleological structure imposed on a developing organism must be traced to an intelligent agent that puts the organism together according to its end like some kind of internalized Demiurge. Nature, Aristotle says, does not deliberate. -- By invoking ‘natures’ as the cause of development, Galen says, Aristotle offers an account which is entirely vacuous. On the other hand, Denis Walsh has recently argued that the concept of Aristotelian natures plays the same role in development as the modern concept of phenotypic plasticity and that in this sense Aristotelian natures have an indispensable role to play contemporary evolutionary biology. -- My aim in this paper is not to defend an Aristotelian approach to modern biology but rather to explore the concept of organismal natures in the context of Aristotle’s teleology. -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  intellectual_history  ancient_philosophy  Aristotle  natural_philosophy  history_of_science  biology  generation  inheritance  development-biological  teleology  design-nature  materialism  Democritus  Empedocles  Galen  forms  evolutionary_biology  downloaded  EF-add 
july 2014 by dunnettreader
JOSE R. TORRE - The Teleology of Political Economy and Moral Philosophy in the Age of the Anglo-American Enlightenment | JSTOR: Early American Studies, Vol. 8, No. 3 (Fall 2010), pp. 646-671
"An Inward Spring of Motion and Action": The Teleology of Political Economy and Moral Philosophy in the Age of the Anglo-American Enlightenment -- The Enlightenment-era narratives of political economy and moral philosophy shared an epistemic base and theory of causation that understood the human experience as a self-realizing or immanent teleology driving toward a providential and benevolent outcome. In political economy the pursuit of personal wealth and satisfaction tended naturally to a benevolent equilibrium without the knowledge or intent of the agent. In moral philosophy the agent acted intuitively and unconsciously to satisfy immediate emotional desires that culminated in pleasure but nevertheless improved society. The teleology of both these narratives derived from a series of larger shifts in human psychology and ideas from an early modern and Reformation-era theological voluntarism to an Enlightenment-era Neoplatonic and Aristotelian theory of humanity and nature. -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  jstor  intellectual_history  18thC  British_history  Atlantic  American_colonies  Enlightenment  Scottish_Enlightenment  moral_sentiments  moral_philosophy  political_economy  causation  teleology  human_nature  moral_psychology  passions  Neoplatonism  voluntarism  Augustinian  Aristotelian  natural_philosophy  natural_law  cosmology  Providence  hedonistic  utilitarianism  bibliography  downloaded  EF-add 
may 2014 by dunnettreader
John E. Hare review: Angus Ritchie, From Morality to Metaphysics: The Theistic Implications of our Ethical Commitments // Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews August 2013
The book looks awful but the review is quite interesting Ritchie's use of or failure to use the history of philosophy. Ritchie undertakes to show the failures of axiarchism, the view that the good has a causal role, making things to be a certain way just because it is good for them to be that way. This is a version of final causation, and is familiar to anyone who knows Aristotelian metaphysics. When Ritchie comes to discuss axiarchism without divine purposes, which is Aristotle's position, Aristotle is not mentioned. The whole move from teleology in nature (what was called in the nineteenth century 'teleonomy') to teleology confined to the purposes of designers (as in Duns Scotus, for example) is examined as though there had not been centuries of discussion about it. ..... The other quibble is about Robert M. Adams. Ritchie attributes to Adams the view that because God is loving, God will perform the most loving action (169). But Adams would deny the maximization thesis implied here. More importantly, Ritchie thinks that if we ground moral obligation in God's character as loving, that means we do not ground it in God's will. Adams would deny the dichotomy here, because he thinks that God's willing and God's character are necessarily harmonious (Finite and Infinite Goods, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999, 47f). For Adams, God does constitute our obligations by command, which is an expression of will, but it is the expression of a loving will, not an arbitrary one (except in the antique sense of 'arbitrary' in which it means 'within a person's discretion,' in Latin arbitrium).
books  reviews  theism  metaethics  evolution  God-attributes  voluntarism  causation  teleology  obligation  EF-add 
august 2013 by dunnettreader
Doug Hill: Erewhon: The 1872 Fantasy Novel That Anticipated Thomas Nagel's Problems With Darwinism Today - Atlantic Mobile
Like Nagel, Butler believed purposefulness imbues all of creation. He was not an avowed atheist, as Nagel is, but he did eschew and dismiss conventional notions of deity in favor of what can be described as a scientifically-informed pantheism. 

Teleology doesn't suggest that the amoeba knew it was going to evolve into a fish, Butler said, any more than the first person who used a tea kettle necessarily envisioned a steam engine. We get from amoeba to fish, or from tea kettle to steam engine, incrementally. Change is driven by an inclination to adapt at each step along the way. 

Perhaps the most dramatic shift since Butler wrote has to do with the evolution of technology. If the transhumanists are right, the uprising of the machines is almost upon us. There's still time to ban them, I suppose, although in Erewhon a civil war was necessary to enforce that course of action.
19thC  21stC  intellectual_history  Darwin  evolution  materialism  teleology  philosophy_of_science  mind  EF-add 
august 2013 by dunnettreader

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