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Full-Text Articles in Philosophy

On What Is Real In Nāgārjuna’S “Middle Way”, Richard H. Jones Jan 2020

On What Is Real In Nāgārjuna’S “Middle Way”, Richard H. Jones

Comparative Philosophy

It has become popular to portray the Buddhist Nāgārjuna as an ontological nihilist, i.e., that he denies the reality of entities and does not postulate any further reality. A reading of his works does show that he rejects the self-existent reality of entities, but it also shows that he accepts a "that-ness" (tattva) to phenomenal reality that survives the denial of any distinct, self-contained entities. Thus, he is not a nihilist concerning what is real in the final analysis of things. How Nāgārjuna’s positions impact contemporary discussions of ontological nihilism and deflationism in Western philosophy is also discussed.


Aquinas’ De Malo And The Ostensibly Problematic Status Of Natural Evil As Privation, Iñaki Xavier Larrauri Pertierra Jan 2018

Aquinas’ De Malo And The Ostensibly Problematic Status Of Natural Evil As Privation, Iñaki Xavier Larrauri Pertierra

Aristos

Arguments concerning the nature of natural evil vary in their conclusions depending on the particular approach with which they commence inquiry; one of the most contested conclusions regards evil as privation, sourcing its justification primarily from Aquinas’ metaphysical conception of good as being and evil as non-being. It should be of no surprise, then, that the dismissal of natural evil’s privative nature comes about when the understanding of natural evil favours a phenomenological approach rather than a metaphysical one. Proponents of said dismissal generally centre their claims around the notion of pain and suffering as substantially contentful – as in ...


On The Knowledge Of God And The Metaphysics Of Aquinas, Tom Green Jan 2018

On The Knowledge Of God And The Metaphysics Of Aquinas, Tom Green

Aristos

Thomas Aquinas argues in his seminal work, the Summa Theologiae, that one can come to know the existence of God through rational argumentation alone. As a theologian writing a work of theology, he makes his demonstrations concerning God’s existence from the point of view of his Christian faith. And in this, it will be argued, Aquinas is not necessarily mistaken. For his project is to present a grand scheme of reality and man’s place within it. Philosophers have often tried the same, and, like Aquinas, their attempts have been made from a certain point of view. That, it ...


The Tao Te Ching [Laozi] /Lao-Tzu Metaphysics (What Is Existence?), A. Amon Greene Sep 2017

The Tao Te Ching [Laozi] /Lao-Tzu Metaphysics (What Is Existence?), A. Amon Greene

Access*: Interdisciplinary Journal of Student Research and Scholarship

As Chinese philosophies enter the global marketplace, Taoist ideas are emerging with greater frequency. In order to make Zhou Dynastic Taoist ideas accessible to Western acculturated readers a more conventionally “Western” examination of a key Taoist text the "Tao te ching/Dao de jing" by Lao Tzu/Laozi is presented in this paper. I examine the foundational metaphysics presented in the Tao te ching. Lao Tzu contends that the Tao transcends all conditions, all conceptualization and naming, presenting an inherent conundrum. I argue that by evoking a-rational and experiential discourse the Tao te ching attempts to impart impressions of The ...


Retrieving Realism: A Whiteheadian Wager, Matthew T. Segall Sep 2017

Retrieving Realism: A Whiteheadian Wager, Matthew T. Segall

International Journal of Transpersonal Studies

This essay argues that the organic realism of Alfred North Whitehead (1861-1947) provides a viable alternative to anti-realist tendencies in modern and postmodern philosophy since Descartes. The metaphysical merits of Whitehead’s philosophy of organism are unpacked in conversation with Hubert Dreyfus and Charles Taylor’s recent book Retrieving Realism (2015). Like Dreyfus and Taylor, Whitehead’s philosophical project was motivated by a desire to heal the modern epistemic wound separating soul from world in order to put human consciousness back into meaningful contact with reality. While Dreyfus and Taylor’s book succeeds in articulating the problem cogently, its still ...


The Return Of Perennial Perspectives? Why Transpersonal Psychology Should Remain Open To Essentialism, Steve Taylor Sep 2017

The Return Of Perennial Perspectives? Why Transpersonal Psychology Should Remain Open To Essentialism, Steve Taylor

International Journal of Transpersonal Studies

In reply to Hartelius’s (2016) response to my paper “From Philosophy to Phenomenology: The Argument for a ‘Soft’ Perennialism” (Taylor, 2016a), I provide arguments in support of my model from contemporary scholars of mysticism, who advocate a move from a philosophically-based perennialism to a phenomenologically-based essentialism. This discussion illustrates that perennialist perspectives are far from outmoded. I discuss the metaphysical aspects of my model, suggesting that there is no reason why transpersonal psychology should not address metaphysical issues, as long as they are secondary to phenomenological issues, and as long as they are based on evidence rather than wholly ...


Keeping The Account Open: On Metaphysical Mistrust In Transpersonal Psychology (A Response To Hartelius, 2017), Steve Taylor Sep 2017

Keeping The Account Open: On Metaphysical Mistrust In Transpersonal Psychology (A Response To Hartelius, 2017), Steve Taylor

International Journal of Transpersonal Studies

In response to Hartelius (2017), I suggest that the evidence for perennialism or essentialism can be tested, and is publicly accessible, through engagement with the spiritual practices that have given rise to cross-cultural mystical experiences with common characteristics. This suggests that essentialism could be included in transpersonal psychology (and psychology in general). I suggest that there is no reason why transpersonal psychology should exclude metaphysical claims, as long as they are inferred or implied by research and evidence, explicitly stated and viewed as secondary. It is impossible to avoid metaphysics, and it is important for transpersonal psychologists (and all psychologists ...


Taylor’S Soft Perennialism: Psychology Or New Age Spiritual Vision?, Glenn Hartelius Sep 2017

Taylor’S Soft Perennialism: Psychology Or New Age Spiritual Vision?, Glenn Hartelius

International Journal of Transpersonal Studies

Taylor has responded to critiques of his soft perennialism model in relationship to what he has called awakening experiences. The fact that some individuals have this type of experience away from the context of religion or spirituality, according to soft perennialism, is explained by a sort of landscape of experience representing the diverse ways in which one may engage with and experience this essential beingness. While this inspiring vision could possibly be true, just as numerous other speculations about ultimate reality might be true; however, the evidence advanced in support of soft perennialism notion is not valid in the context ...


Moving Beyond Materialism: Can Transpersonal Psychology Contribute To Cultural Transformation?, Steve Taylor Sep 2017

Moving Beyond Materialism: Can Transpersonal Psychology Contribute To Cultural Transformation?, Steve Taylor

International Journal of Transpersonal Studies

The issue of whether it is possible to separate science and metaphysics is discussed, with reference to William James and the writings of quantum physicists. The metaphysical framework of scientific materialism is analysed and some of its key assumptions are identified. It is suggested that these assumptions are becoming increasingly untenable, as is evident by the advocacy of post-materialist science by some contemporary scientists. The main appeal of transpersonal psychology to students and practitioners is arguably its lack of allegiance to a materialist metaphysics. Rather than allying itself to the metaphysical paradigm of naturalistic science or attempting to bracket out ...


Human-Nonhuman Chimeras, Ontology, And Dignity: A Constructivist Approach To The Ethics Of Conducting Research On Cross-Species Hybrids, Jonathan M. Vajda Jan 2017

Human-Nonhuman Chimeras, Ontology, And Dignity: A Constructivist Approach To The Ethics Of Conducting Research On Cross-Species Hybrids, Jonathan M. Vajda

The Hilltop Review

Developments in biological technology in the last few decades highlight the surprising and ever-expanding practical benefits of stem cells. With this progress, the possibility of combining human and nonhuman organisms is a reality, with ethical boundaries that are not readily obvious. These inter-species hybrids are of a larger class of biological entities called “chimeras.” As the concept of a human-nonhuman creature is conjured in our minds, either incredulous wonder or grotesque horror is likely to follow. This paper seeks to mitigate those worries and demotivate reasonable concerns raised against chimera research, all the while pressing current ethical positions toward their ...


Taylor's Soft Perennialism: A Primer Of Perennial Flaws In Transpersonal Scholarship, Glenn Hartelius, Glenn Hartelius Jul 2016

Taylor's Soft Perennialism: A Primer Of Perennial Flaws In Transpersonal Scholarship, Glenn Hartelius, Glenn Hartelius

International Journal of Transpersonal Studies

This response to Taylor's essay in this issue concludes that his notion of soft perennialism is unworkable and shows no promise as a theory to explain spiritual diversity. Numerous specific shortcomings of the paper are described, then it is used as basis for identifying three broad categories of error that occur in some transpersonal scholarship. Examples from Taylor's paper are supplemented with similar errors in papers by other transpersonal scholars.


New Grand Narratives—The Metaphysical Worldview Of Avatar And Cloud Atlas, Josef Früchtl Jan 2016

New Grand Narratives—The Metaphysical Worldview Of Avatar And Cloud Atlas, Josef Früchtl

Contemporary Aesthetics (Journal)

Referring to the films Avatar (2009) and Cloud Atlas (2012), the author will demonstrate that a new era of metaphysical holism follows Postmodernism. These films celebrate a resurrection of the flesh with 3-D technology and a reincarnation of souls with the aesthetic technique of morphing. However apocalyptic their visions of the future might be, and however much they might seem to worship technical megalomania, they are also and again conveying a resounding ethical message and a taste of Utopia.


Defeating Naturalism: Defending And Reformulating Plantinga's Eaan, Tyler D. Mcnabb May 2015

Defeating Naturalism: Defending And Reformulating Plantinga's Eaan, Tyler D. Mcnabb

Eleutheria

Abstract: During the past two decades, Alvin Plantinga has formulated an argument against naturalism that focuses on naturalism’s acceptance of contemporary evolutionary theory. Plantinga argues that given naturalism and evolution, our cognitive faculties have been developed to produce beliefs that meet the Darwinian requirement of survival and reproduction. Plantinga argues that accepting this will lead a naturalist to have a defeater for all of their beliefs, including their belief in naturalism. In this paper, I survey and respond to two types of objections that have been given as a response to Plantinga’s argument. The first objection that I ...


Inception And Ibn 'Arabi, Oludamini Ogunnaike Oct 2013

Inception And Ibn 'Arabi, Oludamini Ogunnaike

Journal of Religion & Film

Many philosophers, playwrights, artists, sages, and scholars throughout the ages have entertained and developed the concept of life being a "but a dream." Few works, however, have explored this topic with as much depth and subtlety as the 13thC Andalusian Muslim mystic, Ibn 'Arabi. Similarly, few works of art explore this theme as thoroughly and engagingly as Chistopher Nolan's 2010 film Inception. This paper presents the writings of Ibn 'Arabi and Nolan's film as a pair of mirrors, in which one can contemplate the other. As such, the present work is equally a commentary on the film based ...


Experiencing Photographs Qua Photographs: What's So Special About Them?, Jiri Benovsky Jan 2013

Experiencing Photographs Qua Photographs: What's So Special About Them?, Jiri Benovsky

Contemporary Aesthetics (Journal)

No abstract provided.


Not To Be: Modality Without Possible Worlds, Samuel Girwarnauth Jun 2012

Not To Be: Modality Without Possible Worlds, Samuel Girwarnauth

The Hilltop Review

For many with broadly Aristotelian intuitions the Humean usurpation of work in philosophy is a frustrating landscape. This is most obviously demonstrated in the arena of the metaphysics of modality, and talk of "possible worlds" specifically. Famously, the Humean denial of necessary connections in the world has led to the most strongly defended thesis on modality to date: the extreme modal realism (EMR) of David Lewis. Pace Lewis, actualism ought to be the preferred position, but whose version, which actuality? The thrust of this paper shall be to argue that the truth makers, or grounding, for modal claims are not ...


Pragmatism In Philosophy: The Hidden Alternative, Simon Blackburn Sep 2011

Pragmatism In Philosophy: The Hidden Alternative, Simon Blackburn

Philosophic Exchange

This paper contrasts two ways of understanding the function of human thought and language. According to representationalism, the function of thought and language is to refer to entities in the world and assert truths about them. By contrast, pragmatism seeks to understand the function of thought and language without any such appeal, at the most fundamental level, to the concepts of truth or reference.


Structuralism, Anti-Structuralism And Objectivity, Derk Pereboom Dec 2010

Structuralism, Anti-Structuralism And Objectivity, Derk Pereboom

Philosophic Exchange

Structuralist theories describe the entities in their domains solely in terms of relations, while also claiming to be complete theories of the entities in question. Leibniz and Kant insist that no structuralist theory can be a complete theory. Kant believes that the knowledge afforded by structuralist theories is sufficient. However, Jacques Derrida is skeptical of the sufficiency of structuralist theories for stable knowledge of any kind.


Universals And Particulars: Aristotle's Ontological Theory And Criticism Of The Platonic Forms, Brad Vezina Jan 2007

Universals And Particulars: Aristotle's Ontological Theory And Criticism Of The Platonic Forms, Brad Vezina

Undergraduate Review

No abstract provided.


One Is Not Born But Becomes A Person: The Importance Of Philosophical Mothering, Jennifer Whiting Jan 2006

One Is Not Born But Becomes A Person: The Importance Of Philosophical Mothering, Jennifer Whiting

Philosophic Exchange

Annette Baier is my philosophical foremother. This paper examines Baier’s views on such topics as personal identity and philosophical methodology. It also examines the idea of motherhood, and the various forms that it takes.


Intelligence And Weapons Of Mass Destruction, Ibpp Editor Apr 2004

Intelligence And Weapons Of Mass Destruction, Ibpp Editor

International Bulletin of Political Psychology

The author discusses the ramifications of the lack of epistemological underpinnings from which the rightness or wrongness regarding WMD in Iraq can be constructed and adjudicated.


Meaning In Life Without Free Will, Derk Pereboom Jan 2003

Meaning In Life Without Free Will, Derk Pereboom

Philosophic Exchange

Even if determinism precludes responsibility and accountability, it does not eliminate everything that we deem valuable. This paper argues that life can be meaningful even if we do not have free will.


Borges’S Two Refutations Of Time, James Van Cleve Jan 2001

Borges’S Two Refutations Of Time, James Van Cleve

Philosophic Exchange

Jorge Luis Borges offers two proofs of the unreality of time. One of these is based on the idealism of Berkeley. The other is based on Leibniz’s principle of the identity of indiscernibles. Though the logic of both arguments is valid, neither of them is fully compelling in its premises.


Understanding The Human World: Structure, Instruction And Deconstruction, Peter Caws Jan 1999

Understanding The Human World: Structure, Instruction And Deconstruction, Peter Caws

Philosophic Exchange

This paper offers an account of the emergence of the human from the natural, for the species and for the individual. I show how human sciences are possible, and suggest some strategies for change based on the understanding that the human sciences provide.


Luck And The Enigmas Of Fate, Nicholas Rescher Jan 1994

Luck And The Enigmas Of Fate, Nicholas Rescher

Philosophic Exchange

Luck is a formidable and ubiquitous factor in human life as we know it. It is a rogue force that prevents human life from being fully domesticated to rational management. This paper explores the nature of luck and its role in human life.


Is 'True Philosophy" Like True Art?, Kai Nielsen Jan 1994

Is 'True Philosophy" Like True Art?, Kai Nielsen

Philosophic Exchange

The question “What is philosophy?” is itself a contentious philosophical question. Some philosophers claim that other philosophers misunderstand the very point and purpose of philosophy. This paper explores several prominent conceptions of philosophy.


A Reckoning Of Sorts On The Prospects Of Moral Philosophy, Joseph Margolis Jan 1994

A Reckoning Of Sorts On The Prospects Of Moral Philosophy, Joseph Margolis

Philosophic Exchange

Western philosophy has tended to distinguish between the use of our cognitive powers in theoretical and practical matters. Moreover, Western philosophy has persuaded itself that whatever is valid in human judgment depends upon and implicates necessary invariances. These assumptions are manifested and developed, most prominently, in Aristotle and Kant. This paper argues against both of these assumptions of the Western philosophical tradition.


Polar Terms And Interdependent Concepts, Marcus G. Singer Jan 1990

Polar Terms And Interdependent Concepts, Marcus G. Singer

Philosophic Exchange

The notion of polarity, of polar terms and concepts, has been extensively used in the history of philosophy. However, there has never been a careful analysis or elucidation of the very concept of polarity itself. This paper aims to provide just such an elucidation of the concept of polarity.