Continuing discussion.

EPS Blog

This is the blog area for the Evangelical Philosophical Society and its journal, Philosophia Christi.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Analytic Philosophy: An Interpretive History

In 2017, Routledge published Analytic Philosophy: An Interpretive History by Aaron Preston. Aaron Preston is Associate Professor and Chair of the Philosophy Department at Valparaiso University. He is the author of Analytic Philosophy: The History of an Illusion (2010) and a number of articles on the history and historiography of analytic philosophy and on the philosophy of religion. 

From the publishers description of Analytic Philosophy:
Analytic Philosophy: An Interpretive History explores the ways interpretation (of key figures, factions, texts, etc.) shaped the analytic tradition, from Frege to Dummet. It offers readers 17 chapters, written especially for this volume by an international cast of leading scholars. Some chapters are devoted to large, thematic issues like the relationship between analytic philosophy and other philosophical traditions such as British Idealism and phenomenology, while other chapters are tied to more fine-grained topics or to individual philosophers, like Moore and Russell on philosophical method or the history of interpretations of Wittgenstein’s Tractatus. Throughout, the focus is on interpretations that are crucial to the origin, development, and persistence of the analytic tradition. The result is a more fully formed and philosophically satisfying portrait of analytic philosophy.
Aaron has also contributed to the "Christ-shaped Philosophy" project and Tributes to Dallas Willard at the EPS website.

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Sunday, December 3, 2017

Nicholas Rescher on Metaphysical Perspectives

In 2017, the University of Notre Dame Press will release Metaphysical Perspectives by Nicholas Rescher.  Rescher is Distinguished University Professor of Philosophy at the University of Pittsburgh.

From the publisher's description of Metaphysical Perspectives:
In Metaphysical Perspectives, Nicholas Rescher offers a grand vision of how to conceptualize, and in some cases answer, some of the most fundamental issues in metaphysics and value theory. Rescher addresses what he sees as the three prime areas of metaphysical concern: (1) the world as such and the architecture of nature at large, (2) ourselves as nature's denizens and our potential for learning about it, and (3) the transcendent domain of possibility and value. Rescher engages issues across a wide range of metaphysical themes, from different world views and ultimate questions to contingency and necessity, intelligent design and world-improvability, personhood and consciousness, empathy and other minds, moral obligation, and philosophical methodology. Over the course of this book, Rescher discusses, with his characteristic fusion of idealism and pragmatism, an integrated overview of the key philosophical problems grounded in an idealistically value-oriented approach. His discussion seeks to shed new light on philosophically central issues from a unified point of view.
See additional details here

Watch Rescher on speak on "God and the Grounding of Morality," where his talk was part of the "Must Morality Be Grounded in God?" conference at Franciscan University of Steubenville.

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Saturday, December 2, 2017

Political Philosophy and the Republican Future: Reconsidering Cicero

In 2018, the University of Notre Dame Press will publish Political Philosophy and the Republican Future: Reconsidering Cicero by Gregory Bruce Smith. Smith is the President and Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Churchill Institute and professor of political science and philosophy at Trinity College.

From the publisher's description of Political Philosphy: 
Are we moving inevitably into an irreversible era of postnationalism and globalism? In Political Philosophy and the Republican Future, Gregory Bruce Smith asks, if participation in self-government is not central to citizens’ vision of the political good, is despotism inevitable? Smith’s study evolves around reconciling the early republican tradition in Greece and Rome as set out by authors such as Aristotle and Cicero, and a more recent tradition shaped by thinkers such as Machiavelli, Locke, Montesquieu, Adam Smith, Madison, and Rousseau. Gregory Smith adds a further layer of complexity by analyzing how the republican and the larger philosophical tradition have been called into question by the critiques of Nietzsche, Heidegger, and their various followers.
For Smith, the republican future rests on the future of the tradition of political philosophy. In this book he explores the nature of political philosophy and the assumptions under which that tradition can be an ongoing tradition rather than one that is finished. He concludes that political philosophy must recover its phenomenological roots and attempt to transcend the self-legislating constructivism of modern philosophy. Forgetting our past traditions, he asserts, will only lead to despotism, the true enemy of all permutations of republicanism. Cicero’s thought is presented as a classic example of the phenomenological approach to political philosophy. A return to the architectonic understanding of political philosophy exemplified by Cicero is, Smith argues, the key to the republican future.

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Friday, December 1, 2017

Substance and the Fundamentality of the Familiar: A Neo-Aristotelian Mereology

In 2017, Routledge will publish Substance and the Fundamentality of the Familiar: A Neo-Aristotelian Mereology in the Routledge Studies in Metaphysics series, by Ross D. Inman. Inman is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

From the publisher's description of Substance and the Fundamentality of the Familiar: 
Substance and the Fundamentality of the Familiar explicates and defends a novel neo-Aristotelian account of the structure of material objects. While there have been numerous treatments of properties, laws, causation, and modality in the neo-Aristotelian metaphysics literature, this book is one of the first full-length treatments of wholes and their parts. Another aim of the book is to further develop the newly revived area concerning the question of fundamental mereology, the question of whether wholes are metaphysically prior to their parts or vice versa. Inman develops a fundamental mereology with a grounding-based conception of the structure and unity of substances at its core, what he calls substantial priority, one that distinctively allows for the fundamentality of ordinary, medium-sized composite objects. He offers both empirical and philosophical considerations against the view that the parts of every composite object are metaphysically prior, in particular the view that ascribes ontological pride of place to the smallest microphysical parts of composite objects, which currently dominates debates in metaphysics, philosophy of science, and philosophy of mind. Ultimately, he demonstrates that substantial priority is well-motivated in virtue of its offering a unified solution to a host of metaphysical problems involving material objects.

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Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Freedom from Reality: The Diabolical Character of Modern Liberty

In 2017, the University of Notre Dame Press released Freedom from Reality: The Diabolical Character of Modern Liberty by D. C. Schindler, in the Catholic Ideas for a Secular World series. Schindler is associate professor of metaphysics and anthropology at the John Paul II Institute. He is the author of a number of books, including The Catholicity of Reason.

From the publisher's description of Freedom from Reality:
It is commonly observed that behind many of the political and cultural issues that we face today lies an impoverished conception of freedom, which, according to D. C. Schindler, we have inherited from the classical liberal tradition without a sufficient awareness of its implications. Freedom from Reality presents a critique of the deceptive and ultimately self-subverting character of the modern notion of freedom, retrieving an alternative view through a new interpretation of the ancient tradition. While many have critiqued the inadequacy of identifying freedom with arbitrary choice, this book seeks to penetrate to the metaphysical roots of the modern conception by going back, through an etymological study, to the original sense of freedom.
Schindler begins by uncovering a contradiction in John Locke’s seminal account of human freedom. Rather than dismissing it as a mere “academic” problem, Schindler takes this contradiction as a key to understanding the strange paradoxes that abound in the contemporary values and institutions founded on the modern notion of liberty: the very mechanisms that intend to protect modern freedom render it empty and ineffectual. In this respect, modern liberty is “diabolical”—a word that means, at its roots, that which “drives apart” and so subverts. This is contrasted with the “symbolical” (a “joining-together”), which, he suggests, most basically characterizes the premodern sense of reality. This book will appeal to students and scholars of political philosophy (especially political theorists), philosophers in the continental or historical traditions, and cultural critics with a philosophical bent.

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Sunday, November 26, 2017

Our Deepest Desires: How the Christian Story Fulfills Human Aspirations

In 2017, IVP Academic published Our Deepest Desires: How the Christian Story Fulfills Human Aspirations by Gregory E. Ganssle.  Ganssle is professor of philosophy at Talbot School of Theology at Biola University. He is the author of several books, including A Reasonable God: Engaging the New Face of Atheism [read EPS interview] and Thinking About God, and he is the editor of God and Time. 

From the publisher's description of Our Deepest Desires:
As human beings, we are created with desires. We all long for meaningful relationships, lives that reflect goodness, engagements with beauty, and the freedom to pursue our lives with integrity. But where can our restless hearts find fulfillment for these universal longings? Philosopher and apologist Greg Ganssle argues that our widely shared human aspirations are best understood and explained in the light of the Christian story. With grace and insight, Ganssle explains how the good news of Jesus Christ makes sense of―and fulfills―our deepest desires. It is only in the particular claims of the Christian faith, he argues, that our universal human aspirations can find fulfillment and our restless hearts will be at peace.
Enjoy some of the past EPS blog posts by Ganssle, which convey some of his thinking used in Our Deepest Desires:

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Saturday, November 25, 2017

The Cambridge Companion to the Problem of Evil

In 2017, Cambridge University Press published The Cambridge Companion to the Problem of Evil, edited by Chad Meister and Paul Moser, in the Cambridge Companions to Religion series. Chad Meister is Professor of Philosophy and Theology at Bethel College, Indiana, where he received the Professor of the Year award for teaching excellence. Paul K. Moser is Professor of Philosophy at Loyola University Chicago and the past Editor of the American Philosophical Quarterly.

From the publisher's description of The Cambridge Companion to the Problem of Evil: 
For many centuries philosophers have been discussing the problem of evil - one of the greatest problems of intellectual history. There are many facets to the problem, and for students and scholars unfamiliar with the vast literature on the subject, grasping the main issues can be a daunting task. This Companion provides a stimulating introduction to the problem of evil. More than an introduction to the subject, it is a state-of-the-art contribution to the field which provides critical analyses of and creative insights on this longstanding problem. Fresh themes in the book include evil and the meaning of life, beauty and evil, evil and cosmic evolution, and anti-theodicy. Evil is discussed from the perspectives of the major monotheistic religions, agnosticism, and atheism. Written by leading scholars in clear and accessible prose, this book is an ideal companion for undergraduate and graduate students, teachers, and scholars across the disciplines.

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