Logos: Harmony and Recipe

One Marc Cohen of the University of Washington, offers this account of the “logos” of Heraclitus in an online lecture outline: First, “There is an orderly, law-governed process of change in the universe. (Compare fragment 80 with Anaximander, who equates strife with injustice; for . . . . Continue Reading »

Life of Heraclitus

Some selections from Diogenes Laertius’ “Life of Heraclitus, from his “Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers: “He was above all men of a lofty and arrogant spirit, as is plain from his writings, in which he says, ‘Abundant learning does not form the mind; for if . . . . Continue Reading »

Asocial sociability

Seigel devotes a fascinating section of his book ( Idea of the Self ) to a summary of Mandeville’s Fable of the Bees , in which Mandeville describes what Kant characterized as the “asocial sociability” of human nature. Social in the sense that even in a natural state, prior to . . . . Continue Reading »

Eschatological self

Jerrold Seigel suggests that Locke’s self has “three different aspects”: We are selves to others “by virtue of what they know about our mental and moral life”; we are “selves to ourselves, but incompletely so, through the imperfect consciousness we have of our . . . . Continue Reading »

Interior Senses

Murphy goes into admiring detail describing Thomas’s theory of interior senses in higher animals. Apart from its purely historical interest and the anticipations of later scientific theories, Thomas’s discussion has philosophical and theological interest in its own right. He claims, for . . . . Continue Reading »

Dueling Theodicies

Robert Young claims that the controversy over Darwinism in the 19th century was not so much a religion-v.-science controversy as a duel between competing theodicies. At one level, he argues, “the protagonists in the debate were in fundamental agreement. They were fighting over the best ways . . . . Continue Reading »

Mind-Body and Energy

Murphy offers an amusing discussion of the question, Assuming a Cartesian dualism of mind and body, how can the mind cause a physical object like the body to move? If one assumes that physicists are correct that physical energy can be transferred to a physical system, it has to arise from a . . . . Continue Reading »

Effects of dualism

Murphy makes this interesting comment, which she admits is an oversimplification: “the adoption of a dualist anthropology in the early centuries of the church was largely responsible for changing Christians’ conception of what Christianity is basically all about. I am suggesting that . . . . Continue Reading »

Physicalism and the Bible

In her Bodies and Souls, or Spirited Bodies? (Cambridge, 2006), Nancey Murphy argues for a non-reductionist version of physicalism on the question of the “body-soul” problem: “This is the view that humans are composed of only one ‘part,’ a physical body.” She . . . . Continue Reading »

Before postmodernism

Writing in 1945, Arnold Nash wrote that “On the fundamental questions of life and destiny, as Kierkegaard has reminded modern man, neutrality is impossible. Even to take up a neutral position is to take up some position.” The philosophy of the liberal university, “whose . . . . Continue Reading »