Archive for category Philosophy

Discussing Sam Harris and Richard Wilbur on Determinism

On July 13, 2013, faculty and students of Faulkner University’s Great Books Honors College participated in a colloquium about determinism as it is depicted by Sam Harris and Richard Wilbur. Before the colloquium, participants watched Sam Harris’s lecture at the 2012 Festival of Dangerous Ideas and read Richard Wilbur’s short story, “A Game of Catch.” The College is grateful to those who participated in this event, a recording of which is below:

More information about the colloquium is available on Google+, and more information about Faulkner University’s Great Books Honors College and the Christian Institute for the Study of Liberal Arts is available on this website.

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Interview with Andrew Klavan

Dr. Robert Woods will interview acclaimed novelist Andrew Klavan in a Google+ hangout on April 25th at 8:00 pm (CT) about his young adult fiction and how Andrew interprets culture. In addition, during the interview, questions will be taken from the Google+ audience. For more information about the interview, please see this event notice.

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Aristotle’s Works in Greek and English

Portrait of Aristoteles. Pentelic marble, copy...

Aristotle (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Aristotle’s works are available online at in Greek and English:

Bekker’s Prussian Academy of Sciences edition of the complete works of Aristotle at volume 1, volume 2, volume 3, volume 4, volume 5

Oxford Translation of The Works of Aristotle at (contents by volume): vol. 1, vol. 2, vol. 3, vol. 4, vol. 5, vol. 6, vol. 7, vol. 8, vol. 9, vol. 10, vol. 11, vol. 12 (Wikipedia)

Adapted from New Testament Interpretation.

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Puckett, Apologetics of Joy

Puckett, Apologetics of Joy

Joe Puckett

One of our recent MLitt graduates through the Christian Institute for the Study of Liberal Arts, Joe Puckett, completed his thesis earlier this year, and it has now come to press with Wipf and Stock under the title, The Apologetics of Joy: A Case for the Existence of God from C. S. Lewis’s Argument from Desire. The title should soon also be available through other booksellers.

From the publisher:

Among all the arguments for the existence of God there may be none more personal and intimate than C. S. Lewis’s Argument from Desire. This book attempts to explain what the Argument from Desire is and why we believe that the argument is an inductively strong one.

In the spirit of C. S. Lewis, Augustine, and Pascal, this book invites both the head and the heart of the reader to consider the case for God’s existence. While many arguments look out to the external world for evidence of God’s existence, this book calls the reader to look inward to the human heart. While learning from classical thinkers (particularly C. S. Lewis) the Argument from Desire will bring both intuition and experience together to demonstrate the truth of divine presence in the world. The reader will walk away with either a newfound faith or a reinforced conviction that has a strong intellectual and experiential dimension.

From a couple of the endorsers:

“This is a unique piece of scholarship, the only book I know of that is wholly devoted to the most interesting argument in the world. It’s clear and persuasive, and I strongly recommend it.”
—Peter Kreeft, author of Heaven: The Heart’s Deepest Longing

“Puckett’s book is a rich, multifaceted exploration of the argument from desire. . . . It calls us to a recovery of joy, awe, mystery, and miracle, which ultimately directs us toward God—the true object of our deepest human longings.”
—Paul Copan, author of Is God a Moral Monster?

via Wipf and Stock Publishers.

Cross-posted from New Testament Interpretation.

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A new collection of online Loeb Classical Library volumes is now available (HT: Charles Jones). This new collection provides locally-hosted PDFs that can be downloaded without completing a CAPTCHA field. The page also provides a link to a single ZIP file (3.2 GB) that contains all the individual LCL volume PDFs available on the page.

Cross-posted from New Testament Interpretation.

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International Journal of the Platonic Tradition

Starting this year, the International Journal of the Platonic Tradition has become fully and openly accessible online (HT: Charles Jones).

Cross-posted from New Testament Interpretation.

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Gadamer on Prejudgments

Philosophical Hermeneutics

Hans-Georg Gadamer

According to Hans-Georg Gadamer,

Prejudices [i.e., prejudgments*] are not necessarily unjustified and erroneous, so that they inevitably distort the truth. In fact, the historicity of our existence entails that prejudices, in the literal sense of the word [i.e., prejudgments], constitute the directedness of our whole ability to experience. Prejudices are biases of our openness to the world. They are simply conditions whereby we experience something—whereby what we encounter says something to us. (Gadamer, Philosophical Hermeneutics, 9)

In his following discussion, Gadamer draws a helpful illustration from the process of language acquisition:

How does it happen that [words] are “words,” that is, that they have a general meaning? In his first apperception, a sensuously equipped being finds himself in a surging sea of stimuli, and finally he begins, as we say, to know something. Clearly we do not mean that he was previously blind. Rather, when we say “to know” [erkennen] we mean “to recognize” [wiedererkennen], that is, to pick something out [herauserkennen] of the stream of images flowing past as being identical. (Gadamer, Philosophical Hermeneutics, 14; brackets original; underlining for original italics)

Even when language is acquired inductively, a judgment about meaning may develop from a “surging sea of stimuli,” but this sea itself does not “make sense” to the acquirer until the acquirer reflects on the sea in the context of this judgment—that is, until the judgment becomes prejudgment and allows the sea to speak sensibly.

* Gadamer seems to have something invested in rehabilitating the term “prejudice” (or, more directly, the German Vorurteil, but cf. Truth and Method, 273). Yet, in contemporary, American English, the negative connotations of “prejudice” perhaps make it a less helpful a term than “prejudgment” for designating the kind of thing about which Gadamer seems really to be concerned. Yet, here too, difficulties are not absent with verbal cognates (e.g., being “judgmental” is a negative, being “judicious” is a positive, and being “judicial” relates to the courts). In any case, as with any author and not least for an author in translation, it is advisable to seek to look past possible difficulties in connotations to understand that author as much as possible on his or her own terms.

Adapted and cross-posted from New Testament Interpretation.

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