Thursday, February 09, 2006

Notes and Links

* Universal Truths and the Question of Religion: An Interview with Alain Bourdieu at The Journal of Philosophy and Scripture (HT: wood_s lot). For a discussion of the work that is being discussed in the interview, see Jared Woodard's Faith, Hope, and Love in the same issue.

* Problems for Dogmatism (PDF; HT: Think Tonk). I've already said my (idiosyncratic) piece on this sort of problem several times (I don't think 'degree of confidence' is or should be linked to conditional probabilities, I don't think BIV questions are relevant to whether I have hands or not, I don't think something can be considered justified simply because it is what you would expect on a given supposition, we are justified in denying BIV, I think Berkeley is essentially right in his critique of skeptical scenarios like these, I accept both the Buridanian and the Thomistic (PDF) responses to skeptical scenarios in general, etc.). I'll just say further that we can only have fake hands if we have hand-seeming things that aren't able to do handed things; if our hand-seeming things are able to do handed things, then it follows that we have real hands -- new hands, perhaps, but not fake ones. Something can be fake only if something could possibly give it away as fake (fakeness is like deception in this way, so Austin's comments about deception in Sense and Sensibilia apply). Further, any account of justification of one's belief that one has hands has to take into account all the relevant experiences (what Hume calls "the coherence of our perceptions" T White notices this briefly, but I think if it is taken seriously it becomes difficult to find skeptical scenarios we can make much sense of.

* At Ars Disputandi Andrew Bailey has a paper called Thomas's Lesser Way: A Critique (PDF; HT: Matthew Mullins). I don't think the paper manages to be a critique of Aquinas's argument, or at least not a complete one; in great part because Aquinas doesn't define, and couldn't have defined, contingency, necessity, true per se, true per accidens, etc., in terms of possible worlds, so the principles would have to be justified as sufficiently equivalent to what Aquinas actually says. (I am not, for instance, convinced of interpretations that attribute P6 to Aquinas, for instance; contingency and necessity in Aquinas, whatever they might be, are not understood in terms of the entire manifold of possible worlds, but in terms of something discernible in their role in this actual world.) But it is, certainly, a good paper, with plenty of food for thought.

* The first edition of the Progressive Faith Carnival is up at CrossLeft.

* Apparently February 12 has been designated "Evolution Sunday" by about 412 congregations of various denominations from all over the U.S. You can find out more about it at The Clergy Letter Project. (HT: GetReligion)

* At "Faith and Theology" there's a supplementary ten to the original essential twenty paintings for theologians.

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