PATHWAYS TO PHILOSOPHY BOOKS AND LINKS
Beyond the dysfunctional family
Jews, Christians and Muslims in Dialogue with Each Other and With Britain
Edited by Tony Bayfield, Alan Race and Ataullah Siddiqui
Beyond the Dysfunctional Family represents the dialogical fruit of a group of Jews, Christians and Muslims who have been meeting together for more than a decade. The contributors have made the long journey from guarded spokespersons to vulnerable human beings who can share both their enthusiasms and fears with those they now recognise as siblings.
Breaking new ground, the book reflects on the causes of dysfunctionality — historical, political, theological — and offers healing through a theology of deep respect and sense of equality. Therefore, the book is not a series of disconnected essays commissioned at arm's length; rather, each chapter has been written out of the group experience, where every word has been probed and revised in the demanding process of the dialogue itself.
All the contributors work within the living institutions of their respective communities and yet are committed practitioners of interfaith dialogue. They bring a passion and an awareness of being on the front line. The book faces issues of religious identity, truth, violence and critical thinking with both honesty and mutual care.
Tony Bayfield, Alan Race, Ataullah Siddiqui, Sughra Ahmed, Rachel Benjamin, Miriam Berger, Marcus Braybrooke, Jane Clements, Elizabeth Harris, Shanthi Hettiarachchi, Michael Hilton, Dilwar Hussain, Humera Khan, Abduljalil Sajid, Elizabeth Tikvah Sarah, Norman Solomon
The front cover image shows a metal sculpture as public art, with entwined symbols from the three traditions (star of David, cross, crescent moon), from the village of Frigiliana in Andalucia, Spain.
Published in 2012 by CreateSpace
Also available from Amazon at www.amazon.co.uk/Beyond-Dysfunctional-Family-Christians-Dialogue/dp/1468167472/.
ISBN-10: 1468167472 ISBN-13: 978-1468167474
Article: 'Tough Truths for Jews, Christians and Muslims: a platform statement' in Philosophy Pathways Issue 100.
An introduction through thought experiments
Theodore Schick and Lewis Vaughn
From the McGraw-Hill Ryerson Web site:
"New readings by Richard Dawkins, John Dupre, Geoffrey Klempner, and Ernest Sosa acquaint students with philosophical thinking at the forefront of current research.
"New sections on justice and the state, God and science, the nature vs. nurture debate, and virtue epistemology show students how philosophical thinking informs current debates in politics, religion, and science.
"Expanded discussions of political libertarianism, metaphysical libertarianism, compatibilism, animalism, the categorical imperative, and the Gettier problem provide deeper understanding of important philosophical theories and reveal how philosophical thinking responds to scientific discoveries.
"New boxes and Thought Probes (critical thinking sections based on philosophical concepts) encourage students to think more deeply about the various implications of philosophical theories."
Publication date 5th Edition 2013
ISBN 9780078038259 (hbk.)
[Excerpt taken from the publisher's page at http://www.mcgrawhill.ca/highereducation/products/9780078038259/ 25 April 2012.]
Knowing what is good for you
Most of us, at some time, ask ourselves whether our lives are going well; or whether some key decision or pivotal event, was in the end good or bad for us, all things considered.
At the heart of such questions are the notions of well-being and prudential value, whose importance is increasingly recognised by governments and individuals.
Tim Taylor takes the reader step by step through the philosophical issues surrounding these notions and critically analyses the strengths and weaknesses of competing approaches.
He proposes a new subjective account of prudential value, under which both mental states and states of the world may have value: value is conferred upon states of the world not by desires, but by valuings, which react to the world as it is rather than how it might come to be.
He develops from this an account of well-being, concluding with proposals about how this might be measured.
Tim E. Taylor took his Ph.D at Birkbeck College London. He is a member of the International Society for Philosophers.
Published in 2012 by Palgrave Macmillan www.palgrave.com.
ISBN 9780230285118 (hbk.)
[Information taken from the publishers page at http://www.palgrave.com/products/title.aspx?pid=485057.]
Trouble making judaism
"Philosophy that can't deal with religious idioms is dumb. Religions that can't think philosophically are fundamentalist... The glory of Judaic culture is that the rabbis were always philosophers of a sort and the philosophers were always really rabbis at heart — that is, teachers of the community with an eye to questions of destiny and history."
Matthew Del Nevo
From the prophets who admonished the leaders and people of Israel for their ethical misconduct through to the rabbis who troubled the Torah to make meaning for Jewish life, Judaism has been engaged with troubling and trouble making.
Trouble-making is about challenging and disrupting the status quo. It is also about being troubled and troubling our Jewish texts and inheritance to adapt and change in response to the lives of Jewish individuals, families and communities here and now.
Elli Tikvah Sarah is Rabbi of the Brighton and Hove Progressive Synagogue. More of Rabbi Sarah's writings can be found at www.rabbiellisarah.com.
Published in 2012 by David Paul Books www.davidpaulbooks.com.
ISBN 09780954848293 (pbk.)
Trouble Making Judaism by Rabbi Elli Sarah is available from the publisher David Paul Books email email@example.com, from bookshops or online from Amazon.
The valley way of the soul
"This book is wise and beautiful and truthful, a wonderful and necessary antidote to the 'me me me money world' of the mechanical age."
Wayne Cristaudo, Professor, European Studies, University of Hong Kong
Too little is made in our time of that sweet and pensive mood called 'melancholy'. Without a capacity for melancholy, we cannot apprehend beauty or connect with the soul. Lacking this connection, we might be self-actualising, self-developing, outwardly happy, but we might also be leaking soul badly.
One of the best ways to get soulful is through music and poetry. Poetry is not just the music of language but the language of music. A simple poem can stir the imagination of the heart and bring musicality back to the mundane events of life.
This book introduces us into an enriching creative sense of life that great artists have always known and expressed but which, for a whole variety of reasons, is lost to increasing numbers of people today.
Matthew Del Nevo is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at the Catholic University of Sydney and is a member of the Board of the International Society for Philosophers.
Published in 2008 by St Paul's Publications www.stpauls.com.au.
ISBN 9781921472084 (pbk.)
Vico's road to postmodernism
Each philosopher of note has one 'big idea': one central thesis that is the feature of his or her entire opus. For Plato this theme is the Good: the inner force that impels all things to excellence or perfection. For Parmenides it is that being is One: immutable and unchanging. For Hegel it is the dialectical process through which the Absolute Spirit moves to self-realisation. Descartes' central intuition is the cogito. Heidegger's is Dasein — being in the world with others. Giambattista Vico's 'big idea' is set out the most often quoted portion of paragraph 331 of his magnum opus, New Science (1744) where he says,
"Still, in the dense and dark night which envelops remotest antiquity, there shines an eternal and inextinguishable light. It is a truth that cannot be doubted: The civil world is certainly the creation of humankind. And consequently, the principles of the civil world can and must be discovered within the modifications of the human mind." (para 331)
The ambition of Vico's Road to Postmodernism is to examine the 'big idea' implicit in this quotation, and to show how the sentiments represented in it anticipate that movement which we know today as postmodernism.
It should be said that the title of this book is something of a play on words of the theme that James Joyce, who, as shown in the book, Ihab Hassan identifies as a postmodern thinker, took for his book Finnegans Wake. It seems that Joyce, who declared that his imagination soared whenever he read Vico, as a tribute to the Italian thinker, begins the narrative of his famous novel at the Vico Road in the South Dublin suburb of Killiney. Not only is there a link between the name of this road and Giambattista Vico, but the view of Dublin Bayfrom this road is said to replicate the view of the Bay of Naples, Vico's native city.
Tony Fahey is a member of the Board of the International Society for Philosophers.
ISBN-10: 1905451911 ISBN-13: 978-1905451913
Vico's Road to Postmodernism by Tony Fahey is available at most bookshops, from Amazon, or from Choice Publishing Book Store tel: 353-41-9841551 email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The complementary nature of reality
The aim of this work is to demonstrate that complementarity represents the central organizing principle of nature, and as such should also serve as the core of a coherent model of nature.
In pursuing this theme, the book ends up necessarily challenging much of the conventional science paradigm as being precisely that: a complex set of relatively random conventions, which were devised to deal with a variety of theoretical or phenomenological conundrums that were encountered along the way. What we are left with is an array of arbitrary cross sections of nature that are impossible to unify into a consistent framework. We need a coherent conceptual foundation developed in a lucid and logical fashion.
The relationship between science and society is also examined, including questions about whether science should be helping us to develop a meaningful framework for understanding the patterns of nature, or whether it is sufficient to mainly provide accurate predictions and better technology.
Peter Barab is a member of the International Society for Philosophers.
Published in 2010 by Open Way Press, Portland Oregon U.S.A.
Available from most bookshops, as well as Amazon.
ISBN-10: 0982263708 ISBN-13: 978-0982263709
For an overview of the theory of the complementary nature of reality see Peter Barab's article 'Is Nature Complementary?' in Philosophy Pathways Issue 152.
An introduction to the theory of knowledge
"Clear, lively, and based on thorough knowledge of the field. O'Brien's book provides an excellent introductory text in epistemology."
Christopher Hookway, University of Sheffield
"You would have bet against anyone being able to present a concise, rigorous, thoroughly enjoyable introduction not just to all the central areas of epistemology but also to such difficult topics as Wilfrid Sellars' Myth of the Given, Wittgenstein's Private Language arguments, and John McDowell's theory of experience. You would have lost. Dan O'Brien's text is just excellent. The author is an ideal guide through the maze of views that constitutes modern theory of knowledge. He also enlivens and enriches the text by drawing inspiration from film and literature."
Laurence Goldstein, University of Kent
Dan O'Brien lectures on Philosophy at the University of Birmingham and is an Associate Lecturer for the Open University.
Dan joined the Board of the International Society for Philosophers in 2007.
Published in 2006 by Polity Press www.polity.co.uk.
Letters to my philosophy students
"Since 1995...I have written over two thousand letters in response to essays and course work which my students have sent me. I am presenting a sample from the first three years, which I hope will be of instructional value as well as casting light on the early development of Pathways."
Philosophy how-to-do-it guide
"If you want to philosophize well, you need a good tool kit. Not just a hammer, but screwdriver and pliers, drill and saw. Every student who starts out on the road to philosophy learns how to value and assess the tools available. Try everything. Pick up anything you can use, from as wide a variety of sources as possible."
Philosophy essay archive
"Pathways students...from around the world have produced many fine examples of philosophical writing. Reproduced here are essay portfolios submitted for the Associate Award. All work is copyright of the original authors."
Ask a philosopher!
"This service is offered courtesy of Pathways to Philosophy, the independent distance learning project run by the International Society for Philosophers. Answers are posted regularly... Your question is more likely to be answered if you show that you have thought about the problem and are not just asking us to do your homework for you."
"Some of the most precious documents we possess about the Modern philosophers such as Descartes and Leibniz are the letters they wrote. To all and sundry. People who were asking them about their philosophy. Students they took on... And... I had this idea that if at some future date someone was going to collect my works, I wouldn't be embarrassed to see the letter, amongst those works."
Feature articles, philosophy lovers gallery, archive of questions and answers, and links to search engines. "Open learning resources, advice and inspiration for students at university, on distance learning programs and college correspondence courses in philosophy."
The 10 big questions
"Without science we would know very little about how the world works or about our own nature. However, the greatest value of science is that it gives us so much to think about. This web site is about discovering the power of human thought...Here are ten of the most frequently asked questions about the nature of the universe and our place in it."
Correcting the Logical Errors in Russell's Metaphysics
and the metaphysical errors in predicate logic
"Bertrand Russell claimed he had eliminated metaphysics from modern philosophy. In fact he made substantive assumptions about what exists. These assumptions are embedded into his logic. Much subsequent work done in philosophy and logic involves working around these assumptions.
"What Is avoids these assumptions. It presents a system of 'True Logic', using the propositional calculus with a subpropositional reference, to put forward a new theory of knowledge.
"This avoids the need for a theory of higher orders of predicates, resolves problems of defining domains, and clarifies description and designation.
"It presents a theory that permits us to be sure of intellectual progress while admitting the fallibility of scientific knowledge."
Roger Williams is a Pathways Mentor.
Published in 2007 by 347 Publications, Box 347, 111 West George Street, Glasgow
Plato: an interpretation
"Our understanding of Plato and our understanding of the nature of philosophy are two sides of a coin. The dominant academic conception of the nature of philosophical thinking vitiates both our understanding of philosophy and our interpretation of Plato. Plato gave us the profoundest truths about ourselves and about Reality in winged myths. Our learned scholars turn the myths into silly dogmata, into transparently erroneous doctrines, and all is lost: the inspirational core, the inspired insight, is dissipated when its housing shell of myth is shattered.
"No one is entitled to claim a monopoly on understanding Plato's 'true' meaning, and I certainly make no such claim. I neither pretend nor intend to arrive at what Plato thought or taught. Plato has left us some thirty pieces of verbal composition, which he created for his own amusement. I enter into living dialogue with the living Plato and offer the understanding I come out with for myself from that dialogue, not claiming any authority or any veracity for my interpretation. I do what Plotinus did, I draw from the flowing founds of Plato to water my own garden. And offer my version of Platonism for what it may be worth intrinsically."
D.R. Khashaba b. 1927 is an independent philosopher, published Let Us Philosophize (1998). Contributed numerous articles to Examined Life Online Journal, and Philosophy Pathways. Web site http://khashaba.blogspot.com. Khashaba, a widower with one daughter, Hanan, and one granddaughter, Farah, lives in his home-country Egypt.
Published in 2005 by Virtualbookworm.com
Philosophy and science fiction
The Man Who Folded Himself by David Gerrold. Afterword by Geoffrey Klempner
From the BenBella Books web site:
The Man Who Folded Himself is a classic science fiction novel by award winning author David Gerrold. This work was nominated for both Hugo and Nebula awards and is considered by some critics to be the finest time travel novel ever written. David Gerrold is the Hugo and Nebula award-winning author of When HARLIE Was One, The Man Who Folded Himself, The Voyage of the Star Wolf, The Martian Child and "The Trouble With Tribbles" episode of Star Trek. His recently released novel, The Martian Child has received rave reviews.
Alan Gutierrez, a renowned cover artist who has worked with many of the leading names in science fiction, is developing the cover art.
Published in 2002 by Benbella Books www.benbellabooks.com
Geoffrey Klempner's Afterword to The Man Who Folded Himself can be found in Philosophy Pathways Issue 41. For more philosophy and science fiction, see Pathways Program A Introduction to Philosophy The Possible World Machine. An Adobe Acrobat® e-book containing all fifteen stories with introductions can be downloaded from the Pathways downloads page.
In love with eternity
"In Love With Eternity presents a project of philosophic thought. It is composed of a group of essays and fragments concerned with the creation of one's self, which self is the substance of reality for every human being... A central concept in these essays is that of the relationship of 'eternity' to time; one can regard with dismay the passage of time but love one's position in eternity. The concept of the 'pointillist canvas of eternity' is presented as a new philosophical world view."
Richard Schain is an independent philosopher who has been writing philosophy since 1982. His recent works are Radical Metaphysics (2002) and The Legend of Nietzsche's Syphilis (2001). A former professor of neurology at UCLA, he currently works as a neurologist at the Sonoma State Hospital in California.
The collection of essays includes 'Toward a Radical Metaphysics', 'Nietzsche's Visionary Values — Genius or Dementia?', 'Metaphysics and the Problem of Existence', 'The Pointillist Canvas of Eternity', 'Philosophy: Rigorous Science or Intuitive Thought: A Critique of Mind by John Searle'. Previous versions of these essays appeared in Philosophy Pathways e-journal.
2nd Edition 2005
Richard Schain In Love With Eternity is published by iUniverse www.iuniverse.com. Price $11.95. For more information about Richard Schain visit his web site at http://rschain1.tripod.com.
Handbook of greek philosophy
"Handbook of Greek Philosophy is a real guide for anyone who wants to know about Ancient Greek philosophy, but does not know how to start. With the present study one can be gradually initiated into the main principles of the great philosophers, whose thought is the basis of the modern philosophical thought. Due to chronological presentation of the fifteen Greek philosophical schools, the reader can gradually get to the understanding of the philosophical terms and concepts, beginning with the simple and proceeding to the most complex.
"The original fragments, which have been carefully selected out of thousands, along with their thorough analysis, can enable the reader to fathom the reasoning of the Greek thinkers, and acquire a deep comprehension of their Gnoseology, Ontology and Ethics. With this substantial work of scholarship, both the student and the teacher of philosophy alike can find useful concepts, ideas and quotations, so as to broaden their knowledge and views of philosophy. Apart from that, this essay can help them to make a further inquiry concerning Ontology and Ethics of Greek Philosophy."
Nikolaos Bakalis was born in Northern Greece in 1957. He studied at the School of Sciences, Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki, Greece. For the last twenty-five years he has studied Ancient Greek Philosophy and has a Doctorate in Greek Philosophy. He has lived in Germany since 2000 where he works as a high school teacher
Trafford Publishing 2005 www.trafford.com/04-2651
"Read this book and you will have not wasted your time but on the contrary gained a strong feeling of what philosophy is all about and how the Greeks did it. From the countless citations an intense feeling of immediacy develops, of being near to the sources from where philosophy once sprang like from a well of fresh water." Hubertus Fremerey in Philosophy Pathways Issue 108.
Why do we fear death?
Dr. Geoffrey Klempner...
Por sus esfuerzos para pone la Filosofía al alcance de todos
"He escrito este ensayo para exponer los resultados de la indagación filosófica que he llevado a cabo sobre el miedo a la muerte. La idea me surgió al abordar el tema como parte del programa Pathways to Philosophy que cursé bajo la tutoría del Dr. Geoffrey Klempner. Entonces, una premisa fundamental es que lo he escrito bajo la divisa de dicho programa: La Filosofió es para todos y no só para los filósofos profesionales. Los filósofos deben saber muchas cosas además de Filosofía."
Carlos Evia Rosado
Mérida, Yucatán, México
Febrero 26 de 2002
For more information about Carlos Evia Rosado's book The Fear of Death: a Philosophical Inquiry see Philosophy Pathways Issue 33.
Philosophy for all