Philosophy of religion
Philosophy of religion is "the philosophical examination of the central themes and concepts involved in religious traditions." These sorts of philosophical discussion are ancient, can be found in the earliest known manuscripts concerning philosophy. The field is related to many other branches of philosophy, including metaphysics and ethics; the philosophy of religion differs from religious philosophy in that it seeks to discuss questions regarding the nature of religion as a whole, rather than examining the problems brought forth by a particular belief system. It is designed such that it can be carried out dispassionately by those who identify as believers or non-believers. Philosopher William L. Rowe characterized the philosophy of religion as: "the critical examination of basic religious beliefs and concepts." Philosophy of religion covers alternative beliefs about God, the varieties of religious experience, the interplay between science and religion, the nature and scope of good and evil, religious treatments of birth and death.
The field includes the ethical implications of religious commitments, the relation between faith, reason and tradition, concepts of the miraculous, the sacred revelation, mysticism and salvation. The term "Philosophy of Religion" did not come into general use in the West until the nineteenth century, most pre-modern and early modern philosophical works included a mixture of religious themes and "non-religious" philosophical questions. In Asia, examples include texts such as the Hindu Upanishads, the works of Daoism and Confucianism and Buddhist texts. Greek philosophies like Pythagoreanism and Stoicism included religious elements and theories about deities, Medieval philosophy was influenced by the big three Monotheistic Abrahamic religions. In the Western world, early modern philosophers such as Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, George Berkeley discussed religious topics alongside secular philosophical issues as well; the philosophy of religion has been distinguished from theology by pointing out that, for theology, "its critical reflections are based on religious convictions".
"theology is responsible to an authority that initiates its thinking and witnessing... philosophy bases its arguments on the ground of timeless evidence."Some aspects of philosophy of religion have classically been regarded as a part of metaphysics. In Aristotle's Metaphysics, the prior cause of eternal motion was an unmoved mover, like the object of desire, or of thought, inspires motion without itself being moved. This, according to Aristotle, is the subject of study in theology. Today, philosophers have adopted the term "philosophy of religion" for the subject, it is regarded as a separate field of specialization, although it is still treated by some Catholic philosophers, as a part of metaphysics. Different religions have different ideas about Ultimate Reality, its source or ground and about what is the "Maximal Greatness". Paul Tillich's concept of'Ultimate Concern' and Rudolf Otto's'Idea of the Holy' are concepts which point to concerns about the ultimate or highest truth which most religious philosophies deal with in some way.
One of the main differences among religions is whether the Ultimate Reality is a personal God or an impersonal reality. In Western religions, various forms of Theism are the most common conceptions of the ultimate Good, while in Eastern Religions, there are theistic and various non-theistic conceptions of the Ultimate. Theistic vs non-theistic is a common way of sorting the different types of religions. There are several philosophical positions with regard to the existence of God that one might take including various forms of Theism and different forms of Atheism. Monotheism is the belief in a single deity or God, ontologically independent. There are many forms of monotheism. Keith Yandell outlines three kinds of historical monotheisms: Greek and Hindu. Greek monotheism holds that the world has always existed and does not believe in Creationism or divine providence, while Semitic monotheism believes the world is created by a God at a particular point in time and that this God acts in the world.
Indian monotheism meanwhile teaches that the world is beginningless, but that there is God's act of creation which sustains the world. The attempt to provide proofs or arguments for the existence of God is one aspect of what is known as natural theology or the natural theistic project; this strand of natural theology attempts to justify belief in God by independent grounds. Most of philosophy of religion is predicated on natural theology's assumption that the existence of God can be justified or warranted on rational grounds. There has been considerable philosophical and theological debate about the kinds of proofs and arguments that are appropriate for this discourse. Common types of arguments for the existence of god include: Cosmological Argument Ontological Argument Teleological argument Argument from religious experience Argument from morality Wager arguments like Pascal's Wager attempts to rationally argue that one should believe in God. Skeptics and atheists have put forth various arguments against the existence of God including: The argument from inconsistent revelations The problem of evil, the question of how to reconcile the existence of evil with that of a deity who is, in either absolute or relative terms, omnipotent and omnibenevolent.
Argument from poor design Argument from nonbelief or the argument from divine hiddenness Eastern Religions have included both theistic and other alternative positions about the ultimate nature of reality. One such v
Rush Rhees was an American philosopher. He is principally known as a student and literary executor of the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein. With G. E. M. Anscombe, he edited Wittgenstein's posthumous Philosophical Investigations, a influential work, he was responsible for publishing other works by Wittgenstein, including Remarks on the Foundations of Mathematics, Philosophische Bemerkungen, Philosophical Remarks, Philosophical Grammar. Rhees taught at Swansea University from 1940 to 1966. Rush Rhees was born in the United States of America on 19 March 1905, at New York, he was the son of Benjamin Rush Rhees, a Baptist minister and president of the University of Rochester. He studied philosophy at the University of Rochester, but was expelled in 1922 for insolent questions. In 1924 he moved to Britain, where he graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 1928. In 1932 he became a research fellow at the University of Cambridge. There he impressed G. E. Moore who described him as his ablest student, met Wittgenstein, who became a close friend, continued to visit him after his move to Swansea in Wales.
Rhees taught philosophy at Swansea University from 1940 to 1966. He has been known as a Wittgenstein exegete and for his influence on his friends, colleague Peter Winch and former student and his literary executor D. Z. Phillips, he was responsible for editing but developing the legacy left by Wittgenstein, at times emphasising religious and ethical understandings of Wittgenstein's work, reflecting how Wittgenstein himself sometimes said he wanted to be understood. Together with G. H. von Wright and G. E. M. Anscombe he was appointed by Wittgenstein as his literary executor, he was Wittgenstein's personal executor. Rhees was influential in bringing the work of other philosophers to greater attention, notably for example the French philosopher, Simone Weil. For a time, he was visiting Professor at King's College London, with Winch and Norman Malcolm formed a'formidable triumvirate' of Wittgensteinans. Rhees returned to Swansea in 1982 after the death of his wife Jean Henderson, where he continued to teach, leading weekly post-graduate seminars from 1983 and, in the Cambridge tradition, welcoming a few students in'at home' sessions for more detailed discussions of their research work.
He attended weekly meetings of the University's Philosophical Society he founded and which counted Wittgenstein as chief amongst those eminent philosophers who addressed it in the years when Rhees was a lecturer at Swansea. It was a forum in which students were expected to test and sharpen their philosophical wits, it was clear in these seminars that Rhees was not only devoted to exegesis of one of the finest thinkers of the twentieth century, but was, in fact absorbed in developing his own profound insights in Philosophy in repeated tours de force. He was self-effacing of his capacities and had to be persuaded to accept an honorary professorship at Swansea where he had turned down promotion during his teaching career, he died on 22 May 1989, is buried at Oystermouth Cemetery in Mumbles near Swansea. Edited Studies in Logic and Probability, a selection of works by George Boole Edited Philosophical Investigations, by Wittgenstein Without Answers Wittgenstein and the Possibility of Discourse On Religion and Philosophy Moral Questions
Wales is a country, part of the United Kingdom and the island of Great Britain. It is bordered by England to the east, the Irish Sea to the north and west, the Bristol Channel to the south, it had a population in 2011 of 3,063,456 and has a total area of 20,779 km2. Wales has over 1,680 miles of coastline and is mountainous, with its higher peaks in the north and central areas, including Snowdon, its highest summit; the country has a changeable, maritime climate. Welsh national identity emerged among the Britons after the Roman withdrawal from Britain in the 5th century, Wales is regarded as one of the modern Celtic nations. Llywelyn ap Gruffudd's death in 1282 marked the completion of Edward I of England's conquest of Wales, though Owain Glyndŵr restored independence to Wales in the early 15th century; the whole of Wales was annexed by England and incorporated within the English legal system under the Laws in Wales Acts 1535 and 1542. Distinctive Welsh politics developed in the 19th century. Welsh liberalism, exemplified in the early 20th century by Lloyd George, was displaced by the growth of socialism and the Labour Party.
Welsh national feeling grew over the century. Established under the Government of Wales Act 1998, the National Assembly for Wales holds responsibility for a range of devolved policy matters. At the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, development of the mining and metallurgical industries transformed the country from an agricultural society into an industrial nation. Two-thirds of the population live in South Wales, including Cardiff, Swansea and the nearby valleys. Now that the country's traditional extractive and heavy industries have gone or are in decline, Wales' economy depends on the public sector and service industries and tourism. Although Wales shares its political and social history with the rest of Great Britain, a majority of the population in most areas speaks English as a first language, the country has retained a distinct cultural identity and is bilingual. Over 560,000 Welsh language speakers live in Wales, the language is spoken by a majority of the population in parts of the north and west.
From the late 19th century onwards, Wales acquired its popular image as the "land of song", in part due to the eisteddfod tradition. At many international sporting events, such as the FIFA World Cup, Rugby World Cup and the Commonwealth Games, Wales has its own national teams, though at the Olympic Games, Welsh athletes compete as part of a Great Britain team. Rugby union is seen as an expression of national consciousness; the English words "Wales" and "Welsh" derive from the same Germanic root, itself derived from the name of the Gaulish people known to the Romans as Volcae and which came to refer indiscriminately to all non-Germanic peoples. The Old English-speaking Anglo-Saxons came to use the term Wælisc when referring to the Britons in particular, Wēalas when referring to their lands; the modern names for some Continental European lands and peoples have a similar etymology. In Britain, the words were not restricted to modern Wales or to the Welsh but were used to refer to anything that the Anglo-Saxons associated with the Britons, including other non-Germanic territories in Britain and places in Anglo-Saxon territory associated with Britons, as well as items associated with non-Germanic Europeans, such as the walnut.
The modern Welsh name for themselves is Cymry, Cymru is the Welsh name for Wales. These words are descended from the Brythonic word combrogi, meaning "fellow-countrymen"; the use of the word Cymry as a self-designation derives from the location in the post-Roman Era of the Welsh people in modern Wales as well as in northern England and southern Scotland. It emphasised that the Welsh in modern Wales and in the Hen Ogledd were one people, different from other peoples. In particular, the term was not applied to the Cornish or the Breton peoples, who are of similar heritage and language to the Welsh; the word came into use as a self-description before the 7th century. It is attested in a praise poem to Cadwallon ap Cadfan c. 633. In Welsh literature, the word Cymry was used throughout the Middle Ages to describe the Welsh, though the older, more generic term Brythoniaid continued to be used to describe any of the Britonnic peoples and was the more common literary term until c. 1200. Thereafter Cymry prevailed as a reference to the Welsh.
Until c. 1560 the word was spelt Kymry or Cymry, regardless of whether it referred to the people or their homeland. The Latinised forms of these names, Cambrian and Cambria, survive as lesser-used alternative names for Wales and the Welsh people. Examples include the Cambrian Mountains, the newspaper Cambrian News, the organisations Cambrian Airways, Cambrian Railways, Cambrian Archaeological Association and the Royal Cambrian Academy of Art. Outside Wales, a related form survives as the name Cumbria in North West England, once a part of Yr Hen Ogledd; the Cumbric language, thought to
Philosophy of mathematics
The philosophy of mathematics is the branch of philosophy that studies the assumptions and implications of mathematics, purports to provide a viewpoint of the nature and methodology of mathematics, to understand the place of mathematics in people's lives. The logical and structural nature of mathematics itself makes this study both broad and unique among its philosophical counterparts. Recurrent themes include: What is the role of humankind in developing mathematics? What are the sources of mathematical subject matter? What is the ontological status of mathematical entities? What does it mean to refer to a mathematical object? What is the character of a mathematical proposition? What is the relation between logic and mathematics? What is the role of hermeneutics in mathematics? What kinds of inquiry play a role in mathematics? What are the objectives of mathematical inquiry? What gives mathematics its hold on experience? What are the human traits behind mathematics? What is mathematical beauty? What is the source and nature of mathematical truth?
What is the relationship between the abstract world of mathematics and the material universe? The origin of mathematics is subject to argument. Whether the birth of mathematics was a random happening or induced by necessity duly contingent upon other subjects, say for example physics, is still a matter of prolific debates. Many thinkers have contributed their ideas concerning the nature of mathematics. Today, some philosophers of mathematics aim to give accounts of this form of inquiry and its products as they stand, while others emphasize a role for themselves that goes beyond simple interpretation to critical analysis. There are traditions of mathematical philosophy in Eastern philosophy. Western philosophies of mathematics go as far back as Pythagoras, who described the theory "everything is mathematics", who paraphrased Pythagoras, studied the ontological status of mathematical objects, Aristotle, who studied logic and issues related to infinity. Greek philosophy on mathematics was influenced by their study of geometry.
For example, at one time, the Greeks held the opinion that 1 was not a number, but rather a unit of arbitrary length. A number was defined as a multitude. Therefore, 3, for example, represented a certain multitude of units, was thus not "truly" a number. At another point, a similar argument was made that 2 was not a number but a fundamental notion of a pair; these views come from the geometric straight-edge-and-compass viewpoint of the Greeks: just as lines drawn in a geometric problem are measured in proportion to the first arbitrarily drawn line, so too are the numbers on a number line measured in proportion to the arbitrary first "number" or "one". These earlier Greek ideas of numbers were upended by the discovery of the irrationality of the square root of two. Hippasus, a disciple of Pythagoras, showed that the diagonal of a unit square was incommensurable with its edge: in other words he proved there was no existing number that depicts the proportion of the diagonal of the unit square to its edge.
This caused a significant re-evaluation of Greek philosophy of mathematics. According to legend, fellow Pythagoreans were so traumatized by this discovery that they murdered Hippasus to stop him from spreading his heretical idea. Simon Stevin was one of the first in Europe to challenge Greek ideas in the 16th century. Beginning with Leibniz, the focus shifted to the relationship between mathematics and logic; this perspective dominated the philosophy of mathematics through the time of Frege and of Russell, but was brought into question by developments in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. A perennial issue in the philosophy of mathematics concerns the relationship between logic and mathematics at their joint foundations. While 20th-century philosophers continued to ask the questions mentioned at the outset of this article, the philosophy of mathematics in the 20th century was characterized by a predominant interest in formal logic, set theory, foundational issues, it is a profound puzzle that on the one hand mathematical truths seem to have a compelling inevitability, but on the other hand the source of their "truthfulness" remains elusive.
Investigations into this issue are known as the foundations of mathematics program. At the start of the 20th century, philosophers of mathematics were beginning to divide into various schools of thought about all these questions, broadly distinguished by their pictures of mathematical epistemology and ontology. Three schools, formalism and logicism, emerged at this time in response to the widespread worry that mathematics as it stood, analysis in particular, did not live up to the standards of certainty and rigor, taken for granted; each school addressed the issues that came to the fore at that time, either attempting to resolve them or claiming that mathematics is not entitled to its status as our most trusted knowledge. Surprising and counter-intuitive developments in formal logic and set theory early in the 20th century led to new questions concerning what was traditionally called the foundations of mathematics; as the century unfolded, the initial focus of concern expanded to an open exploration of the fundamental axioms of mathematics, the axiomatic approach having been taken for granted since the time of Euclid around 300 BCE as the natural basis for mathematics.
Notions of axiom and proof, as well as the notion of a proposition being true of a mathematical object, were formalized, allowing them to be treated mathematically. The Zermelo–Fraenkel axioms for set theory were formulated whi
Ludwig Josef Johann Wittgenstein was an Austrian philosopher who worked in logic, the philosophy of mathematics, the philosophy of mind, the philosophy of language. From 1929 to 1947, Wittgenstein taught at the University of Cambridge. During his lifetime he published just one slim book, the 75-page Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, one article, one book review and a children's dictionary, his voluminous manuscripts were published posthumously. Philosophical Investigations appeared as a book in 1953, has since come to be recognised as one of the most important works of philosophy in the 20th century, his teacher, Bertrand Russell, described Wittgenstein as "the most perfect example I have known of genius as traditionally conceived. Born in Vienna into one of Europe's richest families, he inherited a fortune from his father in 1913, he made some donations to artists and writers, in a period of severe personal depression after the First World War, he gave away his entire fortune to his brothers and sisters.
Three of his brothers committed suicide, which Wittgenstein had contemplated. He left academia several times—serving as an officer on the front line during World War I, where he was decorated a number of times for his courage, he described philosophy as "the only work that gives me real satisfaction". His philosophy is divided into an early period, exemplified by the Tractatus, a period, articulated in the Philosophical Investigations; the early Wittgenstein was concerned with the logical relationship between propositions and the world and believed that by providing an account of the logic underlying this relationship, he had solved all philosophical problems. The Wittgenstein rejected many of the assumptions of the Tractatus, arguing that the meaning of words is best understood as their use within a given language-game. A survey among American university and college teachers ranked the Investigations as the most important book of 20th-century philosophy, standing out as "the one crossover masterpiece in twentieth-century philosophy, appealing across diverse specializations and philosophical orientations."
The Investigations ranked 54th on a list of most influential twentieth-century works in cognitive science prepared by the University of Minnesota's Center for Cognitive Sciences. However, in the words of his friend Georg Henrik von Wright, he believed "his ideas were misunderstood and distorted by those who professed to be his disciples, he doubted. He once said he felt as though he was writing for people who would think in a different way, breathe a different air of life, from that of present-day men." According to a family tree prepared in Jerusalem after World War II, Wittgenstein's paternal great-great-grandfather was Moses Meier, a Jewish land agent who lived with his wife, Brendel Simon, in Bad Laasphe in the Principality of Wittgenstein, Westphalia. In July 1808, Napoleon issued a decree that everyone, including Jews, must adopt an inheritable family surname, so Meier's son Moses, took the name of his employers, the Sayn-Wittgensteins, became Moses Meier Wittgenstein, his son, Hermann Christian Wittgenstein—who took the middle name "Christian" to distance himself from his Jewish background—married Fanny Figdor Jewish, who converted to Protestantism just before they married, the couple founded a successful business trading in wool in Leipzig.
Ludwig's grandmother Fanny was a first cousin of the famous violinist Joseph Joachim. They had 11 children—among them Wittgenstein's father. Karl Otto Clemens Wittgenstein became an industrial tycoon, by the late 1880s was one of the richest men in Europe, with an effective monopoly on Austria's steel cartel. Thanks to Karl, the Wittgensteins became the second wealthiest family in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, only behind the Rothschilds. Karl Wittgenstein was viewed as the Austrian equivalent of Andrew Carnegie, with whom he was friends, was one of the wealthiest men in the world by the 1890s; as a result of his decision in 1898 to invest in the Netherlands and in Switzerland as well as overseas in the US, the family was to an extent shielded from the hyperinflation that hit Austria in 1922. However, their wealth diminished due to post-1918 hyperinflation and subsequently during the Great Depression, although as late as 1938 they owned 13 mansions in Vienna alone. Wittgenstein's mother was Leopoldine Maria Josefa Kalmus, known among friends as Poldi.
Her father was a Bohemian Jew and her mother was Austrian-Slovene Catholic—she was Wittgenstein's only non-Jewish grandparent. She was an aunt of the Nobel Prize laureate Friedrich Hayek on her maternal side. Wittgenstein was born at 8:30 pm on 26 April 1889 in the so-called "Wittgenstein Palace" at Alleegasse 16, now the Argentinierstrasse, near the Karlskirche. Karl and Poldi had nine children in all—four girls: Hermine, Helene, a fourth daughter Dora who died as a baby; the children were baptized as Catholics, received formal Catholic instruction, were raised in an exceptionally intense environmen
Coming of Age (2008 TV series)
Coming of Age is a British sitcom, written by Tim Dawson, produced in house by BBC Productions, broadcast on the former channel BBC Three. The show took a direct look at five sixth form students, Ollie, Chloe and DK, as well as, from series three, new character Robyn Crisp, who are living in Abingdon, their lives rotate around the fictional Wooton College, their bedrooms, Ollie's garden shed. A pilot aired in 2007, followed by the first series in 2008, a second series in 2010, a third beginning in January 2011. In 2011, the show was cancelled along with other long running BBC Three programmes including Ideal, Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps, Hotter Than My Daughter, Doctor Who Confidential; the first series was released on DVD on 26 October 2009, however, no further series have been released on DVD. Coming of Age is set in Abingdon, Oxfordshire. Although the show consists of scenes recorded on location and pre-recorded studio scenes, most of the show is recorded in front of a live studio audience at BBC Television Centre, White City, London.
Wooton College external shots were filmed at Abingdon Campus. The Coming of Age production team joined forces with BBC Introducing, a BBC-wide project that supports unsigned and under-the-radar artists and DJs, to find the original theme tune and sound for the show, they held a competition for six up-and-coming artists including KateGoes, to write a theme tune for the show from a written specification. KateGoes won and the theme was recorded in the studio of Richie Webb whose credits include That Mitchell and Webb Look and Comedy Shuffle, to create the final theme tune for the show. Twenty-three episodes of Coming of Age were broadcast over the course of three series. There are number of differences between the subsequent series. Most notably, Alex Kew and Amy Yamazaki, who played Ollie and Jas in the pilot, have been replaced by Ceri Phillips and Hannah Job. Dani Harmer played Chloe, but was replaced by Anabel Barnston; as well as new sets, the theme tune changed, from "Steady, As She Goes" by The Raconteurs to a specially written piece by Birmingham band KateGoes and Richie Webb.
The show proved enormously popular with its target audience from the beginning, with Series 1 enjoying an average weekly reach of 1.2 million, each episode appearing in the top 10 requested programmes on BBC iPlayer the day following transmission. Series 2 built with the first episode premiering to 719, 000 viewers. BBC Three controller Danny Cohen noted: "I'm delighted that Coming Of Age has been such a hit with young viewers; the writer Tim Dawson and the young cast are bright emerging stars for the BBC." Despite this, the show receives a poor reaction from television critics. Writing about the first episode, The Daily Telegraph's Culture magazine was negative: "Crudeness abounds... but neither wit nor charm has tagged along for the ride.". Harry Venning in The Stage stated that most of the show's humour "was unremittingly dire" and stated " I sat through Coming Of Age with the will to live seeping from my every pore, leaving me drenched in a puddle of despair. Writer Tim Dawson was 19 when he wrote it, about six years older than I would have guessed."
Meanwhile, The Scotsman said simply: "Coming of Age may be the worst BBC sitcom yet. It is aimed at teenagers, but I refuse to believe that the easiest-to-please teenager is happy to accept something so horribly written, horribly acted and horribly vulgar in lieu of actual humour." However, some have been more willing to acknowledge the sitcom’s appeal, with the British Comedy Guide conceding, "For its fans, it's a heightened reflection of their own experience of teenage years, with brilliantly absurd exchanges and sublime vulgarity to match." Coming of Age at BBC Programmes Coming of Age on IMDb Coming of Age at British Comedy Guide