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Elisa Freschi
I work on Sanskrit (and) Philosophy, with the hope of integrating Indian philosophy in "Philosophy" tout court
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Thanks, Marcus. The problem is that you are operating with two distinct notions of God, one of a God as person (who can choose a suboptimal state of affairs, like not being completely omniscient) in order to benefit people He loves (let us call this the Hebrew option) and the other of God as perfect being (like in Aristotle, let us call this the Greek one). The latter is the consistent output of ontological and metaphysical arguments (like Aristotle's ones, but think also of Spinoza or Leibniz), but cannot choose to be different than what He is. Many comparable debates took case in Islamic philosophy between the God of philosophers and the God of Islam. I see from your note about a ''God as a kind of living agent, one who judges human beings, commands them, etc.'' that you (in this comment, I am not arguing about your overall beliefs!) might be inclined to privilege the ''Hebrew'' over the ''Greek'' God, but this leaves you with the very difficult problem of how to justify His existence, for metaphysical claims only lead to some sort of ''Greek'' God. Nor could it be otherwise, since the only thing you can prove inferentially (e.g., by inferring a cause out of its effect) is a rational and not-varying cause, not a whimsical one who might have done x or y. Last, let me add that the conflation of the two notions of God is widely found in many Christian thinkers, who indeed needed to find place for two different traditions (the ''Hebrew" and the "Greek" one).
Thanks for engaging, Marcus. (By the way, it is all but normal that you did not think a lot about omniscience if you never worked on philosophy of religion, given that in European and Angloamerican philosophy this is usually the only field in which it plays a role). As for your question, it has to do with one's conception of God (about which you might want to check this post: Basically, if you think of God as a perfect being, then you are very much likely to add that He is unchanging over time (because how could He have been perfect at time t1 and at time t2 if at time t1 He lacked something, namely the characteristic He acquired at time t2?). But if He is unchanging over time, He cannot acquire new knowledge, He must be omniscient ab initio, which means that He must have known forever all possible states of affairs, which should therefore be all simultaneously present in His mind. This, in turn, leads to problems relative to knowledge and temporality. Hope this is clear enough!
Dear readers, I have not been contributing much in the last months, since I focused almost exclusively on South Asian philosophy, which is not the main interest of most of you. Nonetheless, I thought of offering you a glance of a topic I worked on. I would be very grateful... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at The Philosophers' Cocoon
Marcus, it is private and you can invite whoever you want. Plus, people who have similar research interests get notified about the session and may ask to join it (you will have to allow it or not). But I see your point about the fact that some people dislike (perhaps we should dedicate a post to it? In my subfield, there has recently been a very interesting discussion of its pros and cons).
Thanks for putting some effort into it. However: Why not just using the "Session" feature on
Dear Marcus, thanks for doing these posts. Whenever I read them, I realise I should care more about my philpapers account (so, thanks for prompting me to update it from time to time!). Some small updates: 1. Elisa Freschi, Cathy Cantwell and Jowita Kramer (eds.). Reuse and Intertextuality in the Context of Buddhist Texts. Buddhist Studies Review 2016. Volume 33.1--2. 2. Elisa Freschi and Cathy Cantwell. "Introduction". In: lisa Freschi, Cathy Cantwell and Jowita Kramer (eds.). Reuse and Intertextuality in the Context of Buddhist Texts. 3. "Veṅkaṭanātha's engagement with Buddhist opponents in the Buddhist texts he reused" (article). Buddhist Studies Review. 2017. Volume 33.1--2, pp. 65--99. 4. Elisa Freschi and Philipp Maas (eds.). Adaptive Reuse: Aspects of Creativity in South Asian Cultural History. Wiesbaden: Deutsche Morgenländische Gesellschaft, Harrassowitz. 2017. 5. Introduction. In: Elisa Freschi and Philipp Maas (eds.). Adaptive Reuse…. 6. Reusing, Adapting, Distorting? Veṅkaṭanātha's reuse of Rāmānuja, Yāmuna and the Vṛttikāra in his commentary ad PMS 1.1.1. In: In: Elisa Freschi and Philipp Maas (eds.). Adaptive Reuse…. 7. "Which kind of truth for the Veda as conceived by Mīmāṃsā authors?" (article) Samskrtacintanam. 2016. Volume 1, pp. 47--54. 8. "Veṅkaṭanātha". In: Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy 2016 9. "Review of Hinduism and Environmental Ethics: Law, literature and philosophy, by Christopher G. Framarin". Cracow Indological Studies 2016. Volume XVIII, pp. 313--319.
thank you, Alison. This is another post which ---by being able to analyse the issue of what it means to have ''hobbies'' itself--- makes this series quite interesting.
Thank you, Marcus. IMHO, this is the most interesting post in the series (not because I did not like the others, but because of the interesting insights about the connection between your several "worlds" ---'hobbies' would not be enough). Also, I understand two of your theories better now that I now about their background.
Perhaps it might help to think that although it is *your* big day the other people on campus are human beings as well. They might have a really hard time at home or in their professional life and it is OK for them to be unable to engage in meaningful conversations. You do not need to take it as something personal. Sip a cup of tea, enjoy the sun (or the cloudy sky) and relax for some minutes!
Personally, I did answer to all the reviews I received, but for one (because it was published on a private google group and the author refused to republish it on a forum where I could have engaged with it). I think I, their authors, and the readers can learn a lot through a sincere effort to engage in a discussion and I am willing to try even when the reviewers are not particularly charitable. On the blog I moderate (Indian Philosophy Blog) we also publish reviews and invite authors to respond to them. This (unusual) experiment has yield so far very interesting results (less nasty reviews and more insightful discussions), see for instance here.
Dear Kenneth, many thanks for that. I did not know the article and found it extremely interesting (also because of its nice introduction on the sociological vs. doctrinary distinction). I hope to be able to find the time to discuss it in a separate post in a close future. As for your last question, Christianity surely mixes the two aspects you mention (with usually more emphasis on the former among the theologians, and more emphasis on the latter among the mystics). Nonetheless, I wonder whether the Aquinas' proposal as reproduced by Stump could not rather be described as putting together a brahman-like conception of God (the impersonal esse, or love as an abstract universal) with an Īśvara-like one (God as having a specific will to act in the world)?
As part of my attempts to go beyond my confort zone, Wednesday and Thursday last week I enjoyed two days of full immersion in the Analytical Philosophy of Religion. In fact, the conference I was attending was about the ontological status of relations from the perspective of Analytical Philosophy of... Continue reading
Posted Nov 28, 2016 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
Thanks, Rob, also because you are the first among the ones who replied me who actually engages with my question. I see your point and this is more or less what I have been doing until now. In fact, this is also what scholars like Peter Adamson, J. Ganeri, B.K. Matilal, E. Thompson, C. Coseru, M. Siderits, J.N. Mohanty, and so on… have been doing. All of them (of us, si parva licet componere magnis) have been showing (in a compelling way, I would say) that philosophers such as Kumārila produced sound arguments and interesting conclusions (e.g., on the topic of the epistemology of linguistic communication). This makes me think that the lack of consideration is more an a priori than something due to the actual fact that scholars have failed to show that all that you say applies. Then there is the second problem: Suppose I manage to convince logicians that they really cannot think about logic without taking into account Dharmakīrti's theory of syllogism. If they would accept him and then shut the door to any other, not so much would have been gained for the discipline, who would continue to neglect important contributions. This being said, I am not a political activist and I personally believe in the power of incremental change. I will thus continue to try hard (but will not forget that resistances might be more psychological/sociological/political than intellectually motivated).
As a scholar of Prābhākara Mīmāṃsā I am well aware of how the normative is often disguised as descriptive. "It is seven o' clock" says the mother, but what she means is rather "Get up! You have to go to school". Similarly, complex discourses about the nature of philosophy, how... Continue reading
Posted Oct 18, 2016 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
The authors of the Viśiṣṭādvaita Vedānta school (a philosophical school flourishing in South India from the 10th c. onwards) claim that the whole world is made of God/brahman and that everything else is nothing but a qualification of Him/it. This philosophical concept, it will be immediately evident, crashes against the... Continue reading
Posted Sep 28, 2016 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
I have a post-doc position in Europe (like Helen's ones, namely one for which I applied and won a grant). Whenever I discuss with colleagues from the US, I notice the same pattern of misunderstandings, based on a few points: 1. in the US one assumes that a person in my age should have a TT or permanent position (alternatively, she or he is just not good enough), due to the fact that there are *way* more teaching positions and it is in this sense easier to land in one (I know, US colleagues and friends will say it is not that easy, but it is still comparatively easier, due to the vast number of liberal art colleges and the like). 2. My US colleagues underestimate the amount of energy and work I and my European colleagues invest in grant-applications (and how prestigious they are). They look in my curriculum for different things, such as teaching awards, fail to find them and tend therefore to underestimate my teaching skills. 3. US letters are far more emphatic than any European one, so that the letters I can offer always look too shy in comparison, although they are realistic and trustworthy in their assessment. LONG STORY SHORT: I wonder whether a European scholar applying for a US job should not point such differences out in her cover letter, so as to make search committee aware of these differences. (European scholars, by contrast, take it for granted, that one will be paid during the Summer, that teaching loads will not be too bad and so on… but this will be discussed in a separate post about the European market for US applicants:)
Sorry for intruding so late. I appreciate X's concerns, since, as a reviewer who tries *not* to find out who the author is, I am often very annoyed by how authors leave obvious traces, such as using titles like "Studies in X, part 2", so that having read part 1 is enough to know who the author is. However, the solution is easy and advisable for all cases (since reviewers may have been at the same conference or at least read the program): Use different titles for conference papers and published versions thereof. Why don't we all agree about it?
Marcus, I appreciate your commitment to fairness, but I am not sure I have completely understood your proposal. You suggest to eliminate subjective factors and let numbers speak, right? But what numbers are we left with? 1. age/numbers of years from Phd/numbers of years needed for PhD? (you probably do not want to focus on them, do you? They are too much dependent on external elements, such as one's health, family, wealth, etc.). 2. number of pubblications (I agree that this is a very important predictor, but we have all sorts of evidences about the fact that papers get accepted because of one's pedigree, etc., so do we really want to focus on it? ---note that I speak as one who has many publications and knows that there are colleagues with less publications who are probably deeper thinkers than myself). 3. students' evaluations (but this is entirely subjective! Here things like one's outlook become too important. I am sure you do not want to include them ---again, I have positive students' evaluations, so I am not complaining because of my own case). Which numbers am I forgetting?
1 and 3: good practices and what to expect: Do a *honest* review, one through which the reader will understand a. what the book is about, b. whether the book makes an important contribution and is worth reading. 2: bad practices: My impression is that most US reviews are too positive, so that all books sound as if "the field will never be the same after them" (thus failing to convey b). By contrast, many European and Japanese reviews are too critical as if spotting mistakes were the only way to show that one has really read the book. I am very much in favour of finding real flaws, but cannot see any advantage in lists of typos and the like. 4: Does not seem to be so difficult to check. Whenever I write to prospective reviewers, I send in advance a short text explaining them what is expected from them.
Many thanks for these regular updates, Marcus! As for me, I have been less consistent than you in updating you (and Philpapers), thus: 1. E. Freschi (ed.) The reuse of texts in Indian Philosophy. Part 2. Special Issue of the Journal of Indian Philosophy 42.4--5 (2015). ( 2. Agata Ciabattoni, Elisa Freschi, Francesco A. Genco, and Björn Lellmann. Mīmāṃsā deontic logic: proof theory and applications. In: Hans DeNivelle (ed.) Automated Reasoning with Analytic Tableaux and Related Methods. Springer 2015. (pdf available here:īmāṃsā_deontic_logic_proof_theory_and_applications) 3. E. Freschi. Systematising an absent category: discourses on "nature" in Prābhākara Mīmāṃsā. Supplemento della Rivista di Studi Orientali LXXXVIII.2 (2015), pp. 45--54.
The last post of Marcus made me think about the fact that some readers might have little or no experience with different teaching environments and might be eager to learn about them (by the way, I am also eager to learn about different schemes, so please tell me about them... Continue reading
Posted Jan 23, 2016 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
Thanks, Roger, nice idea.
Peter Adamson discusses similarities and differences between al-Ghazālī's and Descartes' arguments here:
How do you make your papers anonymous? I usually just delete my name, all I-references in connection with quotes from my previous articles and the name of the funding agency who finances my research. However, recently I have been asked by two different journal editors to be much more radical... Continue reading
Posted Nov 26, 2015 at The Philosophers' Cocoon
Thank you, Helen, very nice idea! And thanks to Mark Silcox for taking the time to tell us about his story not taking himself too seriously.