Humanities Bulletin 2020-07-02T13:23:35+00:00 Submission and general inquiries Open Journal Systems <p>Call for Papers - Vol. 3, No. 2 (November 2020)<br />Submission Deadline: October 20, 2020.</p> The Nature of the Dispute between Philo and Cleanthes in David Hume's Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion 2020-07-01T22:04:26+00:00 Stanley Tweyman <p>In my paper, I examine the source of the disagreement between Philo and Cleanthes in David Hume’s <em>Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion</em>, beginning in Part 2, in regard to the analogical Argument from Design - the argument which purports to prove, through the principle ‘like effects prove like causes’, that the similarities between the design of the world and the design of machines, in terms of means to ends relations and a coherence of parts, countenance the conclusion that the cause of the design of the world resembles the cause of the design of machines. I show that Cleanthes and Philo have different interpretations regarding the proper application of the principle ‘like effects prove like causes’, the central principle employed in Cleanthes’ argument. Hume achieves a reconciliation between the disputants in Part 12, which he holds that it is reasonable to accept, although the reconciliation is held to take place, not as we might expect, between Cleanthes and Philo (the principal speakers in this work), but between the theist and the atheist, and (in a footnote in Part 12) between the dogmatists and the sceptics. I explain this change; and show that in Part 12, as in the earlier Parts of the <em>Dialogues</em>, Philo remains consistent with his claim to Demea in Part 2, that he argues with Cleanthes “in his own way”.</p> 2020-06-01T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Ordinary Language, Cephalus and a Deflationary Account of the Forms 2020-07-01T22:08:10+00:00 Joshua Anderson <p>In this article I seek to come to some understanding of the interlocutors in the first book of Plato’s <em>Republic</em>, particularly Cephalus. A more complete view of Cephalus not only provides some interesting ways to think about Plato and the <em>Republic</em>, but also suggests an interesting alternative to Plato’s view of justice. The article will progress as follows: First, I discuss Plato’s allegory of the cave. I, then, critique the cave allegory by applying the same kind of reasoning that O. K. Bouwsma used to criticize Descartes’ evil genius. Next, I present what I think is a fruitful way to understand Cephalus. Finally, I draw some important conclusions regarding justice and offer some interesting critiques of Plato and Platonism.</p> 2020-06-01T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2020 The Misgivings of a Pop Culture Enthusiast: On the intersection of philosophy and entertainment 2020-07-02T13:23:35+00:00 J. Jeremy Wisnewski <p>In recent years, dozens of books on philosophy and popular culture have been published. These books have been subjected to a number of criticisms in a number of venues—including other popular philosophy venues. In this paper, I will examine several versions of the criticism that such endeavors are frivolous entertainment. I will argue that, though most of these criticisms do not stand up to scrutiny, they nevertheless express a legitimate worry about the intercourse of philosophy and entertainment. This, I contend, is a criticism the ‘philosophy and popular culture’ genre must live with—and one that cannot easily be dismissed.</p> 2020-06-01T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Cognition as Computation: From Swift to Turing 2020-07-01T22:26:22+00:00 Majid Amini <p><strong><em>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </em></strong>If one is going to compile a catalogue of the central concerns of <em>Gulliver’s Travels</em>, it goes without question or hesitation that the concept of <em>reason</em> looms large, if not possessing the uppermost priority, in Jonathan Swift’s authorial agenda. Swift is not only interested in reason insofar as practical rationalities, rational practicalities, and moral mores are concerned but also in the nature and constitution of reason itself. Thus, the purpose of this paper is to look at Swift’s treatment of the nature and constitution of reason and rationality in two of the Gulliver’s voyages: <em>viz.</em> the journeys to <em>Brobdingnag</em> and <em>Balnibarbi</em>. What is intriguing is that Swift seems to anticipate in the former voyage Alan Turing’s Imitation Game and in the latter voyage Turing’s idea of computational mechanization of intelligence, where he relates the two tales with diametrically opposite sentiments. The discussion of Swift’s anticipations is then set against the backcloth of the vicissitudes of the idea of Logical Machine from William of Soissons in the twelfth century to Alonzo Church’s Theorem and David Hilbert’s broad-ranging <em>Entscheidungsproblem</em> in the twentieth century.</p> 2020-06-01T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Establishing a New Standard for Divine Omnipotence 2020-07-01T22:31:03+00:00 Leland Harper <p>“Omnipotence” is one of the most critical terms in philosophy of religion. A significant amount of time has been devoted to determining precisely what omnipotence means and what it entails. The task of deciphering the meaning of omnipotence has generally been tied solely to specifying the kinds of tasks that an omnipotent being could do. Moreover, the discussion around this term has mostly been an investigation into what types of tasks an omnipotent being ought to be able to do, leaving out any discussion of <em>how </em>an omnipotent being goes about accomplishing those tasks. More than just the ability to carry out an action, the manner in which an operation is carried out can denote varying levels of power so when discussing omnipotence, the two aspects ought not to be addressed independently. As it is used in the philosophy of religion today and has been for a substantial amount of time, omnipotence is only concerned with the <em>what</em>, and not the <em>how </em>of divine acts. I argue that the <em>how </em>aspect of these divine acts is the real marker of omnipotence, and that such a reconceptualization of divine omnipotence can have consequences in both theology and philosophy.</p> 2020-06-01T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Goodman's Grue ? Relativized Pluralism and Paradigmatic Thought Experiment (Whack) 2020-07-01T22:34:18+00:00 C.P. Hertogh <p>In this paper we examine Nelson Goodman's <em>Grue </em>'new riddle of induction' from the perspective of research into semantics of thought experiment. Since <em>Grue </em>may be considered a productive epistemic paradox TE, we can't agree on the skeptical resolution of the neologistic thought experiment to near-common sense of Goodman's entrenchment theory. Instead, we consider the thought experiment a prototype of a Kuhnian paradigmatic or revolutionary thought experiment, which may cover famous examples from history of science, whereof we will analyze one in more detail as a specimen with help of temporal predicate logic ('all swans are whack'). Next, we argue for a pluralistic interpretation of the paradox thought experiment as in line with Goodman's philosophical position of irrealism--pluralism of the paradox is not the problem, it is the resolution of the problem. Partly on basis of analogous analyses of WVO Quine's <em>Gavagai </em>thought experiment, we conclude by opting for Quinean ontological relativity, which does not exclude pluralism, but makes it hook upon (physical) reality. Modal logic, possible worlds semantics is proposed as alternate to classical logic as to deal with relativized pluralism and possible paradigm shifts in science.</p> 2020-06-01T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2020 The Expression of Value in a World of Fact 2020-07-02T13:01:37+00:00 Joseph P. Hester <p>This article examines the difficulties of expressing values consistently so that others are able to understand and draw conclusions about personal motives and behaviors. Recognized are the hidden and often unspoken beliefs and values found in everyday conversation and in moral theory-making. What is suggested is that seeking common values that are useful and shareable is no easy task. Given the utilitarian hypothesis that moral value is simply a matter of convenience and utility, the expression of value in a world of fact is and remains a precarious vision, but one to which we aspire.</p> 2020-06-01T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Identity Change in Jhumpa Lahiri’s Novel The Lowland 2020-07-01T22:41:04+00:00 Aurelija Daukšaitė-Kolpakovienė <p>The topic of identity is very prominent in Jhumpa Lahiri’s novel <em>The Lowland </em>(2013), and different characters can be analysed in terms of it. One of the main characters is an Indian woman Gauri who becomes a widow and marries the brother of her former husband. When they move to America, Gauri starts discovering her new multiple (possible present and future) identities. Therefore, the article aims to discuss how Gauri’s identity changes throughout the novel. The discussion is based on Identity Theory and its relevant concepts. It reveals how migration becomes an eye-opening experience and influences Gauri’s identity.</p> 2020-06-01T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2020 The American Hero Redeemed in Frances Khirallah Noble's The New Belly Dancer of the Galaxy 2020-07-01T22:45:31+00:00 Ibis Gómez-Vega <p>The American hero made his literary debut as a rugged individual who exhibited courage, decency, common courtesy to others, but the antihero who lacked most basic values soon stole the stage. Although some consider Kahlil Gibran Hourani, the main character in Nobel's novel, an antihero, I argue that Kahlil, a Syrian American man who is abused by men who consider him a terrorist, suffers through the abuse perpetrated against him and emerges from his ordeal with his values intact. After escaping his captors, he embarks on a journey home to his wife, resigned to face her ire; however, during this journey, he finds the courage to stand up for the rights of others, as he does when he helps the illegal aliens being abused by their handler, and he is also still capable of treating other people with courtesy, as he does when he encounters the homeless woman in the Laundromat. Kahlil exhibits courage, empathy, simple human decency, the qualities that define a hero. He is the American hero, redeemed, no longer an antihero.</p> 2020-06-01T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2020 A Saintly Woman is Not a Starving Woman: Parrhesia in “Birgitta’s Heart is a Pot of Delicious Food” 2020-07-01T22:48:31+00:00 Judith Lanzendorfer <p>This article focuses on Chapter 54, “Birgitta’s Heart is a Pot of Delicious Food”, of Birgitta of Sweden’s <em>Revelationes extravagantes</em>. This vision is striking in its use of <em>parrhesis</em>, the idea of speaking “truth to power”, particularly because this vision is less edited by an <em>amanuensis</em> than any other section of Birgitta’s works. Also striking in this vision is the use of food, which is often presented in medieval women’s visionary texts as a temptation; in Chapter 54 food is framed in a positive way. It is only ash from a fire that the food is cooked over, framed as worldly temptation, that is problematic. As such, the emphasis in the vision is balance between an understanding of the secular world and how it can coexist with one’s spiritual nature.</p> 2020-06-01T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Nomadic Subjectivities: Reflections on Exophonic Strategies in Yoko Tawada’s Schwager in Bordeaux 2020-07-01T22:51:35+00:00 Flora Roussel <p>The author Yoko Tawada is well known for her exophonic and experimental work. Writing in German and in Japanese, she joyfully plays with questions of identity, nation-state, culture, language, among other. As exophony in theory and practice is at the center of each of her novels, it thus appears interesting to look closer to the strategies Tawada develops in order to disturb and subvert categorizations. Taking <em>Schwager in Bordeaux</em> as a case study, this paper intends to analyze how Tawada’s exophony de/construct subjectivity. It will first put light on the very concept of exophony, before leaving the space for a close reading analysis of the novel on two specific aspects: dematerialization and rematerialization, which both will aim to draw an exophonic portrait of nomadic writing through its focus on subjectivity.</p> 2020-06-01T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2020 (Post)Colonial Discourse and the Irish Self in the Writings of J.C. Mangan 2020-07-01T22:55:23+00:00 Richard Jorge <p>Both Gothic and postcolonial theory centre on the self and the other, and on the relationships of dominance concurrent to them. Gothic literature has traditionally explored this relationship through the dichotomy self vs. other, identifying the former with the protagonist while the latter would be everything else in that world. Postcolonial theory applied to Ireland has traditionally understood this axiom in the realization of the opposition Irish vs. English. The short stories of J.C. Mangan, however, challenge that axiom by further complicating a reductionist perception of the Irish (literary) scene. The main argument of the present paper, therefore, is that far from being a dichotomy, the Irish case is better understood as a triangle in which two of its vertices are fixed—Catholics/Irish and English—while the third vertex, that of the Anglo-Irish, gradually shifts positions from the English to the Irish one, following a creolization process in which they are both victims and victimizers.</p> 2020-06-01T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Confessionary Evidence and the State of Exception: A Conversation between Visakesa Chandrasekaram and Para Paheer 2020-07-01T22:59:50+00:00 Vihanga Perera <p>In an investigation of narrative representations that voice anomalies and irregularities in the prosecution of Tamil political prisoners in Sri Lanka, the paper sets in conference stories of torture and trial in Para Paheer’s <em>The Power of Good People</em>, and Visakesa Chandrasekaram’s <em>Tigers Don’t Confess</em> and <em>The Use of Confessionary Evidence under the Counter-Terrorism Laws of Sri Lanka.</em> The paper investigates the judicial space in which these cases were tried as a corollary of the state of exception practiced in Sri Lanka resulting from long term use of emergency regulations and counter-terrorism laws. By drawing on constitutional changes and amendments from 1978 to the present – and by referring to the state’s intimidation and undermining of the judiciary – I investigate the process by which exception was sustained as a governing philosophy in Sri Lanka, and locate the judiciary as an organ compliant of government. The paper also holds to discussion the fate of Tamil political prisoners eleven years after the conclusion of the Sri Lankan Civil War in 2009, the slow progress of post-war reconciliation, and the challenges they face in ongoing imprisonment.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> 2020-06-01T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Memory, Nature, and the Futility of War in Alice Oswald’s Memorial 2020-07-02T13:12:35+00:00 Catherine Mary Simmerer <p>Although Alice Oswald’s 2011 <em>Memorial d</em>erives its source material from Homer’s epic poem, it does not move with the same energy as the great epic. Rather, it commemorates the dead with a more muted sense of grief. A memorial operates as a retrospective poem, drawing from memory: the community or the individual who remembers is the impetus for the memorial. In Oswald’s <em>Memorial</em>, we serve as that impetus – we, the readers, are the conveyors of memory. Oswald’s <em>Memorial </em>is a written poem, more similar in some ways to a physical war monument than an oral epic, and her style and form must engage the reader in an active manner. This memorial offers a meditative rather than an enraged response to the solders’ deaths; it commemorates each soldier, from both sides of the conflict, in rhythmic, meditative pacing, with an eye to the future, and a cautionary tale for the present. Oswald’s poem offers this space for collective memorialization that includes this “active reciprocity” of simultaneously honoring the dead and admonishing the living. We may grieve for those we’ve never met, but in the end, we remember the dead for the sake of the living.</p> 2020-06-01T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Objective Values in the Information Age: Preserving Humanity with C.S. Lewis’ Abolition of Man 2020-07-01T23:35:29+00:00 Taten C. Shirley <p>This essay examines C.S. Lewis’s call for objective values in <em>The Abolition of Man</em>. It also contextualizes Lewis’s argument with the technological advancements that were occurring in his time. Writing at the cusp of modern technology, Lewis was aware and concerned with the potential repercussions of where technological research was headed and what effect it was having on the world’s value system. Specifically, he was concerned with the move toward subjective values and feared it would lead to humanity’s ruin. If the world does not observe and agree upon objective values, then there is no standard that would prevent its dehumanization by technology. Lewis begins with the Christian premise that because humans are flawed, it cannot be left up to the individual to determine right and wrong. Instead, there must be objective values based on God’s nature that guide the morals of society, and it is these values that should help society navigate decisions concerning technology. This is all the more relevant today, as technology is advancing faster than people can anticipate, and it is affecting everyday life. At the same time, it is becoming increasingly common, as people try to right past injustices and respect varying cultural traditions, for people to end up standing for nothing, claiming that there is no absolute truth, and that morality is relative. This is the crux of the issue with which society should concern itself: protecting people from losing their humanity.</p> 2020-06-01T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Invoking the Studio Art & Design Spirit in Writing Instruction 2020-07-01T23:38:26+00:00 Vittoria Sofia Rubino <p>This article will address pedagogical and theoretical conversations on the subjects of arts-based pedagogies and similar methods that oppose traditional writing instruction as evidenced in the studio environment. The goal here is to open these spaces to include compositional practices to establish new commonplaces that take students’ individual creative and analytical identities into consideration in writing instruction. “The studio” is a commonly invoked metaphor for writing instruction generally, but first-year writing specifically, for the potential of its pedagogies; however, in order to consider how these classrooms might employ (or do employ) some of these processes and practices, I will focus on pedagogical approaches such as constructivism and improvisation that are, in the studio environment, centered on students making artifacts in various media. The purpose of this examination is not only to examine what these disciplines privilege and why, but to find the spaces in our writing instruction that can benefit from a close examination of these beliefs and values.</p> 2020-06-01T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Witnessing or re-imagining? Provincial ghetto in a lens of Gentile photographers 2020-07-01T23:43:48+00:00 Lucia Morawska <p>This paper focuses on the collection of some pre-war pictures and Holocaust photographs from a provincial Polish town. Located in two photographic studios hundreds of pictures spanning several decades supply the token presence of discontinued life and coexisting communities: Jewish and Gentile. The Jewish past of the town just like that of many other Eastern European shtetls is often presented separately from that of other local communities. This creates the notion of ‘theirs’ and ‘ours’, with the latter extenuated by the absence of one of the parties. The pictures reflect everyday life, not as separated by cultural, religious or language variants but very much an intertwined. The likeness of people captured on a photographic film is one of the few pieces of proof that they existed, a silent reminder but also, a form of witnessing. The photographs can also be seen as a meeting space. This paper, therefore, will look at how visual evidence allows us to track traces of people, places and objects that are no longer there addressed from a perspective of a photographer, the witness and participant of the dreadful events. It will also ask the question of how the latter can helps us to ‘materialise’ memory, understand the past through visualisations and make us secondary witnesses.</p> 2020-06-01T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2020