• Ben Holloway

    Text and Intention

    Semantic autonomy is the view that literary works are independent objects that possess properties sufficient for determining their interpretations. One has no need to consult the author’s intentions. The view was defended in “The Intentional Fallacy” by Wimsatt and Beardsley in 1946. Its most prominent opponent was E. D. Hirsch whose book, Validity in Interpretation (1967), defended the view that the meaning of a literary work is determined by its author, specifically by the intentions of the author. Hirsch argues that if the author does not determine the meaning of a work, then nothing does. It would follow that there really is no such thing as the meaning of a…

  • Christian Life

    Pride and its Consequences

    Pride is a pre-occupation with oneself. It is to think too much of ourselves. Thus, pride may be displayed either self-aggrandizement or self-pity. All that is required for pride is to occupy yourself with yourself too much. Pride causes a host of other problems. For example, pride makes us ignorant. If we think too highly of our own opinions, we will be unteachable. We’ll only listen to people with whom we agree. Pride makes us people-pleasers. If we think of our feelings above all, we will do pretty much anything to illicit the love of others.  Pride makes us factious. If we think that we are the center, then we…

  • Book Reviews

    Boomerang Books

    A boomerang book is a book to which one often returns. I have several. Here are five: Philosophy and Education by George R. Knight “Why is a school set up like a playground?” “Why does my child have all these projects to do?” “Another field trip! What’s the point?” “Wow! are you sure we need all these books?” “Logic? is that really necessary?” How we, or our children, are educated is very important. But few stop to think about what grounds our choices. We often revert to an appeal to our preferences or our comfort with a particular teacher. George Knight’s book shows how each educational method, teaching style, curriculum,…

  • Epistemology

    Ought I Believe?

    Do we have doxastic obligations, obligations of belief? Is the sentence, ‘You ought to believe p’ intelligible or does it reduce to ‘p is true’ or ‘I want you to agree with me’? Say ‘S believes p’ is true. It tells us something about S but nothing about whether S ought to believe p. But we do think that there is some connection between belief and true propositions that is somehow related to a person’s obligations. We Can’t Believe Anything We Want We don’t really think that anyone can believe anything they want. We might say, ‘you can believe anything you want,’ but what we mean by freedom of belief…

  • choose the right apologetic strategy
    Apologetics

    3 Apologetic Strategies

    Broadly speaking, there are three apologetic strategies. Picking an appropriate one for every occasion will aid an apologist’s success. Defensive Strategy The first apologetic strategy involves defending one’s own position against objections. For example, the problem of evil amounts to an objection to the Christian belief in God’s omnipotence and omnibenevolence. If one can successfully solve the problem of evil, then one has succeeded in rebutting the objection. Reasons to use the defensive strategy: Rebutting objections is a modest aim. It is far more achievable than either a full-blown defense of one’s view or showing that the alternative view is false. Weaknesses for the defensive strategy: The strategy does not…

  • Book Reviews

    Five of the Best: History of Philosophy Books

    It is not strictly true that philosophers only write in the present tense. There are a good number of philosophers who turn their pens from analysis to narrative. Some, in fact, are quite good at it. Here are five of the best histories of philosophy in no particular order. First, a new one: A. C. Grayling’s The History of Philosophy. Grayling, master of New College, London, is a teacher by trade and by nature. He has a unique knack of explaining something quite complicated in an intelligible way. He also writes about the characters of philosophy with a good deal of personal interest. His tone always suggests that he is…

  • Postmodernism,  Progressive Christianity,  Progressivism,  Testimony,  Theology

    Progressing from Progressivism: Why I Moved on from the New Kind of Christian.

    Back in the nineties, for a few years, I was a progressive Christian. Now, I am not. Why? In this post, I will tell you about five beliefs I uncritically held as a progressive Christian and why I was wrong. Epochism First, we believed that newer is better, and we thought we could predict the future on the basis of changes that had happened in the past. Thus, we predicted that there would be a new, better kind of Christianity and that old versions would become obsolete. I remember countless conversations in which we would discuss the inevitable demise of certain forms of Christianity, particularly conservative forms of evangelicalism. We’d…