Thursday, May 01, 2014

Fantastic Philosophy or Gaggles of Geese? Highlights from Winter 2014

“So in the end, when one is doing philosophy, one gets to the point where one would just like to emit an inarticulate sound.”
– Ludwig Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations, §261.
Another semester comes to a close, and I’m starting to wonder if the honking I heard the other day was really geese making their way north now that spring has finally come or if it was the collective “inarticulate sound” of philosophy students nearing the end of their semester. Maybe a bit of both?

Nevertheless, 2014 has been full of novel ideas and brilliant insights at the Centre for Philosophy, Religion, and Social Ethics, and we haven’t even gotten to the best part yet. On May 12 and 13, the CPRSE will be hosting a conference in Edmonton, Alberta on economic justice called Are We There Yet? Economic Justice and the Common Good. Make sure to take a look through the line-up on the website—it’s sure to be an excellent and thought-provoking conference.

As we move into summer mode, where professors scramble together lesson plans and solidify syllabi and second year MA students painstakingly piece together theses (trying not to panic) and others get to take vacations, we should take a second to remember the best of Winter 2014 on Ground Motive.

In light of the recent release of Dr. Nicholas Ansell’s new book The Annihilation of Hell, Ground Motive sits down to chat with Dr. Ansell about the publication, discussing some of the most fascinating and compelling aspects of the work. Due to the buzz that the book generated and the quality of Dr. Ansell’s scholarly work, this interview scored the most views of any post so far this year.

Most CommentsCelebrating Limitation
Dr. Shannon Hoff graced Ground Motive with an eloquent reflection on Hegel and how freedom and creativity can flow out of limitation. The article was a pleasure to read--rich and engaging--and inspired a series of comments from readers who were serious about interacting with Dr. Hoff's piece and about exploring its implications and connections with other ideas.

Best Discussion Starter - On Being Against “Being Against Metaphysics”: A Case of Peter Hacker
In this piece, PhD candidate Joshua Harris from the Institute for Christian Studies targets philosopher Peter Hacker, cautioning against the increasingly popular tendency to move away from metaphysics. Harris suggests that metaphysics is the meat and potatoes of philosophy, a claim that started a cascade of substantive responses and a lively discussion.

Most Innovative Post - Evolution or Emergence? Freedom and Paradox on a Saturated Beach
Throughout his contributions to Ground Motive, Joseph Kirby has consistently proven his knack for combining creative thinking with rigorous philosophy. This post navigates between science and religion, offering some reflections on the limits of what science and religion can tell us about who we are.

Best Three-Part Literature Review for the “Justice and Faith” project -
  1. The Quest for Salvation and Our Social Engagement: Are they Reconcilable?
  2. Whose Reformed Tradition? Which Kuyper?
  3. A Replacement Hermeneutic & An Individualist Soteriology
As you may know, the CPRSE has partnered with the Centre for Community Based Research and the Christian Reformed Church of Canada to examine the connections between personal and public faith and conceptions of justice. The collaboration has resulted in a literature review outlining three areas where these themes meet:

Best ICS Alumnus Post - A Multiplying Fruitfulness: Meaning and/or Nihilism in Procreation
Drew Van’t Land, recent graduate from ICS’s MA program, writes on how family values can slip into looking a lot like nihilism or biological reductionism. He puts forward a new way of thinking about what it means to be fruitful and to multiply life.

Post about the Most Ridiculous Controversy - Explosions in the Twitterverse: Coca-Cola and the Canonization of “America the Beautiful”
This article analyzes the hidden sentiments about music and community identity that motivated the weird controversy over the Coca-Cola commercial during the Super Bowl and what they might mean for our ability to connect with others through music and in general.

Best Metaphor - Being in Three Places at One Time: Economic Justice from the Riverbanks and the Middle of the Stream
Reflecting on the ways in which we’re all implicated in systems of injustice, Associate Director of the CPRSE Allyson Carr suggests that all of us are simultaneously pushing people into the river, trying to save ourselves from drowning in the river, and trying to pull others out. We can’t approach problems of social injustice from outside—we’re always already deeply involved in systems of injustice in multiple ways.

Thanks to everyone who contributed to Ground Motive this semester, and we hope Ground Motive’s articles have made you wonder and ponder as much as they have for us at the CPRSE.

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