Lawrence CahooneLawrence Cahoone is a professor of philosophy at The College of the Holy Cross. He has published on a range of topics in and near philosophy and politics. In 2104 he wrote a play, Wise Guys, he calls a philosophical comedy. It is available from www.heartlandplays.com. And in 2015 he won the J.N.Findlay Award given by the Metaphysical Society of America. His most recent book, The Orders of Nature, shows his familiarity with most all the ideas in philosophy from Plato forward, with special appreciation of the 20th- and 21st-century gyrations form modernism to post-modernism. He proposes a new version of naturalism based in what he describes as a systematic metaphysics. While this would normally reject any form of supernaturalism, Cahoone says his wide readings in modern cosmology suggest the need for a "Ground of Nature" which he situates in an examination of natural religion. Although Cahoone does not refer to him, C.F. von Weizsäcker called for God as a "Ground of Nature" in his 1971 The Unity of Nature. Cahoone describes the breadth of his naturalism.
beginning an inquiry into ethics or aesthetics or philosophy of science rightly presupposes definitions on which the inquiry is based, boundaries dictating what is not to be studied. But a systematic metaphysics claims an open-ended subject matter— what is not at least indirectly an object of its inquiry?... For our world has lots in it. It seems partly physical and material. But it includes dimensions or zones of being or phenomena that seem neither physical nor publicly accessible, for example, my feelings and thoughts, as well as layers of interpretation that differ from one public to another, e.g., different cultures, societies, and the historical funding they bring, as well as all specialized forms of culture—science, art, politics, sports, etc. Our lives are multiple. We engage in publicly normed social activities, lose ourselves in private torment or reverie, become ecologists on camping trips, pour out our personal experience in public signs, act as idiosyncratic individuals then as role-performers or group-members, deal with technologies through scientific physicalism before we go to church, pepper economic activities explainable by functionalism with emotive decisions based on charisma and tribal resentments, act like a materialist one moment, a dualist the next, an idealist the third, etc.
PublicationsThe Orders of Nature, State University of New York Press, 2013
Cultural Revolutions: Reason versus Culture in Philosophy, Politics, and Jihad, Pennsylvania State University Press, 2005
From Modernism to Postmodernism: An Anthology, Blackwell Publishers, 2003
The Ends of Philosophy: Pragmatism, Foundationalism, and Postmodernism, Blackwell Publishers, 2002
Civil Society: The Conservative Meaning of Liberal Practices, Blackwell Publishers, 2002
The Dilemma of Modernity: Philosophy, Culture, and Anti-Culture, State University of New York Press, 1988.
His 36-lecture video courses Modern Intellectual Tradition: From Descartes to Derrida (2010)
and Modern Political Tradition: Hobbes to Habermas (2014) is part of The Great Courses.
Normal | Teacher | Scholar