The Form of the Personal

  • John Macmurray
1953 to 1954
University of Edinburgh

John Macmurray asserts the primacy of the practical over the theoretical in The Self as Agent, demonstrating that philosophical analysis should begin with the Self as an agent of action in the world. In Persons in Relation, John Macmurray extends his work in The Self as Agent, showing the Self in proper existence within a community of relational beings and asserting that ‘there can be no man until there are at least two men in communication.’

The Interpretation of Religious Experience, vol. 2

  • John Watson
1910 to 1912
University of Glasgow

In the second part entitled Constructive Watson gives such an interpretation of religious ideas as may seem to be required by the greater complexity and comprehensiveness of modern thought. Watson attends to the evolution of ideas, concentrating on suggestive ideas in Hegel and his English exponents, though refusing to accept some of the doctrines presented as Hegelian in the works of certain exponents and critics in England and Germany.

The Interpretation of Religious Experience, vol. 1

  • John Watson
1910 to 1912
University of Glasgow

The Interpretation of Religious Experience is divided into two parts, published in separate volumes. In the first part entitled Historical Watson reflects critically upon religion and especially upon Christianity, discussing theological and philosophical writers. An enquiry into the origin and development of Christianity is conducted, devoting particular attention both to the systematic formulation of religious experience in theology and also to the influence of philosophy on theology.

Nature, Man and God

  • William Temple
1932 to 1934
University of Glasgow

In Nature, Man, and God, Archbishop Temple sets the groundwork for his “Philosophical Theology” by exploring issues related to the study of mind, and concluding with the person and work of Christ in what can be described as a Christocentric metaphysic.

The Freedom of Will

  • Austin Marsden Farrer
1956 to 1957
University of Edinburgh

Farrer’s work is a strong argument for freedom against determinism, which won wide praise from fellow philosophers, including his Oxford colleague P. F. Strawson. The work is dominated by a didactic assessment of libertarian and determinist arguments, in which the full weight of the determinist argument is given credence. Yet the fulfilment of the work places ultimate credence to the role of creativity and invention as the primary action of the will.

The Elusive Mind

  • Hywel David Lewis
1966 to 1968
University of Edinburgh

Professor Lewis’s book is a methodical defence of a traditional dualism against its contemporary opponents. He is thoroughly out of sympathy with many of the writers he examines – their arguments are ‘desperate, tortuous and unconvincing’ – and the general intimidating tone becomes somewhat wearisome after a while, even to one sympathetic to the position he defends.

The Road of Science and the Ways to God

  • Stanley L. Jaki
1974 to 1976
University of Edinburgh

The lectures seek to demonstrate by historical and epistemological analysis the necessary dependence of the rise of science in the West, and its continuation in the whole world, upon the cultural and metaphysical matrix provided by the Judeo-Christian worldview. The key and unique features of that worldview required for science to be born and mature include conviction of the world’s rationality, intelligibility and contingency, summarized by the Thomistic proofs for the existence of God.

Metaphysics as a Guide to Morals

  • Iris Murdoch
1981 to 1982
University of Edinburgh

This book, a revised and expanded version of Murdoch’s 1982 Gifford Lectures, is an intriguing, scholarly, but sprawling work that proceeds reflectively through an enormous range of topics, including art and religion, morals and politics, Wittgenstein, metaphysics, deconstruction, Schopenhauer, imagination, and Martin Buber. What Murdoch presents here is not a systematic treatise, but what can be described as ‘a huge hall of reflection full of light and space and fresh air, in which ideas and intuitions can be unsystematically nurtured’.

Characters in Search of Their Author

University of Glasgow

Rather than contributing a new work of natural theology, Characters in Search of Their Author is a philosophical defence of the broad task of natural theology, which takes as its starting point the assumption that some knowledge of God is attainable through ordinary means.

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