2021-10-15

Can We Believe in People?: Human Significance in an Interconnected Cosmos

The view that humanity is “in the image and likeness of God” has influenced the past two millennia of European history, and retains its significance despite the apparent decline of theism as a major social factor. Human beings are understood to be in some way “special,” deserving of “respect,” capable of understanding (even remaking) the universe. The aim of the author—drawing on a wide range of resources ancient and modern—is to clearly delineate this view: its apparent justifications, its implications, and what can and should be said to challenge it. Such a perspective seems necessary if we are to believe “human reason” fit to explain the cosmos or intuit true moral principles. But then again, how can we be anything very special if our axioms and deepest feelings are at bottom nothing more than creaturely acquisitions gained through Darwinian evolution, in the same way that so many other creatures, with different axioms and feelings, have managed “well enough,” both here and perhaps elsewhere in a cosmos vastly larger and stranger than our predecessors supposed. In short, Can We Believe in People? preserves a strong account of human reason and human dignity while yet fully acknowledging the claims of other terrestrial and extraterrestrial life.“In this culmination of a lifetime’s philosophical investigations, Stephen Clark insists that far from dangling above a limitless existentialist abyss, we are invited to join the dance of a participatory creation. He delineates a world that may lie at the very edges of our imaginations, one that depends on a holy interdependence grounded on the bedrock of immutable moral realities.”—SIMON CONWAY MORRIS“At once classical and original, reflective and constructive, this book is philosophy of the most morally illuminating kind: a vision of the spiritual community of all living things and of the participation of all life in the dignity and glory of spirit.”—DAVID BENTLEY HART“Those who have come to admire and appreciate a lifetime of Stephen Clark’s literary as well as philosophical skills will not be disappointed with this marvelous and timely book, which differs from his prior works in more directly interrogating theological and religious ideas on what it means to be human.”—CELIA DEANE-DRUMMOND“This book offers a nuanced treatment of human dignity, but without anthropocentric excess. Stephen Clark deftly denies the reality of species boundaries as well as the idea that human beings are indefinitely malleable.”—DANIEL A. DOMBROWSKI“In this visionary, provocative work, Platonism and the three Abrahamic religions come into conversation with mathematics, evolutionary biology, and even thought experiments of science fiction. Stephen Clark invites his readers to rethink the dignity of the human being in a much closer, yet also transcendent, relationship of love with all things existing.”—GRETCHEN REYDAMS-SCHILS“Stephen Clark writes with clarity and erudition on the philosophy of human nature, the nature of mind, values, our relationship to non-human animals and the divine. Recommended to all who are looking for a rich, stimulating, mature work in philosophy, understood as the love of wisdom.”—CHARLES TALIAFERRO“There is no more basic issue than that of the nature of human beings and their place in the scheme of things. This scholarly book grips our attention with incisive arguments about matters that concern us all.”—ROGER TRIGG


Book Details

Book Title: Can We Believe in People?: Human Significance in an Interconnected Cosmos

Book Author: Stephen R. L. Clark

Book Category: -

ISBN: 1621385094