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Displaying: 1-20 of 56 documents

1. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 78 > Issue: 4
Peter M. Candler, Jr. Reading Immemorially: The Quaestio and the Paragraph in the Summa Theologiae
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What is the theological logic of the particular textual apparatus of the Summa theologiae, and what kinds of implications arise when the text is adapted to a modern format? In this essay, I argue that the peculiar use Thomas makes of the quaestio protests against any attempt to reify the “responses” of Thomas into self-contained monologues, as is often done in recent attempts to render the Summa intelligible to modern readers. Yet doing so undermines not only the historical contexts of the work, but much more importantly, it transforms what is essentially an itinerary of the soul’s return to God into a panoptic map of the commonplaces of theology. I suggest that for Thomas, the ordo disciplinae of the Summa corresponds to the circuit of the reader’s return to God as the source and end of all that is. The textual form, therefore, is not separable from the manuduction of the soul towards beatific vision.
2. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 78 > Issue: 4
Stephen Theron Justice: Legal and Moral Debt in Aquinas
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It is worthwhile to study Aquinas’s now classical treatment of the virtue of justice at the point where he distinguishes legal obligation, owed directly to the other, from moral obligations to give something to the other in virtue of what is due to oneself, one’s own decency of character (honestas). To fulfill these moral obligations is itself, on his view, a “legal” obligation to God. We might say it is directly owed to a proper order of decency requiring us at least quasi-legally, at second level, to be moral in the sense of kind, merciful, truthful, affable, and so forth. The distinction provides an argument against legally compelling a whole population to act thus morally towards others (thus incidentally diluting the sense of properly legal obligation), which is also an argument for supporting measures for refining moral awareness in schools and elsewhere. There is some concluding discussion of obligation as attaching primarily to the ends of action.
3. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 78 > Issue: 4
Guy Mansini On the Impossibility of a Demonstration of Theological Determinism
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The argument according to which there can be no demonstration that divine creative causality precludes human freedom unfolds in the context of St. Thomas’s understanding of choice and of the relation of God to the world. The gist of the argument is that any demonstration of the nature or characteristics of some effect from the cause of that effect supposes some knowledge of the nature ofthe cause. To the contrary, we know nothing of the nature of the divine causality, which is one with the divine being, and therefore etc. Before the argument, there is a word on God and second causes; on necessity and contingence; on transcendent causality; and on why it seems that creation precludes human freedom.
4. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 78 > Issue: 4
John Arthos “The Word is not Reflexive”: Mind and World in Aquinas and Gadamer
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Hans-Georg Gadamer’s appropriation of Augustine’s analogy of the inner word, the verbum interius, is by now a well-known theme in philosophical hermeneutics. But what has received scarcely any attention is the Thomist side of Gadamer’s appropriation. Two thirds of Gadamer’s analysis of the verbum interius in his magnum opus, Truth and Method, is devoted to Aquinas, who employs Augustine’s verbum in developing a theory of the mind. In particular, Gadamer gives great emphasis to the Thomist insistence on the “non-reflective” character of the inner word. Both Gadamer and Aquinas in their different historical contexts needed to combat subjectivism, which is what Aquinas is doing by insisting on the non-reflective character of the inner word. In this paper I examine this point ofconvergence to understand why their anti-subjectivism created such a deep common accord, and how this relates their projects to each other. How is the Scholastic involvement of the mind in the world analogous to the circular relation between language and understanding in hermeneutics, and where is the diff erence?
5. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 78 > Issue: 4
Jason J. Howard Kant and Moral Imputation: Conscience and the Riddle of the Given
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This article examines a largely neglected theme in Kant scholarship, which concerns the importance of conscience in understanding Kant’s account of moral imputation. It is my contention that conscience, contrary to many traditional interpretations of Kant, plays a central role in grasping the lived experience of moral agency insofar as it brings into light the burden that autonomy places upon us. When approached from this angle, Kant’s account of conscience, far from undermining the coherence of his position, actually bolsters it by showing his sensitivity to the ambiguity that underlies our moral experiences as embodied agents. The reason that conscience plays such a pivotal role for Kant stems from its intermediating function, which serves to reflect both the ontological reality of freedom, as well as that of the summum bonum, the relationship between happiness and virtue. What the Kantian account of conscience attests, then, is that it is only in discerning the limits imposed by our own facticity—our vulnerability as willing beings—that the weight of autonomy can properly reveal itself as the inexorable trial of being free.
6. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 78 > Issue: 4
Jeffrey L. Kosky Philosophy of Religion and Return to Phenomenology in Jean-Luc Marion: From God without Being to Being Given
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The phenomenological project of Jean-Luc Marion’s Being Given (namely, to free phenomenological possibility to the unconditional self-giving of all phenomena) should be distinguished from the theological project of his God without Being (to think God unconditionally and absolutely). In freeing phenomenological possibility to the self-giving of all phenomena (on the model of the saturated phenomenon), and in proposing a new figure of the subject who receives phenomena (the gifted), Marion’s phenomenology provides the conceptual means for a philosophy of religion that admits the phenomenonality of unconditional revelation. And yet, thereremain striking parallels between the unconditional, self-giving phenomenon as it is described in the phenomenology of Being Given and the unconditional, self-giving God of the theological God without Being. This essay concludes by offering a framework for interpreting these parallels without claiming that the saturated phenomenon transforms phenomenology into theology and without claiming that phenomenological givenness limits revelation to its philosophical possibility.
7. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 78 > Issue: 4
Christopher H. Toner Just War and Graduated Discrimination
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Th is paper investigates the question of legitimate targets in war and the traditional jus in bello principle of discrimination, which is generally interpreted to mean that a bright line must be drawn between combatants and noncombatants, and that only the former may be attacked directly.Michael Walzer and John Rawls have proposed a “supreme emergency exemption” to this principle, which permits the targeting of innocent people in emergencies such as that of Britain in late 1940. Rejecting this, the paper offers as an alternative a principleof “graduated discrimination.” This principle distinguishes three classes: innocents, combatants, and noncombatant belligerents (noncombatants are belligerent if they contribute directly to the enemy’s war effort). It holds that the bright line must still be drawn, but between innocents and belligerents, and that, among the latter, noncombatants may be attacked in severe conditions—even, in supreme emergencies, if their belligerent role is simply providing the regime with a popular mandate.
book reviews
8. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 78 > Issue: 4
Constant J. Mews The Cambridge Companion to Abelard
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9. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 78 > Issue: 4
Jeffrey Koperski The Design Revolution: Answering the Tough Questions About Intelligent Design
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10. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 78 > Issue: 4
Gordon Rixon Transcendent Experience: Phenomenology and Critique
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11. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 78 > Issue: 4
Joshua Parens Spinoza’s Book of Life: Freedom and Redemption in the Ethics
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12. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 78 > Issue: 4
Gerard Casey Les Anges et la Philosophie: Subjectivité et Fonction des Substances Séparée à la Fin du XIIIe Siècle
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books received
13. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 78 > Issue: 4
Books Received
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contents of volume
14. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 78 > Issue: 4
Contents of Volume 78 (2004)
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15. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 78 > Issue: 3
Christopher Kaczor Thomas Aquinas’s Commentary on the Ethics: Merely an Interpretation of Aristotle?
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In recent years, some controversy has arisen about whether Thomas Aquinas’s commentaries on Aristotle can be read as expressing Aquinas’s own views rather than as simply an interpretation of Aristotle. This article examines the reasons given in favor of the view that the commentaries, in particular the commentary on the Nicomachean Ethics, are merely interpretations of Aristotle. Using Thomas’sscripture commentaries, internal evidence, as well as the history of reception, it is concluded that the Sententia libri ethicorum presents Thomas’s own views and not merely his understanding of Aristotle.
16. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 78 > Issue: 3
Mark D. Jordan Thomas as Commentator in Some Programs of Neo-Thomism: A Reply to Kaczor
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Arguments that Aquinas’s literal commentaries on Aristotle present his own philosophy are often proxies for larger claims about the relation of philosophy to theology. While trying to secure a place for Thomas in philosophic conversation, such arguments impose modern notions of an autonomous and apodictic philosophy, with fixed genres of declarative speech. The result is neither a plausiblereading of the Thomistic corpus nor a helpful exemplar for contemporary Catholic philosophy.
17. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 78 > Issue: 3
Nancy Hudson Theosis: A Soteriological Consequence of Nicholas of Cusa’s Apophatic Anthropology
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Nicholas of Cusa presents a negative theology in which divine mystery penetrates the created order. As part of creation, human being is a locus for God’s presence. If God is mysterious and unknown, then so is human being. In the thought of Cusanus, traditional apophaticism becomes anthropological apophaticism, but this extension of mystery to human being does not lead to skepticism.Instead, it opens up the possibility of deification. As the mind seeks to know itself, it is led to an understanding of all things enfolded in God. It discovers that it does not know itself and must turn to God, its Beginning. The drive to understand human nature is, for Cusanus, a divinely ordained task in which the mind finds its true being only as it finds itself in God.
18. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 78 > Issue: 3
Justin Skirry Does Descartes’s Real Distinction Argument Prove Too Much?
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Arnauld raised the concern that Descartes’s real distinction argument proved too much, because it seemed to lead us back to the Platonic view according to which the mind uses the body as its vehicle. Descartes responds by pointing out that he argued against this account of mind-body union in the Sixth Meditation. Descartes believes he did not prove too much, because he offers an argument against this view whose premises and conclusion are consistent with the real distinction argument. In this paper, the union argument is reconstructed and evaluated in order to see if, through his rejection of the Platonic view, Descartes adequately addresses Arnauld’s concern. In the end, Descartes adequately addresses this concern only if God’s veracity provides a secure foundation for a crucial inference. Finally, these considerations show a way for those committed to the real distinction of mind and body to avoid the problem of their interaction.
19. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 78 > Issue: 3
Wayne J. Hankey Why Heidegger’s “History” of Metaphysics is Dead
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I outline features of the emerging consensus that philosophy has now liberated itself from the horizon of onto-theology with respect to the history of metaphysics. I draw on Jean-Marc Narbonne, Hénologie, Ontologie et Ereignis (Plotin-Proclus-Heidegger), conferences presented at La métaphysique: son histoire, sa critique, ses enjeux held at Laval University in 1998, and other recent work, showingwhy Heidegger’s horizon does not encompass ancient or medieval Platonic or Aristotelian philosophy. Noting that both French Neoplatonic studies after Bréhier and Heidegger in Identität und Diff erenz were opposing Hegelian accounts of the history of philosophy, I suggest that: (1) both were reacting to the same problem, (2) French Neoplatonism was motivated by Heidegger’s questions, (3) Heidegger’s account of Being beyond the diff erence of Being and beings resembles the Neoplatonic account of the One.
20. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 78 > Issue: 3
Conor Cunningham Lacan, Philosophy’s Difference, and Creation from No-One
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Using the work of Lacan but with reference to a number of other philosophers, this article argues eight main theses: first of all, that non-Platonic philosophical construction follows after a foundational destruction; second, that philosophy generally has a nothing outside its text, one that allows for the formation of that text—for example, Kant forms the text of phenomena only by way of the noumena; third, that this transcendental nothing renders all identities ideal, however that is conceived—an example being Badiou’s notion of “belonging,” one derived from the work of Georg Cantor and Paul Cohen; fourth, that a consequence of this ideality is mereological nihilism; fifth, due to this mereological nihilism any existent is only ever an aggregate, that is, an aggregate of some base element, or “stuff ”—a position that returns such philosophy to that of the ancients; sixth, this collapses idealism and materialism into each other, a collapse marked by what is referred to throughout as an impossible monism. Moreover, this impossible monism is a result of philosophy’s constant production of a bastard trinity—a dual monism, as it were. Seventh, that there are two models of difference evident in non-Platonic philosophy: the first is that of a block, with difference cut into it—like Swiss cheese, as it were—while the second is a flux which we seek to arrest with local regimes of stability. Eighth, and finally, that theology, in line with Plato, suggests the possibility of another difference, namely, a peaceable one.