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1. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 96 > Issue: 1
David Svoboda Formal Abstraction and its Problems in Aquinas
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Formal abstraction is a key instrument Aquinas employs to secure the possibility of mathematics conceived as a theoretical Aristotelian science. In this concept, mathematics investigates quantitative beings, which are grasped by means of formal abstraction in their necessary, universal, and changeless properties. Based on this, the paper divides into two main parts. In the first part (section II) I explicate Aquinas’s conception of (formal) abstraction against the background of the Aristotelian theory of science and mathematics. In the second part (section III) I present and critically assess the problems associated with formal abstraction in mathematics. With all due respect to Aquinas’s genius, I find his conception of formal abstraction (as well as mathematics) unsatisfactory and list the main reasons for its failure in the conclusion.
2. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 96 > Issue: 1
Elliot Polsky Secondary Substance and Quod Quid Erat Esse: Aquinas on Reconciling the Divisions of “Substance” in the Categories and Metaphysics
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Modern commentators recognize the irony of Aristotle’s Categories becoming a central text for Platonic schools. For similar reasons, these commentators would perhaps be surprised to see Aquinas’s In VII Metaphysics, where he apparently identifies the secondary substance of Aristotle’s Categories with a false Platonic sense of “substance” as if, for Aristotle, only Platonists would say secondary substances are substances. This passage in Aquinas’s commentary has led Mgr. Wippel to claim that, for Aquinas, secondary substance and essence are not the same thing and that Aristotle’s notion of essence is absent from the Categories. This paper—by closely analyzing the apparently contradictory divisions of “substance” in Aquinas’s In V and VII Metaphysics—shows that essence and secondary substance are not altogether distinct for Aquinas. Moreover, when the Categories is viewed by Aquinas as a work of logic, it is found largely to cut across the disputes between Platonism and Aristotelianism.
3. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 96 > Issue: 1
William Matthew Diem Just Pain: Aquinas on the Necessity of Retribution and the Nature of Obligation
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Although it is common in the Catholic moral tradition to hear punishment spoken of as “just” and demanded by reason, it is remarkably difficult to say why reason demands that malefactors suffer or to articulate what is rendered to whom in punishment. The present essay seeks to fill this lacuna by examining Aquinas’s treatment of punishment. After examining several themes found in his work, the paper will conclude that the conceptual key to the reasonableness of punishment is to be found in the norm that demands contrapassum and that this norm is immediately derived from the same moral insight as the Golden Rule. Thus, the paper concludes, the notion of retribution is intimately and inextricably bound up in insights that are foundational to any coherent Christian ethics.
4. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 96 > Issue: 1
Alex Plato, Jonathan Reibsamen The Five Characters at Essay’s End: Re-examining Anscombe’s “Modern Moral Philosophy”
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Anscombe ends her seminal 1958 essay “Modern Moral Philosophy” with a presentation of five characters, each answering an ancient (and contemporary) question as to “whether one might ever need to commit injustice, or whether it won’t be the best thing to do?” Her fifth character is the execrated consequentialist who “shows a corrupt mind.” But who are the first four characters? Do they “show a mind”? And what precisely is the significance (if any) of her presenting those five just then? In this paper, we interpret Anscombe’s essay with an eye to making sense of her character presentation. We argue that the first four characters can be seen to embody the chief negative and positive doctrines of the essay and to thereby represent and charter a pluralistic school of anti-consequentialist ethics. The upshot is something exegetically interesting yet of broader philosophical importance.
5. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 96 > Issue: 1
Jacob J. Andrews Conformed by Praise: Xunzi and William of Auxerre on the Ethics of Liturgy
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The classical Confucian philosopher Xunzi proposed a naturalistic virtue ethics account of ritual: rituals are practices that channel human emotion and desire so that one develops virtues. In this paper I show that William of Auxerre’s Summa de Officiis Ecclesiasticis can be understood as presenting a similar account of ritual. William places great emphasis on the emotional power of the liturgy, which makes participants like the blessed in heaven by developing virtue. In other words, he has a virtue ethics of ritual closely aligned with that of Xunzi. Xunzi’s writings on ritual illuminate and enrich one’s reading of the Summa de Officiis. But unlike Xunzi, William is not a naturalist with regard to ritual: although much of William’s language about the causal power of liturgy can be explained in Xunzian terms, Christian liturgy has an irreducible supernatural element.
book review
6. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 96 > Issue: 1
Bonaventure Chapman Free Will And The Rebel Angels In Medieval Philosophy
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7. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 96 > Issue: 1
Philip J. Harold Phenomenology
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8. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 96 > Issue: 1
David Hershenov The Nature Of Human Persons: Metaphysics and Bioethics
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9. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 96 > Issue: 1
Glenn B. Siniscalchi Taking God Seriously: Two Different Voices
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10. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 96 > Issue: 1
Daniel John Sportiello Beyond The Self: Virtue Ethics And The Problem Of Culture: Essays In Honor Of W. David Solomon
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11. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 96 > Issue: 1
Joshua Taccolini Being Unfolded: Edith Stein On The Meaning Of Being
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articles
12. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 95 > Issue: 4
Gaven Kerr A Reconsideration of Aquinas’s Fourth Way
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Attitudes towards the fourth way differ from incredulity and embarrassment to seeing it as a profound demonstration of God’s existence. Aside from general treatments on all the five ways, the fourth way has received little by way of direct commentary in comparison to the other better known (and arguably better appreciated) ways. In this article I seek to present Aquinas’s fourth way as a way to God which makes use of his general and more familiar metaphysical reasoning. This serves to give the reading of the fourth way as a profound argument for God’s existence, and also to integrate it with the other four ways given the common metaphysical backdrop.
13. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 95 > Issue: 4
Dennis Bray Bonaventure’s I Sentence Argument for the Trinity from Beatitude
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Bonaventure’s Sentence Commentary provides the most comprehensive set of trinitarian arguments to date. This article focuses on just one of them, the one from beatitude. Roughly, beatitude can be thought of as God’s enjoyment of his own, supreme goodness. After a brief rationale of Bonaventure’s speculative project, I assay the concept of beatitude and exposit his four-stage argument. Bonaventure reasons: (i) for a single supreme substance; (ii) for at least two divine persons; (iii) against the possibility for an infinite number of divine persons; (iv) for at least three, and against the possibility of four (or more) divine persons. I show how this line of reasoning is significantly more complex than Bonaventure’s terse summaries initially indicate. My main goal is to explicate the four steps and unpack their main support. Along the way I attend to the argument’s sources, logical progression, and I respond to several concerns.
14. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 95 > Issue: 4
Lawrence Masek The Strict Definition of Intended Effects and Two Questions for Critics
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I present the strict definition of intended effects and pose two questions for its critics: (1) Apart from rationalizing moral intuitions about the craniotomy and other controversial cases, why classify an effect as intended if it does not explain the action? (2) What definition of intended effects can people use to guide their actions? These questions show that broad definitions of intended effects have no basis in action theory and are too vague to guide people’s actions. I suggest that broad definitions seem plausible because people confuse what someone intends and what someone is responsible for causing.
15. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 95 > Issue: 4
Bernard G. Prusak Conscience and Conscientiousness in Linda Zagzebski’s Exemplarist Moral Theory
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Linda Zagzebski’s exemplarist moral theory takes as its foundation “exemplars of goodness identified directly by the emotion of admiration.” This paper’s basic question is whether Zagzebski’s trust in the emotion of admiration is well-founded. In other words, do we have good reason to trust that those we admire on conscientious reflection warrant our admiration, such that we will not be led astray? The paper’s thesis is that Zagzebski’s theory would be stronger with a more fully developed account of conscience. The paper outlines and discusses Zagzebski’s theory, articulates the epistemic challenge that the theory confronts, and proposes a sketch of an account of conscience that supplements Zagzebski’s account of conscientiousness.
16. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 95 > Issue: 4
Alicia Rodrigo Is God Capable of Enjoying Aesthetic Beauty?: A Controversy between Dietrich von Hildebrand and Jacques Maritain
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Through this paper we seek to deal with the question of whether God is capable of enjoying aesthetic beauty. First of all, we will consider whether this beauty has meaning for God by contrasting Maritain’s and Hildebrand’s thoughts. This will lead us to expose the fundamental distinctions drawn by both authors regarding beauty, and to study more carefully the relationship between aesthetic beauty and the senses. Subsequently, we will present four criticisms of the assertion, inferred from Maritain’s thought, that aesthetic beauty has no meaning for God. Examining these criticisms will involve recognizing the fundamental distinction between transcendental beauty and aesthetic beauty, which cannot be understood just as something grounded in transcendental beauty. Finally, partially restoring Maritain’s theses, we will acknowledge the aporia present in the relationship between aesthetic beauty and God and we will discuss possible solutions to it.
17. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 95 > Issue: 4
William Matthew Diem The Domain of Justice and the Extension of Rights: A Reply to Macdonald on Animal Rights
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Paul Macdonald recently argued that a consistent Thomist must hold, against Aquinas, that non-human animals have direct rights. I show that his arguments fail and that, on the contrary, the impossibility of brute animals having rights flows directly from the very essence of justice itself as it is understood by Aquinas.
book review
18. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 95 > Issue: 4
Brian Besong The Debate on Probable Opinions in the Scholastic Tradition
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19. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 95 > Issue: 4
Montague Brown Justice and Charity: An Introduction to Aquinas’s Moral, Economic, and Political Thought
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20. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 95 > Issue: 4
R. Mary Hayden Lemmons The Metaphysical Foundations of Love: Aquinas on Participation, Unity, and Union
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