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Displaying: 1-20 of 34 documents

1. Res Philosophica: Volume > 95 > Issue: 4
Wayne J. Hankey Placing the Human: Establishing Reason by Its Participation in Divine Intellect for Boethius and Aquinas
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We begin with the kinds of knowing and ignorance in Plato’s allegory of the Line in the Republic, and go on to the problem of the relation of human reason and divine intellection in Aristotle’s Metaphysics, I and XII, De anima, II and III, and, especially, Nicomachean Ethics X, 7 and 8. Plato and Aristotle do not establish the human firmly vis-à-vis the divine and leave the Platonic tradition with a deep philosophical, theological, and religious ambiguity. Passing to Boethius’ Consolation of Philosophy and Aquinas in his Summa theologiae and Aristotelian commentaries, we consider how they take up the Platonic-Aristotelian problematic and define the human in relation to the divine, partly by way of the notion of participation which Aristotle rejected. Aquinas is the most determined humanist among the thinkers considered. After outlining features of his position, we conclude with reflections on medieval humanism.
2. Res Philosophica: Volume > 95 > Issue: 4
Mark Boespflug Robert Holcot on Doxastic Voluntarism and the Ethics of Belief
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In the Middle Ages, the view that agents are able to exercise direct voluntary control over their beliefs—doxastic voluntarism—was pervasive. It was held by Augustine, Aquinas, Scotus, Ockham, and Buridan, among many others. Herein, I show that the somewhat neglected Oxford Dominican, Robert Holcot (†1349), rejected doxastic voluntarism with a coherence and plausibility that reflects and anticipates much contemporary thought on the issue. I, further, suggest that Holcot’s rejection of the idea that agents can voluntarily control their beliefs is intimately connected to his, likewise, aberrant views regarding the nature of belief, evidence, and faith. Finally, I examine Holcot’s attempt to show how involuntarism and doxastic responsibility are compatible. The issue of faith figures prominently throughout, given that an act of faith was conceived to be a voluntary operation whereby one believes religious propositions, and a paradigm case of belief for which we are responsible.
3. Res Philosophica: Volume > 95 > Issue: 4
Julie Walsh Locke’s Last Word on Freedom: Correspondence with Limborch
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John Locke’s 1700–1702 correspondence with Dutch Arminian Philippus van Limborch has been taken by commentators as the motivation for modifications to the fifth edition of “Of Power,” the chapter in An Essay Concerning Human Understanding that treats freedom. In this paper, I offer the first systematic and chronological study of their correspondence. I argue that the heart of their disagreement is over how they define “freedom of indifference.” Once the importance of the disagreement over indifference is established, it is clear that when Locke altered parts of “Of Power” as a reaction to Limborch’s questioning, he did so in the interest of further clarifying and solidifying his view, not changing it. Seeing how they disagree over indifference also allows us to see the correspondence as showcasing the conflict between intellectualism, the view that cognitive states determine the will, and voluntarism, the view that the will alone determines action.
4. Res Philosophica: Volume > 95 > Issue: 4
Ben Page Fine-Tuned of Necessity?
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This paper seeks to explicate and analyze an alternative response to fine-tuning arguments from those that are typically given—namely, design or brute contingency. The response I explore is based on necessity, the necessitarian response. After showing how necessity blocks the argument, I explicate the reply I claim necessitarians can give and suggest how its three requirements can be met: firstly, that laws are metaphysically necessary; secondly, that constants are metaphysically necessary; and thirdly, that the fundamental properties that determine the laws and constants are necessary. After discussing each in turn, I end the paper by assessing how the response fares when running the fine-tuning argument in two ways, as an inference to best explanation and as a Bayesian argument.
5. Res Philosophica: Volume > 95 > Issue: 4
David Hershenov, Rose Hershenov Health, Moral Status, and a Minimal Speciesism
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The potential for healthy development is the key to determining the moral status of mindless and minimally minded organisms. It even provides the basis for a defense of speciesism. Mindless and minimally minded human beings have interests in the healthy development of sophisticated mental capacities, which explains why they are greatly harmed when death, disease, and other events frustrate those interests. Since the healthy development of members of non-human species doesn’t produce the same sophisticated mental capacities, mindless and minimally minded non-human beings lack the interests of mindless and minimally minded human beings. The absence of such interests in developing valuable mental capabilities means non-humans can’t be benefited and harmed to the same degree as human beings. This results in mindless and minimally minded non-humans having lower moral status than human beings. This doesn’t mean that any member of our species is more valuable than any other member of any other possible species. We instead claim that human beings with undeveloped or impaired minds have greater moral status than any member of any other known species that has manifested equivalent mental capacities.
6. Res Philosophica: Volume > 95 > Issue: 4
Shaun Gallagher The Therapeutic Reconstruction of Affordances
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I argue that a variety of physical disabilities, and neurological and psychiatric disorders can be understood in terms of changes to the subject’s affordance space. Understanding disorders in this way also has some implications for therapy. On the basis of a phenomenological- and pragmatist-inspired enactivism I propose an affordance-based approach to therapy with a focus on changing physical, social, and cultural environments, and I consider the role of virtual and mixed realities in this context.
book symposium
7. Res Philosophica: Volume > 95 > Issue: 4
Susanna Siegel Précis to The Rationality of Perception
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8. Res Philosophica: Volume > 95 > Issue: 4
Andy Clark Priors and Prejudices: Comments on Susanna Siegel’s The Rationality of Perception
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9. Res Philosophica: Volume > 95 > Issue: 4
Christopher Peacocke Are Perceptions Reached by Rational Inference?: Comments on Susanna Siegel, The Rationality of Perception
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10. Res Philosophica: Volume > 95 > Issue: 4
Susanna Siegel Perception as Guessing Versus Perception as Knowing: Replies to Clark and Peacocke
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critical review
11. Res Philosophica: Volume > 95 > Issue: 4
Ross P. Cameron Critical Study of Kris McDaniel's The Fragmentation of Being
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2017 res philosophica essay prize winner
12. Res Philosophica: Volume > 95 > Issue: 3
Lorraine Juliano Keller Divine Ineffability and Franciscan Knowledge
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There’s been a recent surge of interest among analytic philosophers of religion in divine ineffability. However, divine ineffability is part of a traditional conception of God that has been widely rejected among analytic philosophers of religion for the past few decades. One of the main reasons that the traditional conception of God has been rejected is because it allegedly makes God too remote, unknowable, and impersonal. In this paper, I present an account of divine ineffability that directly addresses this concern by arguing that the deepest knowledge of God’s nature that we can attain is personal, rather than propositional. On this view, it is precisely because knowledge of God’s nature is personal that it cannot be linguistically expressed and communicated.
2017 res philosophica essay prize runners up
13. Res Philosophica: Volume > 95 > Issue: 3
Katherine Dormandy Disagreement from the Religious Margins
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Religious communities often discourage disagreement with religious authorities, on the grounds that allowing it would be epistemically detrimental. I argue that this attitude is mistaken, because any social position in a community—including religious authority—comes with epistemic advantages as well as epistemic limitations. I argue that religious communities stand to benefit epistemically by engaging in disagreement with people occupying other social positions. I focus on those at the community’s margins and argue that religious marginalization is apt to yield religiously important insights; so their disagreement with religious authorities should be encouraged.
14. Res Philosophica: Volume > 95 > Issue: 3
Juan Garcia Leibniz, a Friend of Molinism
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Leibniz is commonly labeled a foe of Molinism. His rejection of robust libertarian freedom coupled with some explicit passages in which he distances himself from the doctrine of middle knowledge seem to justify this classification. In this paper, I argue that this standard view is not quite correct. I identify the two substantive tenets of Molinism. First, the connection between the conditions for free actions and these free actions is a contingent one: free actions follow contingently from their sufficient conditions. Second, God knows what creatures would freely do in different possible circumstances prevolitionally—that is, prior to God willing anything. I argue that Leibniz himself endorses a version of both tenets and utilizes them for theoretical purposes similar to those of Molinists. I conclude that Leibniz is much closer to Molinism than is typically acknowledged. Leibniz is best characterized as a friend—rather than a foe—of Molinism.
15. Res Philosophica: Volume > 95 > Issue: 3
Matthew A. Benton God and Interpersonal Knowledge
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Recent epistemology offers an account of what it is to know other persons. Such an approach holds promise for illuminating several issues in philosophy of religion, and for advancing a distinctive approach to religious epistemology. This paper develops an account of interpersonal knowledge and clarifies its relation to propositional and qualitative knowledge (section 1). Section 2 considers the possibility of our knowledge of God and God’s knowledge of us, and compares the present account of interpersonal knowledge with important work by Eleonore Stump on “Franciscan” knowledge. Section 3 examines how interpersonal knowledge may figure in liturgical practice, in diffusing the problem of divine hiddenness, and in motivating a novel understanding of divine love. Finally, section 4 explores the possibility of epistemic injustice arising from dismissal or neglect of our religious testimony to one another, or of divine testimony to humanity, focusing specifically on the import of interpersonal knowledge.
16. Res Philosophica: Volume > 95 > Issue: 3
Joshua Cockayne Inclusive Worship and Group Liturgical Action
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In this article, I consider how recent work on the philosophy of group-agency and shared-agency can help us to understand what it is for a church to act in worship. I argue that to assess a model’s suitability for providing such an account, we must consider how well it handles cases of non-paradigm participants, such as those with autism spectrum disorder and young infants. I suggest that whilst a shared-agency model helps to clarify how individuals coordinate actions in cases of reading or singing liturgy, it does not handle non-paradigm cases well and so cannot be considered a suitable model of group liturgical action. Instead, I suggest that a model of groupagency, in which a plurality of action types can contribute to the actions of a group as a whole, is better suited to explaining a church’s actions in worship.
17. Res Philosophica: Volume > 95 > Issue: 3
Helen De Cruz Religious Beliefs and Philosophical Views: A Qualitative Study
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Philosophy of religion is often regarded as a philosophical discipline in which irrelevant influences, such as upbringing and education, play a pernicious role. This paper presents results of a qualitative survey among academic philosophers of religion to examine the role of such factors in their work. In light of these findings, I address two questions: an empirical one (whether philosophers of religion are influenced by irrelevant factors in forming their philosophical attitudes) and an epistemological one (whether the influence of irrelevant factors on our philosophical views should worry us). My answer to the first question is a definite yes, and my answer to the second one is a tentative yes.
18. Res Philosophica: Volume > 95 > Issue: 3
Michelle Panchuk The Shattered Spiritual Self: A Philosophical Exploration of Religious Trauma
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In this paper I consider what a person who finds herself religiously incapacitated ought to do. More specifically, I address people who have come to God asking for bread, but who seem to have received stones and serpents in its place. This is a manifestation of the phenomenon that I call religious trauma. My goals in this paper are twofold. First, I aim to demonstrate that, because religious trauma can be genuinely religiously incapacitating, (1) it can result in non-culpable failure to worship God, and (2), if ought implies can, a religious trauma survivor may find themself in a position where they ought to deconvert, whether or not the individual’s religion is true. My second goal in this paper is to illustrate that religious trauma deserves serious consideration from philosophers and theologians.
19. Res Philosophica: Volume > 95 > Issue: 3
Robert Pasnau Belief in a Fallen World
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In an ideal epistemic world, our beliefs would correspond to our evidence, and our evidence would be bountiful. In the world we live in, however, if we wish to live meaningful lives, other epistemic strategies are necessary. Here I attempt to work out, systematically, the ways in which evidentialism fails us as a guide to belief. This is so preeminently for lives of a religious character, but the point applies more broadly.
20. Res Philosophica: Volume > 95 > Issue: 3
Paul Silva Jr. A Conceptual Analysis of Glory
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Although the concept of glory has a central place in religious thought, philosophers of religion have had remarkably little to say about glory. What follows is a philosophical analysis of two distinct concepts we express with the term ‘glory’ and an explanation of how we can use one of them to dislodge Bayne and Nagasawa’s recent atheological argument from worship.