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1. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 62 > Issue: 1
About Our Contributors
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2. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 62 > Issue: 1
Casey Hall, Elizabeth Jelinek Evil, Demiurgy, and the Taming of Necessity in Plato’s Timaeus
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Plato’s Timaeus reveals a cosmos governed by Necessity and Intellect; commentators have debated the relationship between them. Non-literalists hold that the demiurge (Intellect), having carte blanche in taming Necessity, is omnipotent. But this omnipotence, alongside the attributes of benevolence and omniscience, creates problems when non-literalists address the problem of evil. We take the demiurge rather as limited by Necessity. This position is supported by episodes within the text, and by its larger consonance with Plato’s philosophy of evil and responsibility. By recognizing the analogy between man and demiurge, the literal reading provides a moral component that its non-literal counterpart lacks.
3. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 62 > Issue: 1
Matthew McWhorter Interpreting Aquinas: Resources from Gadamer’s Hermeneutics
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Certain teachings found in Gadamer’s hermeneutics (especially as presented in his major work Truth and Method) are examined in order to help cultivate the historically-minded theological methodology proposed by Thomistic thinker Benedict Ashley. Consideration is given to four Gadamerian themes mentioned in Ashley’s introduction to Theologies of the Body: (1) Interpretation is an intellectual inquiry that can be enriched by adopting hermeneutic reflection where such reflection is understood as a kind of a contemplative meta-praxis. (2) Interpretation as the search for understanding involves a heuristic process. (3) Hermeneutic reflection facilitates an interpreter becoming aware that the work of interpretation itself occurs within a historical context. (4) The process of interpretation is incomplete without the contemporary application of what is understood. With respect to each of these four themes, Ashley’s work is considered first and then the same topics are considered as found in the writings of Gadamer.
4. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 62 > Issue: 1
C. Stephen Evans, Brandon Rickabaugh Living Accountably: Accountability as a Virtue
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This paper tries to show that there is an important virtue (with no generally recognized name) that could be called “accountability.” This virtue is a trait of a person who embraces being held accountable and consistently displays excellence in relations in which the person is held accountable. After describing the virtue in more detail, including its motivational profile, some core features of this virtue are described. Empirical implications and an agenda for future research are briefly discussed. Possible objections to the virtue are considered and rebutted, and relations to other virtues, particularly the personal virtue of justice, are discussed. In conclusion, we suggest that though this virtue has not received the attention it deserves in contemporary society, it has been more clearly recognized in other cultures. Some of the reasons for the partial eclipse of the virtue are understandable and justifiable, but there are good reasons to think our society would be improved if we paid more attention to accountability from a virtue perspective.
5. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 62 > Issue: 1
James Kintz, Jeffrey P. Bishop Observation, Interaction, and Second-Person Sharing
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A growing number of scholars have suggested that there is a unique I-You relation that obtains between persons in face-to-face encounters, but while the increased attention paid to the second-person has led to many important insights regarding the nature of this relation, there is still much work to be done to clarify what makes the second-person relation distinct. In this paper we wish to develop recent scholarship on the second-person by means of a phenomenological analysis of a doctor-patient interaction. In such an interaction the doctor and patient continuously shift between the observational I-It and the interactive I-You, and recognizing the difference between observation and interaction not only helps to defend the claim that this relation is sui generis, but also uncovers the co-constitution of experience from within this relation. As we argue, engaging another second-personally involves a shared experience that is a result of incorporating the other’s mental states into one’s own while standing in the second-person relation.
6. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 62 > Issue: 1
Andy Mullins A Thomistic Metaphysics of Participation Accounts for Embodied Rationality
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Rationality should not be seen as a ghostly process exclusive of the world of matter, but rather as a transcendent process within matter itself by virtue of a participated power. A Thomistic metaphysics of embodied participation in being effectively answers Robert Pasnau’s objection that the standard hylomorphic account confuses ontological and representational immateriality, and is more satisfying than nonreductive physicalist accounts of rationality, and the Anglo-American hylomorphic accounts reliant on formal causality. When the active intellect is understood as a participated power and not as a formal or constitutive principle of rationality, the transcendent basis of rationality is clarified; all embodied rational operations are seen to utilize, without being reduced to, a substrate of neurophysiological systems, processes and structures. I utilise an allegory of alien abduction, to illustrate participation as a key to understanding the intrinsic relationship between transcendent, immaterial thought and embodiment.
7. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 62 > Issue: 1
David Carr The Moral Status of Love
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presenting our authors
8. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 61 > Issue: 4
Presenting Our Authors
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9. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 61 > Issue: 4
Jorge J. E. Gracia, Jonathan Vajda Individuation and the Realism/Nominalism Dilemma: The Case of the Middle Ages
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After reviewing various formulations of the problems of universals and individuation, this essay considers the dialectic that informs the relationship between the two. This dialectic involves a distinction between a realist theory of universals that satisfies the requirements of science but fails to account for the non-instantiability of individuals and a nominalist theory of universals that fails to satisfy the requirements of science but accounts for the non-instantiability of individuals. Inadequacies found in one view tend to motivate movement to the other view. But, like a pendulum swing, this movement inevitably involves facing what motivated the original view. This dialectic is illustrated by a consideration of the views of five medieval authors: Boethius, Peter Abelard, Thomas Aquinas, John Duns Scotus, and William of Ockham.
10. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 61 > Issue: 4
Grzegorz Hołub Karol Wojtyła’s Thinking on Truth
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In his book The Acting Person Karol Wojtyła makes frequent references to the concept of truth. He analyzes truth expressions in various realms, including the epistemological, the metaphysical, the moral, and the axiological. He does not, however, say exactly what he means by truth. This essay analyzes select passages from this book and tries to formulate a coherent understanding of truth as Wojtyła conceived it. This essay puts special emphasis on the question of axiological truth, for this concept is novel within the Thomistic framework of philosophizing and seems to be a consequence of the philosopher’s encounter with phenomenology. In the centre of attention is the first edition of this book published in 1969 in Poland. The main intention of the article is to grasp the very first Wojtylian approach to the problem of truth.
11. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 61 > Issue: 4
Adrian Bardon Rehabilitating Kant’s Third Analogy of Experience
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In this essay I revisit Kant’s largely-ignored Third Analogy of Experience with an eye to what it may yet contribute to our understanding of time perception. The essay begins with an elucidation of the purpose of the Third Analogy, followed by an account of how the core argument is intended to work. It then summarizes the problem that has left the Third Analogy out of much of the scholarly literature on Kant. I respond by introducing two ways of scaling back on Kant’s claims. First, I offer a revisionary interpretation of the Third Analogy as a “modest” transcendental argument; second, I propose a re-imagining of the Analogy such that it yields an empirical hypothesis that might be of use in developmental psychology.
12. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 61 > Issue: 4
Richard A. Cohen Social Theory in Kant’s Religion within the Limits of Reason Alone
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The present article argues: that to support the primary aim of Religion Within the Limits of Reason Alone, which is to establish the primacy of practical reason for religion (and thereby to criticize the subversion of religion qua supra-moral “ecclesiastical faith”), Kant elaborates and assigns to it a social ethics. Contrary to the tired adage that without religious foundation ethics must collapse, the reverse is actually the case: without ethical foundation religion must collapse, degenerating into dogmatism, superstition and fanaticism. To ground and concretize the link between ethics and religion Kant elaborates a three layered “anthropology” of human sociality upon which religion builds its communities (“church”) wherein holiness consists above all in the solidarity of ethical striving to achieve virtue for each and justice for all. Despite his good intentions, however, and independent of the question of the legitimacy of ethical religion, Kant fails in Religion Within the Limits of Reason Alone owing to the imposition of a debilitating formalism owing to an undiminished allegiance to the epistemological strictures and structures—the Transcendental Idealism—of the Critique of Pure Reason.
13. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 61 > Issue: 4
Stathis Livadas Is Existence an Ontologically Sound Term?
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This article deals with the question of existence by considering the way in which phenomenology has faced this issue. To provide an argument against the ontological certainties typical of idealism and realism, I try to show the possibility of a subjective reduction of the question of existence and to highlight the way in which the concept of existence may be “undermined” by this reduction. A prominent place is given to the concept of infinity for radically reassessing the content and scope of the concept of existence. I try to integrate some of the main themes of Husserlian phenomenology without being restrictively committed to it. I include some discussion of foundational mathematics and of quantum physics.
contemporary currents
14. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 61 > Issue: 4
Philip Shields How Identity Politics Objectifies People and Undermines Rational Agency
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In our contemporary society it is widely recognized that public discourse has become increasingly polemical and polarized, as claims to truth and justice are cynically dismissed as manipulative power plays. We argue first that this growth of power politics reflects the triumph of the objectifying stance of the social sciences, and the consequent loss of any distinction between legitimate and illegitimate power, and second that it is ad hominem to dismiss or accept people’s arguments simply because of their identity interests, their positionality, instead of considering the explicit meaning and validity of what they say. By adopting the objectifying perspective of the social sciences, identity theorists on the left and the right reduce “power” to coercion and fail to appreciate the power of persuasion, and the normative conditions that make rational agency possible. This tendency is ultimately contemptuous of human dignity because it undermines the rational agency and moral responsibility of everyone concerned, from the objectified human subjects to the objectifying theorists.
15. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 61 > Issue: 4
Caleb Bernacchio MacIntyre on Practical Reasoning: A Reply to Patrick Byrne
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Patrick Byrne argues that MacIntyre’s account of practical reasoning is inadequate because it is based upon a notion of flourishing that places too much emphasis on impersonal facts, likewise because it is excessively focused on means without considering the role of desire for ends, and because it is does not account for the role of feelings in explaining how knowledge of ends is attained. In this essay, I argue that MacIntyre’s account provides adequate responses to each of these concerns. But more broadly, I argue that Byrne is right to suggest that a Lonerganian perspective offers important insights that can extend MacIntyre’s neo-Aristotelian practical philosophy. Specifically, Lonergan’s account of the generalized empirical method may inform MacIntyre’s theory of rival, and potentially incommensurable traditions, explaining how standards of argument are both transcultural and historically articulated.
book reviews
16. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 61 > Issue: 4
Francis Feingold Graven Images: Substitutes for True Morality
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presenting our authors
17. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 61 > Issue: 3
Presenting Our Authors
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18. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 61 > Issue: 3
Alan Daboin The Ethical Concept of Responsibility in Levinas and Wojtyła
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In this article I examine the ethical concept of responsibility as presented by Emmanuel Levinas and Karol Wojtyła. I focus throughout on questions pertaining to the relations between identity and alterity and between heteronomy and autonomy. To do so involves looking at the contrary roles that these two authors give to selfhood and freedom when accounting for our sense of obligation and responsibility toward others and toward ourselves. I then put Levinas’s phenomenological account of responsibility into dialogue with Wojtyła’s personalist account in an examination of the question of animal ethics. Specifically, I discuss the extent to which their ideas on our responsibilities toward others can be extended to the domain of non-human animals.
19. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 61 > Issue: 3
Ning Fan Transparent Self-Knowledge of Attitudes and Emotions: A Davidsonian Attempt
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In Authority and Estrangement, Richard Moran provides a fascinating account of how we know what we believe that he calls the “transparency account.” This account relies on the transparency relation between the question of whether we believe that p and the question of whether p is true. That is, we can consider the former by considering the grounds for the latter. But Moran’s account has been criticized by David Finkelstein, who argues that it fails to explain how we know our attitudes and emotions more generally. The aim of this paper is to show how Moran’s transparency account can be extended to meet this criticism by modifying it, using insights from Davidson’s view on attitudes and emotions.
20. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 61 > Issue: 3
S. K. Wertz Collingwood and the Nature of Consciousness
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This essay touches on the following topics: imagination, caprice, relative and absolute presuppositions, language, knowledge, moral and aesthetic values, art, evolution, and dreams. Collingwood distinguished between pre-reflective and reflective consciousness and identified four features of consciousness: forms (simple or primitive, practical, and theoretical or specialized), objects, feelings, and selective attention or focus. He also spoke of the corruption of consciousness that psychologists of his day called repression. This is a way in which we can falsify consciousness that can lead to inauthentic thinking and to error. The phenomenological description of these processes that he gave us is a promising over-all account. This essay also utilizes some of the contemporary literature on consciousness to draw comparisons and contrasts with Collingwood’s account. As a historical note, it offers some parallels between Leibniz and Collingwood on attention, awareness, and consciousness.