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1. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 97 > Issue: 1
Benjamin Robert Koons Warranted Catholic Belief
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Extending Alvin Plantinga’s model of warranted belief to the beliefs of groups as a whole, I argue that if the dogmatic beliefs of the Catholic Church are true, they are also warranted. Catholic dogmas are warranted because they meet the three conditions of my model: they are formed (1) by ministers functioning properly (2) in accordance with a design plan that is oriented towards truth and reliable (3) in a social environment sufficiently similar to that for which they were designed. I show that according to Catholic doctrine the authoritative spokespersons of the Church—ecumenical councils and popes—meet these conditions when defining dogmas. I also respond to the objection that the warrant of Catholic dogmas is defeated by the plurality of non-Catholic Christian sects that deny Catholic dogmas.
2. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 97 > Issue: 1
Logan Paul Gage, Frederick D. Aquino Newman the Fallibilist
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The role of certitude in our mental lives is, to put it mildly, controversial. Many current epistemologists (including epistemologists of religion) eschew certitude altogether. Given his emphasis on certitude, some have maintained that John Henry Newman was an infallibilist about knowledge. In this paper, we argue that a careful examination of his thought (especially as seen in the Grammar of Assent) reveals that he was an epistemic fallibilist. We first clarify what we mean by fallibilism and infallibilism. Second, we explain why some have read Newman as an infallibilist. Third, we offer two arguments that Newman is at least a fallibilist in a weak sense. In particular, the paradox he seeks to resolve in the Grammar and his dispute with John Locke both indicate that he is at least a weak fallibilist. We close with a consideration of whether Newman is a fallibilist in a much stronger sense as well.
3. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 97 > Issue: 1
Hikmet Unlu A Transcategorial Conception of Dynamis and Energeia
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On the standard interpretation of Metaphysics IX, Aristotle proceeds from the original sense of δύναμις and ἐνέργεια to an ontological conception of these terms. This should raise the question of what is not ontological about the former and what is ontological about the latter. To address these questions I discuss the commentaries by Heidegger and Menn, which alone come close to addressing these issues. But their readings cannot neatly distinguish between the two senses of δύναμις and ἐνέργεια that we find in the Aristotelian text, thus compelling us to seek a better way of clarifying the standard interpretation, which I argue can be more precisely understood in the following way: δύναμις and ἐνέργεια in their customary meaning cannot be considered ontological in the sense that they have a particular locus among the categories, which is what sets them apart from their newer, ontological meaning. I conclude therefore that the text of Metaphysics IX can be understood as proceeding from an intracategorial conception of δύναμις and ἐνέργεια toward a transcategorial conception of these terms.
4. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 97 > Issue: 1
Stefaan E. Cuypers A Correction to Dillard’s Reading of Geach’s Temporality Argument for Non-Materialism
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In his article “What Do We Think With?” Peter Geach develops an argument for the non-materiality of thinking. Given that basic thinking activity is not clockable in physical time, whereas basic material or bodily activity is so clockable, it follows that basic thinking activity is non-material. Peter Dillard’s attack on this temporality proof takes “thoughts” in the proof to refer to non-occurrent states. The present note shows this reading to be mistaken and so rectifies a misunderstanding of Geach’s argument. It takes no stand on the question of whether the argument succeeds.
5. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 97 > Issue: 1
Joseph Gamache Von Hildebrand, Scheler, and Marcel on Interpreting One’s Friends
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It is generally accepted that truth is a norm of belief and that, whatever else this might mean, it implies that a person is obligated to believe a proposition only if it is true. Yet this seems to conflict with the norms by which friends form beliefs about each other. For instance, if friends are required to practice interpretive charity in the formation of their beliefs about each other, obligations to believe propositions that are false might arise. In this paper, I assume that there is some such obligation of interpretive charity, and I investigate whether it may be reconciled with the truth-norm. I take for my starting point an account of interpretive charity from the work of Dietrich von Hildebrand, which I develop by critical retrieval of related works by Max Scheler and Gabriel Marcel. The paper concludes that Marcel’s thought on fidelity and reflection is best suited to complete von Hildebrand’s account in such a way as to achieve the sought-after reconciliation of the norms of truth and friendship
6. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 97 > Issue: 1
Travis Butler The Place of Pleasure in Neo-Aristotelian Ethics
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Richard Kraut argues that Neo-Aristotelian ethics should include a com­mitment to “diluted hedonism,” according to which the exercise of a developed life-capacity is good for S only if and partly because S enjoys it. I argue that the Neo-Aristotelian should reject diluted hedonism for two reasons: first, it compro­mises the generality and elegance of the initial developmentalist account; second, it leads to mistaken evaluations of some of the most important and ennobling capacities and activities in human life. Finally, I argue that a more plausible ac­count of the place of pleasure in the good life derives from Aristotle’s discussion in book X of the Nicomachean Ethics: pleasure is a supervenient good that signifies the value of the underlying capacity and activity, but it is not a necessary condition for their goodness.
7. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 97 > Issue: 1
Christopher Tollefsen Cell Lines of Illicit Origins and Vaccines: Metaphysics and Ethics
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A March of 2021 “Statement from Pro-Life Catholic Scholars on the Moral Acceptability of Receiving COVID-19 Vaccines,” released by the Ethics and Public Policy Center argued that in accepting one of the Covid vaccines that had recently become available, one would not be “in any way endorsing or con­tributing to the practice of abortion, or . . . in any way showing disrespect for the remains of an unborn human being.” That statement received criticism from some opponents of abortion. Here, I raise six questions about the claims or implications of the “Statement” in order to defend it in its main assertions, correct it in some minor matters, and extend its analysis as needed.
book reviews
8. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 97 > Issue: 1
Caleb Estep Platonism and the Objects of Science. By Scott Berman
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9. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 97 > Issue: 1
Gaven Kerr Is There a God? A Debate. By Graham Oppy and Kenneth L. Pearce
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10. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 97 > Issue: 1
Daniel John Sportiello The Precipice: Existential Risk and the Future of Humanity. By Toby Ord
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