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1. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 93 > Issue: 1
Julie Loveland Swanstrom Creation as Efficient Causation in Aquinas
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In this article, I explore Aquinas’s account of divine creative activities as a type of efficient causation. I propose that Aquinas’s works hold a framework for understanding God as an efficient cause and creating as an act of divine efficient causation that makes explicit what Aquinas views to be implicit in Aristotle’s account of efficient causation. I explore Aristotelian efficient causation in depth, offering a detailed analysis of the components of Aristotelian efficient causation. After this exploration, it is necessary to address what reasons Aquinas has for viewing creation as efficient causation. I explore Aquinas’s understanding of creation and relate it to Aristotle’s analysis of efficient causation, analyzing how, precisely, Aquinas’s conception of efficient causation—which includes change, creation, and conservation—aligns with Aristotle’s. Because Aquinas’s account is derivable directly from elements in Aristotle’s account, Aquinas’s account can be understood to be implied by Aristotle’s account.
2. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 93 > Issue: 1
Jacob Tuttle Suárez on Creation and Intrinsic Change
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The late scholastic philosopher Francisco Suárez (1548–1617) articulates and defends an extraordinarily detailed account of efficient causation. Some of the most interesting and difficult questions connected with this account concern the particular types of efficient causation he acknowledges. This paper clarifies one of the most fundamental distinctions Suárez employs in the course of his treatment of efficient causation—namely, that between motion (motus) or change (mutatio), on the one hand, and creation ex nihilo, on the other. The paper shows that, although motion and creation differ in systematic and important ways, they nevertheless can both be captured by Suárez’s general theoretical model of efficient causation. Moreover, the paper shows that creation serves as a kind of limit case of efficient causation, and accordingly that it informs how Suárez understands motion or change as well.
3. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 93 > Issue: 1
Craig M. White Against the Permissibility of Attempted Wife-Poisoning
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The Aristotelian-Thomist claim is that external actions can be morally evaluated when they are voluntary (which includes being based on reasonably accurate knowledge of what an agent is doing), absent which, in effect, we evaluate outcomes, not acts. Also, in the Aristotelian-Thomist tradition the internal act of the will is paramount. These claims contrast with some current theorizing, e.g., by Judith Jarvis Thomson, that morally evaluates actions separately from agents, downplaying the internal act. Taking cases from current authors that revolve around ignorance of key facts, I critique their theorizing on the basis of the nature of agency, the nature of abstraction, the moral language we use in describing acts, the need for reasonably complete descriptions of acts, and the tendency of act evaluations to “leak” into agent evaluations in objective theories. I then describe how Thomas Aquinas’s account of moral evaluation avoids these problems and provides a superior, multi-dimensional framework for moral evaluation.
4. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 93 > Issue: 1
W. Scott Cleveland, Brandon Dahm The Virtual Presence of Acquired Virtues in the Christian
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Aquinas’s doctrine that infused virtues accompany sanctifying grace raises many questions. We examine one: how do the infused virtues relate to the acquired virtues? More precisely, can the person with the infused virtues possess the acquired virtues? We argue for an answer consistent with and informed by Aquinas’s writings, although it goes beyond textual evidence, as any answer to this question must. There are two plausible, standard interpretations of Aquinas on this issue: the coexistence view and transformation view. After explaining the views, we present plausible reasons for and against each view. The evidence suggests, we argue, that the acquired virtues are both present and absent in the Christian. We then survey Aquinas’s account of virtual presence. Finally, we argue that the case of the presence of acquired virtues in the Christian is a good candidate for virtual presence.
5. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 93 > Issue: 1
Randall G. Colton St. Thomas, Teaching, and the Intellectual Virtue of Art
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Applying Thomas Aquinas’s account of the intellectual virtue of art to teaching yields valuable results both for those who wish to understand teaching better and those looking for models of the approach to virtue epistemology Roberts and Wood call “regulative.” To vindicate that claim, this article proceeds in four steps: First, I introduce Thomas’s taxonomy of the intellectual virtues in light of a pair of distinctions between practical and speculative knowledge and between immanent and transient operations. In the second section, I consider teaching’s relation to each of Thomas’s intellectual virtues and argue that it belongs most properly to art. Next, I describe Thomas’s taxonomy of art by distinguishing among four cross-cutting categories that characterize species of that virtue. Finally, I outline an account of the art of teaching that treats it, with respect to those categories, as performative, deliberative, cooperative, and intersubjective.
6. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 93 > Issue: 1
Graham Hubbs Anscombe on How St. Peter Intentionally Did What He Intended Not to Do
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G. E. M. Anscombe’s Intention, meticulous in its detail and its structure, ends on a puzzling note. At its conclusion, Anscombe claims that when he denied Jesus, St. Peter intentionally did what he intended not to do. This essay will examine why Anscombe construes the case as she does and what it might teach us about the nature of practical rationality.
7. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 93 > Issue: 1
Michael Barnwell The Root of Sin is Still Undiscovered: A Counter-reply to Jensen
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In “Aquinas’s Original Discovery: A Reply to Barnwell,” Steven Jensen offers five objections to my earlier claim that Aquinas’s explanation of the origin of sin, also known as his “original discovery,” does not succeed. In this paper, I quickly summarize Aquinas’s putative discovery and my initial criticism. I then begin to address Jensen’s five objections. The issue at hand between Jensen and myself largely rests upon disagreeing over the truth of a particular conditional; I claim the conditional is true whereas Jensen must hold it is false. I argue that Jensen’s five objections either fail to demonstrate the falsity of that conditional or pose other problems (such as limiting the scope of Aquinas’s discovery). I thus conclude that Jensen fails to vindicate Aquinas’s explanation of a sin’s origin as a viable, original discovery against my earlier critique.
8. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 93 > Issue: 1
Steven J. Jensen Proto-Sin: A Case Study
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Michael Barnwell has helpfully clarified his criticisms of Aquinas’s explanation of proto-sins. In this response, I further clarify my own defense of Aquinas. Although the sinner lacks one rule, he has at hand another: he is aware that if he chooses, then he must have the rule of his action. This rule is conditional, that is, he is not obliged—categorically—to have the rule at hand; rather, he is obliged to have the rule only if he chooses. An additional clarification concerns the manner in which the sinner is aware that he lacks the rule. More precisely, he is aware that he might not have the rule. In a proto-sin, then, the sinner is aware that if he chooses an action, then that action should be ordered to the end, and he is also aware that the good he desires while acting might not be ordered to the end.
book reviews
9. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 93 > Issue: 1
Philip Gonzales The Intimate Universal: The Hidden Porosity among Relgion, Art, Philosophy, and Politics. By William Desmond
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10. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 93 > Issue: 1
Gene Fendt Readings of Plato’s Apology of Socrates: Defending The Philosophical Life. Edited by Vivil Valvik Haralden, Olof Pettersson, and Oda E. Wiese Tvedt
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11. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 93 > Issue: 1
Scott F. Crider Plato on the Value of Philosophy: The Art of Argument in the Gorgias and Phaedrus. By Tushar Irani
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12. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 93 > Issue: 1
Thomas Feeney Leibniz on God and Religion: A Reader. By Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz. Translated and edited by Lloyd Strickland
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13. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 93 > Issue: 1
Glenn B. Siniscalchi Atheism and Agnosticism. By Graham Oppy
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