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Displaying: 1-10 of 13 documents

1. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 92 > Issue: 1
Ambrose Little, OP Are You What You Eat or Something More?
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The question “Are you what you eat?” is ultimately a question about change. When we eat, are the nutrients from the food simply added to the biological complex we call the body or are the nutrients a product of substantial change? The scientific literature on digestion often describes the process in the former manner, which, if it were the only way to describe the data, would prove problematic to an Aristotelian and Thomist philosophy. However, the interpretation of the scientific data is not so simple and can be understood within the framework of a broad range of philosophical perspectives. This paper is an attempt to show how it is possible to reconcile the scientific data of digestion with an Aristotelian-Thomistic natural philosophy.
2. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 92 > Issue: 1
Melissa Moschella Gestation Does Not Necessarily Imply Parenthood: Implications for the Morality of Embryo Adoption and Embryo Rescue
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This article defends the morality of heterologous embryo transfer (HET) against those who claim that HET is wrong because it makes a woman a mother through someone other than her spouse. I contrast genetic parenthood with gestation to show that gestation alone does not make someone a mother in the focal sense. Genetic parenthood gives rise to the full obligations of parenthood—i.e., makes someone a parent in the focal sense—because the child’s relationship to his genetic parents is (1) permanent, (2) identity-defining, and (3) initially (at conception) the child’s closest human relationship. While the gestational relationship importantly influences the child’s identity, it lacks the unique closeness, permanence, and identity-defining nature that characterize the genetic parent-child relationship, and therefore gives rise only to temporary obligations akin to those of a foster parent. Recognizing these crucial differences between gestation and procreation helps to show that HET is not inherently immoral.
3. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 92 > Issue: 1
Jason W. Carter Aristotle and the Problem of Forgiveness
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In recent decades, it has been argued that the modern concept of forgiveness is absent from Aristotle’s conception of συγγνώμη as it appears in his Rhetoric and Nicomachean Ethics. In this paper, I argue that Aristotle’s view is more modern than it might appear. I defend the idea that Aristotle’s treatment of συγγνώμη, when seen in conjunction with his theory of ethical decision, involuntary action, and character alteration, commits him to a cognitive and emotional theory of forgiveness that is both well-grounded and thoroughly modern. I go on to claim that Aristotle’s view of συγγνώμη helps to solve at least four controversial problems about the nature of forgiveness raised by modern philosophers: how one can forgive a wrong without condoning it, whether forgiveness is a duty, whether moral luck requires us to forgive more widely, and whether forgiveness ought to be unconditional.
4. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 92 > Issue: 1
Steven J. Jensen Aquinas’s Original Discovery: A Reply to Barnwell
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According to Michael Barnwell, Aquinas’s explanation of the first cause of moral evil is inadequate. Against Barnwell’s criticisms, this article defends Aquinas, according to whom the first cause of moral evil is the failure to consider the moral rule. According to Barnwell, the ignorance found within Aquinas’s explanation must remove moral responsibility; Barnwell also points out that the failure to consider the moral rule does not explain the sinfulness of the action. Underlying Barnwell’s criticisms are certain presuppositions and oversights. First, he fails to distinguish between explaining how a sinful choice is possible (Aquinas’s concern) and what makes the choice to be sinful (part of Barnwell’s concern). Second, he supposes that an awareness of one’s own ignorance must include detailed awareness of the content of that ignorance. Finally, he supposes that an initial causal defect can be voluntary only when there is full knowledge concerning it.
5. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 92 > Issue: 1
David S. Oderberg The Storage Problem Revisited: A Reply to Díaz
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Antonio Ramos Díaz has recently given an extensive critique of what I have called the “storage problem” for materialism about the human mind. I respond to Díaz, showing that his critique fails. First, I rehearse the storage problem, explaining what claims it does and does not involve. I then consider Díaz’s “strong” and “weak” interpretations of my argument, explaining why I do not subscribe to the strong version, which misinterprets my position, especially concerning the meaning of the term “concrete.” His weak version of my argument is closer to what I intend, but Díaz’s own unpacking of this interpretation also commits me to claims I do not, for very good reasons, accept. Díaz does not, in the end, show the storage problem to be—as he thinks—an unsound way of arguing for dualism. Getting concepts into a purely material human intellect still looks like the metaphysical equivalent of fitting a square peg into a round hole.
cepos discussion
6. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 92 > Issue: 1
Peter Distelzweig, Karen Zwier Introduction to the CEPOS Discussion
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7. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 92 > Issue: 1
Stephen M. Barr The Mathematization of Physics and the Neo-Thomism of Duhem and Maritain
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Pierre Duhem and Jacques Maritain, influenced by positivist philosophies of science that prevailed in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, adopted markedly non-realist views about the mathematical theories of the modern physical sciences. The philosophies of science they developed were a hybrid of Thomism and positivism. This paper argues that the ideas of Duhem and Maritain about the relation of the mathematical theories of modern physics to physical reality are inadequate in light of the insights modern physics has yielded about the physical world.
8. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 92 > Issue: 1
Meghan D. Page Sense and Reference of a Believer
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Pierre Duhem’s philosophy of science was criticized by several of his contemporaries for being surreptitiously influenced by his Catholic faith. In his essay “Physics of a Believer,” Duhem defends himself against this appraisal. In this paper, I detail Duhem’s argument and reconstruct his view concerning the relationship between theoretical science and religious belief. Ultimately, Duhem claims that the propositions of physical theory cannot contradict the propositions of religious belief because they do not share a domain of reference. To clarify why Duhem holds this view, I present a case study: the discovery of entropy. By examining how the term “entropy” was introduced into thermo-dynamic theory, a story with which Duhem was intimately familiar, much of the apparent conflict in Duhem’s philosophy of science is resolved.
9. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 92 > Issue: 1
Robert C. Koons Hylomorphic Escalation: An Aristotelian Interpretation of Quantum Thermodynamics and Chemistry
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Defenders of physicalism often point to the reduction of chemistry to quantum physics as a paradigm for the reduction of the rest of reality to a microphysical foundation. This argument is based, however, on a misreading of the philosophical significance of the quantum revolution. A hylomorphic (from Aristotle’s concepts of hyle, matter, and morphe, form) interpretation of quantum thermodynamics and chemistry, in which parts and wholes stand in a mutually determining relationship, better fits both the empirical facts and the actual practice of scientists. I argue that only a hylomorphic interpretation of quantum mechanics (QM) is able to treat thermodynamic quantities, such as temperature and entropy, as genuinely real, which in turn provides grounds for the reality of the direction of time and of molecular structure.
book reviews
10. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 92 > Issue: 1
Gregory P. Floyd Crossing the Rubicon: The Borderlands of Philosophy and Theology. By Emmanuel Falque. Translated by Reuben Shank
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