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Displaying: 1-10 of 13 documents


articles
1. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 90 > Issue: 3
Travis Dumsday The Problem of Divine Hiddenness: Is the Devil in the Details?
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The problem of divine hiddenness is, along with the problem of evil, one of the two principal arguments for atheism in the current literature. Very roughly: If God really existed, then He would make His reality rationally indubitable to everyone (or at least everyone willing to engage Him in relationship). Since that hasn’t happened, God does not exist. Among the many replies made to this argument, a basic distinction might be drawn between (1) those made from within generic theism (theism prescinding from any specific religion), and (2) those made from within a definite faith tradition and employing the distinctive doctrinal resources of that tradition. That same division is apparent in the literature on the problem of evil, and among faith-specific work on that problem, one idea occasionally entertained (especially in the context of natural evil) is that the reality of evil spiritual beings may play a role in a defence or theodicy. Heretofore no one has imported that idea into the debate over hiddenness. In this paper I try out several versions of this strategy, eventually arguing that for those branches of Christianity with a doctrinal commitment to the reality of fallen angels, novel responses to the hiddenness problem are thereby made available. It is clearly a response unlikely to persuade atheists, but for Christians willing to consider the problem from within a distinctively Christian perspective it may carry some force. It may likewise be of use to those less concerned about countering atheism and more concerned with simply answering the longstanding theological question of why God might properly permit rational doubt in His reality.
2. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 90 > Issue: 3
Michael Rota A Better Version of Pascal’s Wager
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The standard version of Pascal’s Wager suffers from serious problems. In this paper I present a modified version of a Wager-style argument that avoids several of the most serious objections to the standard version, viz., the objections of Duff and Hájek relating to infinite utilities, moral objections concerning the use of pragmatic considerations, and the many-gods objection. I argue that a serious commitment to living a Christian life is rational (and the failure to make such a commitment is irrational) if one is rational in assigning a credence to Christianity of at least one-half. The upshot is that considerations of practical rationality dramatically lower the bar for natural theology.
3. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 90 > Issue: 3
Gaven Kerr, OP Aquinas, Stump, and the Nature of a Simple God
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In order for God to be simple, He must be esse itself, but in some texts Aquinas seems to distinguish between esse and id quod est, so it seems that God cannot be an id quod est. To resolve this tension, Eleonore Stump proposes quantum theology, whereby we are able to attribute contradictory predicates to a thing of which we have no quidditative knowledge; so God then can be seen as esse itself and as an ens. In this paper I criticise this approach and hold that there is a principled philosophical approach that we can take to these matters through a greater clarification of what it means for God to be pure esse. It is seen that this latter approach entails that God is indeed an ens, so that the ens-hood of God is derived from His being pure esse, in which case quantum theology is not needed for a Thomistic resolution of the problem.
4. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 90 > Issue: 3
Antonio Ramos Díaz How Not to Argue against Materialism: On Oderberg’s Storage Problem Argument
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The storage problem is the problem of explaining how concepts could be stored in the mind if the mind is something material. David Oderberg has defended the immateriality of the human intellect on the basis of the storage problem. The general idea of the argument is that concepts possess features that make them categorially incapable of being stored in any material locus. Yet, they are stored in the mind. Hence, the mind is immaterial. In this paper I propose that Oderberg’s argument cannot be accepted. First, I argue that on one reading the argument leads to absurdity and is inconsistent with Oderberg’s Thomism. Secondly, I argue that even on another, weaker reading of the argument, Oderberg has no plausible and adequate grounds for accepting it, and the grounds he does provide in favor of the argument seem in tension with Thomism.
5. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 90 > Issue: 3
Maria Fedoryka “Finis superabundant operis”: Refining an Ancient Cause for Explaining the Conjugal Act
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Dietrich von Hildebrand denominated the generation of new human life as the “superabundant end” of the spousal act not to deny but to refine the scholastic view that the child is the “end of the act,” simply. The act at the source of human generation is not straightforwardly generative; rather, its generativity is metaphysically grounded in it as a concrete act of union between the spouses. There are thus in some sense two finalities structuring the act, with a specific order between them: union and the fruitfulness following superabundantly from it. In this essay I bring to evidence the framework underlying von Hildebrand’s position by examining love as the forma of the spousal act and the significance of sexuality as an embodied act. I will conclude with some thoughts on how the concept of superabundance accommodates certain truths about the spousal act more readily than does the simple notion of finality.
6. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 90 > Issue: 3
Kevin E. O’Reilly, OP The Temporality of Prudence in Thomas Aquinas: Towards a Participatory Construal of Heidegger’s Sorge
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According to Heidegger’s interpretation, while Aristotle’s treatment of practical wisdom cannot be divorced from his account of theoretical wisdom, there has nevertheless been a tendency in Western thought to separate what he terms the theoretical and practical modes of concern and to afford a certain priority to the theoretical mode. This article argues that one thinker in the tradition with which Heidegger engaged, namely Thomas Aquinas, constitutes an exception to this analysis. Thomas’s treatment of prudence (prudentia), rooted in Aristotle’s discussion of phronēsis, furnishes an initial point of contact with Heidegger. Turning to Thomas’s account of the precepts of the natural law, I show that implicit therein is an understanding of care that corresponds to Heidegger’s notion of Sorge, albeit an understanding that is imbued with a strikingly different character—namely, a theistic one. Central to this argument is the claim that Thomas escapes Heidegger’s dismissal of ontotheology thanks to his analogical construal of being.
7. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 90 > Issue: 3
Philip Neri Reese, OP Supertranscendentality and Metaphysics: An Aporia in the Thought of John Duns Scotus
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This article investigates an aporia in the metaphysical thought of John Duns Scotus. On the one hand, there are strong textual grounds for saying that according to Scotus the subject matter of metaphysics excludes logical being. On this reading, metaphysics would be a transcendental, but not a supertranscendental, science. On the other hand, there are strong textual grounds for saying that according to Scotus the subject matter of metaphysics includes logical being. On this reading, metaphysics would be a supertranscendental, and not just a transcendental, science. Two possible paths for resolving this aporia are considered and subsequently problematized. The aporia seems to be genuine, and recognition of this fact brings into sharper focus the position of Scotus’s metaphysics in the development of supertranscendental thought.
book reviews
8. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 90 > Issue: 3
James M. Jacobs The Philosophy of Saint Thomas Aquinas: A Sketch. By Stephen L. Brock
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9. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 90 > Issue: 3
Paul St. Amour The Eclipse and Recovery of Beauty: A Lonergan Approach. By John D. Dadosky
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10. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 90 > Issue: 3
Christopher M. Brown Mind, Truth and Teleology: An Introduction to Scholastic Philosophy. By John Peterson
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