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Displaying: 1-10 of 67 documents

1. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 87 > Issue: 4
Andrew T. LaZella As Light Belongs to Air: Thomas Aquinas and Meister Eckhart on the Existential Rootlessness of Creatures
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Both Thomas Aquinas and Meister Eckhart draw on the image of illuminated air to explain how being belongs to creatures. While for Aquinas the image reveals how an actus essendi can be a creature’s own, and yet not belong to it by means of its essential nature, Eckhart employs the image to show that being merely flows through creatures without taking up root as a real quality. Eckhart’s parsing of the image, I argue, invokes his claim that nothing is formally in both the cause and effect if the cause is a true cause. Thus, whereas creatures attain an analogical similitude of being according to Aquinas, Eckhart disputes the emergence of finite being distinct from God. He instead advocates detachment (Abgescheidenheit [MHG]) from such an apparent perfection, but not because God retains all existential wealth, granting nothing to impoverished creatures. Through detachment, both creatures and God return to their uncreated ground.
2. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 87 > Issue: 4
Anselm Ramelow, O.P. The Person in the Abrahamic Tradition: Is the Judeo-Christian Concept of Personhood Consistent?
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The concept of personhood in the Abrahamic tradition opens up new dimensions in contrast with the ancient world, especially the relationality and incommunicability of the person as a source of his or her dignity. However, these notions also originate their own set of contemporary challenges and problems. A proposal will be made as to how to overcome these problems by way of an integration of older insights on substance, act, and potency.
3. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 87 > Issue: 4
Victor M. Salas, Jr. Albert the Great and “Univocal Analogy”
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In this paper I discuss Albert the Great’s notion of univocal analogy, which he raised in his Commentary on Pseudo-Dionysius’s De divinis nominibus. While other scholars such as Francis Ruello and Alain de Libera have addressed “analogy” as it pertains to Albert, I intend to treat the “univocal” aspect of “univocal analogy” so as to explain (1) how it informs Albert’s teaching on analogy, and (2) how it remains opposed to any pantheistic reduction of God to creature. While my own account remains close to that of Ruello and De Libera, I hope to show how primacy is to be accorded to univocity in such a manner that, in actual reality, for Albert, it is analogy that qualifies univocity rather than vice versa.
4. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 87 > Issue: 4
Nicholas Kahm Divine Providence in Aquinas’s Commentaries on Aristotle’s Physics and Metaphysics, and Its Relevance to the Question of Evolution and Creation
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This paper presents a philosophical argument for divine providence by Aquinas. I suggest that upon returning to Aristotle’s Physics and Metaphysics to prepare his commentaries on these texts, Aquinas recognized that his stock argument from natural teleology to divine providence (the fifth way and its versions) needed to be filled out. Arguments from natural teleology can prove that God’s providence extends to what happens for the most part, but they cannot show that God’s providence also includes what happens for the least part. In order to prove the latter, Aquinas claims that one must argue from a higher science, which he then does with all characteristic clarity. This paper presents this argument, discusses what this means for his previous arguments from teleology, and discusses the argument’s relevance to the contemporary discussion about creation and evolution.
5. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 87 > Issue: 4
Micah Lott Does Human Nature Conflict with Itself?: Human Form and the Harmony of the Virtues
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Does possessing some human virtues make it impossible for a person to possess other human virtues? Isaiah Berlin and Bernard Williams both answered “yes” to this question, and they argued that to hold otherwise—to accept the harmony of the virtues—required a blinkered and unrealistic view of “what it is to be human.” In this essay, I have two goals: (1) to show how the harmony of the virtues is best interpreted, and what is at stake in affirming or denying it; and (2) to provide a partial defense of the harmony of the virtues. More specifically, I show how the harmony of the virtues can be interpreted and defended within the kind of Aristotelian naturalism developed by philosophers such as Philippa Foot, Rosalind Hursthouse, and Michael Thompson. I argue that far from being an embarrassing liability for Aristotelianism—based in an “archaic metaphysical biology”—the harmony thesis is an interesting and plausible claim about human excellences, supported by a sophisticated account of the representation of life, and fully compatible with a realistic view of our human situation.
6. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 87 > Issue: 4
Francisco J. Romero Carrasquillo, Hilaire K. Troyer de Romero Aquinas on the Inferiority of Woman
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Aquinas has been accused of being a sexist for making the following four claims about woman: (1) woman is a deficient male; (2) woman was created only for the purpose of procreation; (3) woman is inferior to man; (4) woman must submit to man. Some scholars, notably Michael Nolan, have attempted to defend Thomas, and a few have even gone so far as calling him a feminist. The aim of this paper is to show that Aquinas did hold these four claims throughout his career, and to show in what sense he held them, thus revealing how well-founded the accusations remain, given the assumptions of feminism. Finally, the authors propose that any future attempt to exonerate Aquinas from the charge of sexism must grapple with the question of how these claims are compatible with a gender-equality view.
7. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 87 > Issue: 4
Michael R. Spicher The Distinct Basic Good of Aesthetic Experience and Its Political Import
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To protect art under the First Amendment, John Finnis claims that art is simply the expression of emotion. Later, to protect aesthetic experience from subjectivity, Finnis claims that aesthetic experience is just a form of knowledge. However, neither of these claims adequately accounts for the nature of their objects nor fully protects them. The expression of emotion—intrinsic to art in Finnis’s view—is not always clear or even present, yet people can still appreciate the work. Equally problematic, aesthetic experience is not mere knowledge. It involves something more: a response or judgment. So, what is the nature and purpose of art and aesthetic experience? I argue that the main purpose of art is to provide the possibility of an aesthetic experience. Further, aesthetic experience is a distinct basic good. This status as a basic good and as the purpose of art provides justification for the state to protect (and occasionally promote) art.
8. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 87 > Issue: 4
John Haldane The Future of the University: Philosophy, Education, and the Catholic Tradition
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Higher education is in flux, and one of the challenges it faces is to relate education, research, and training. So far as Catholic institutions are concerned, there is also the fundamental issue of what it means to be Catholic. Leaving aside matters of history and religious observance, this bears in large part on issues of educational philosophy. This essay sets these matters within a historical context, considering Confucius, Augustine, and Aquinas, while focusing on nineteenth-century British discussions of education by Herbert Spencer, Mathew Arnold, J. S. Mill, and J. H. Newman, and then engaging challenges posed in recent times by Richard Rorty and others to the very idea of humanistic knowledge and understanding. This returns the discussion to what might be the distinctive contribution of Catholic colleges and universities, and to the suggestion that they should promote a sense of the Godly, the sacred, and the gracious. 
9. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 87 > Issue: 4
Christopher Tollefsen Response to Robert Koons and Matthew O’Brien’s “Objects of Intention: A Hylomorphic Critique of the New Natural Law Theory”
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Robert Koons and Matthew O’Brien have leveled a number of objections against the New Natural Law account of human action and intention. In this paper, I discuss five areas in which I believe that the Koons-O’Brien criticism of the New Natural Law theory is mistaken, or in which their own view is problematic. I hope to show, inter alia, that the New Natural Law approach is not committed to a number of theses attributed to it by Koons and O’Brien; that their own view suffers from many ambiguities and difficulties; that passages from St. Thomas on which they draw to support their own view are in fact fully compatible with the New Natural Law account; and that neither the New Natural Law account of the controversial Phoenix abortion case, nor their account of the casuistry surrounding the acceptance of side-effects, is deficient in the ways asserted by Koons and O’Brien.
book reviews
10. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 87 > Issue: 4
Mariusz Tabaczek, O.P. Aristotle's Concept of Chance: Accidents, Cause, Necessity, and Determinism. By John Dudley
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