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1. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 87 > Issue: 3
Travis Dumsday A Thomistic Response to the Problem of Divine Hiddenness
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The problem of divine hiddenness has in the recent literature joined the problem of evil as one of the principal positive arguments for atheism. My chief goal here is to mine Aquinas’s metaphysics and natural theology for a distinctively Thomistic response, making particular use of a neglected text in which he considers a similar issue. Towards the end of the paper I also consider some resources provided by Aquinas’s interpretation of revealed theology.
2. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 87 > Issue: 3
Michael R. Slater Pragmatism, Theism, and the Viability of Metaphysical Realism
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In this essay I present two cases for what I term an “unobjectionable” or weak version of metaphysical realism, the first based on a commitment to a version of pragmatism, and the second based on a commitment to theism. I argue that it can be reasonable to accept such a version of realism even if there are no arguments that definitively prove its truth, and that both pragmatists and theists have good reasons to accept it. Although I conceive of these grounds as independent lines of justification, I see no reason in principle why one could not hold both simultaneously. This is not to suggest that there are not versions of pragmatism or theism that are incompatible with each other, but rather only that pragmatism and theism as such are not mutually exclusive views.
3. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 87 > Issue: 3
Robert Greenleaf Brice “Aesthetic Scaffolding”: Hagberg and Wittgensteinian Certitude
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In the penultimate chapter of his book, Art as Language, G. L. Hagberg presents an argument against Arthur Danto, George Dickie, and other advocates of the Institutional Theory (IT), arguing that a tension exists within the theory. Through conferral, a spokesperson declares what artifacts are accepted into the artworld. Hagberg finds this problematic because, while the criterion one uses is something that the later Wittgenstein would endorse, it points back to an essentialism that he clearly rejected. But Hagberg believes he can avoid this problem by applying Wittgenstein’s notion of certainty to specific artifacts in aesthetics. By relying on Wittgenstein’s notion of certitude, however, he exposes himself to a tension that exists in On Certainty: is certainty natural, or is it social? Although the propositions Hagberg uses have the potential to become certain, he treats them as if they begin that way. In this paper I present two ways in which Wittgenstein classifies or understands certainty: a bottom-up approach, where certainty is part of our natural and instinctual predisposition, and a top-down approach, where certainty is acquired through positive reinforcement. I believe Hagberg fails to appreciate this distinction as well as the consequences for his claim.
4. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 87 > Issue: 3
Dennis Vanden Auweele The Poverty of Philosophy: Desmond’s Hyperbolic Gifts and Caputo’s Events
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Recently, William Desmond’s metaxological philosophy has been gaining popularity since it proposes a powerful counterweight to the dominance of deconstruction in certain areas of contemporary philosophy of religion. This paper serves to introduce Desmond’s philosophy and confront it with one specific form of Postmodern theology, namely John Caputo’s “weak theology.” Since Desmond’s philosophy is—while thought-provoking and refreshing—not well known, a substantial part of this paper is devoted to fleshing out its central concepts: perplexity, metaxology, and hyperbolic indirection. Afterwards, I argue for the advantages of a metaphysical (Desmond) over a deconstructive (Caputo) approach to philosophy of religion/God.
5. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 87 > Issue: 3
Mathew Lu Explaining the Wrongness of Cannibalism
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In this paper I take up the claims of a number of recent commentators who have argued that there is no rational basis for a moral judgment against cannibalism because no successful argument against it can be articulated within the dominant consequentialist or neo-Kantian deontological approaches in normative ethics. While I think cannibalism is clearly morally repugnant, it is surprisingly difficult to explain why. I argue not only that a rational justification of the moral wrongness of cannibalism can be given in terms of a broadly Aristotelian virtue ethics, but also that this requires a broader conception of moral value, and corresponding moral obligations, than is typical within the dominant approaches.
6. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 87 > Issue: 3
William E. Tullius Haecceitas as Value and as Moral Horizon: A Scotist Contribution to the Project of a Phenomenological Ethics
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This paper seeks to provide a phenomenological articulation of the Scotist notion of haecceitas, interpreting Scotus’s principle of individuation at once as an ontological as well as a moral principle. Growing out of certain suggestions made by James Hart in his Who One Is, this interpretation is meant to provide the phenomenological ethics of both Edmund Husserl and Max Scheler with a useful theoretical tool in the Scotist notion of haecceitas interpreted as a horizon of value in order more fully to develop the phenomenological idea of the ethical life as a task that specifically seeks to realize as its highest goal the vocation of the person to his or her ideal, true self. The main implication of Scotus’s thought, here, for phenomenology will be the ability to further delimit haecceitas as an objective moral principle that refutes the frequent charge of relativistic subjectivism in the phenomenological theory of ethics.
disputed question: is the human soul the form of the human body?
7. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 87 > Issue: 3
John Haldane Is the Soul the Form of the Body?
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The idea of the soul, though once common in discussions of human nature, is rarely considered in contemporary philosophy. This reflects a general physicalist turn; but besides commitment to various forms of materialism there is the objection that the very idea of the soul is incoherent. The notion of soul considered here is a broadly Aristotelian-Thomistic one according to which it is both the form of a living human being and something subsistent on its own account. Having discussed the conceptual issues of how the soul may be conceived of, and set aside certain neo-Cartesian lines of response to materialism, an argument to the existence of a non-material principle is presented. Certain implications are then explored leading to the conclusion that it is possible for the intellectual soul to survive the death of the body.
8. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 87 > Issue: 3
William Hasker The Dialectic of Soul and Body
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Thomistic dualism, based on the Aristotelian view of the soul as the form of the body, presents us with a conception of the person as part of the natural world in a way that deserves our attention. The view is outlined, following Eleonore Stump’s exposition, and some objections to it are noted. Consideration is then given to a modified version of Thomistic dualism developed by J. P. Moreland. Finally, attention is directed at the theory of “emergent dualism,” which obtains many of the benefits aimed at by the Thomistic view without its drawbacks.
9. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 87 > Issue: 3
John Haldane Response to William Hasker’s “The Dialectic of Soul and Body”
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10. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 87 > Issue: 3
William Hasker Response to John Haldane’s “Is the Soul the Form of the Body?”
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review article
11. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 87 > Issue: 3
Gregory R. Beabout Kierkegaard Amidst the Catholic Tradition
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To mark the 200th anniversary of the birth of Søren Kierkegaard, I review in this essay the relationship between Kierkegaard and the Catholic tradition. First, I look back to consider both Kierkegaard’s encounter with Catholicism and the influence of his work upon Catholics. Second, I look around to consider some of the recent work on Kierkegaard and Catholicism, especially Jack Mulder’s recent book, Kierkegaard and the Catholic Tradition, and the many articles that examine Kierkegaard’s relation to Catholicism in the multi-volume Kierkegaard Research series edited by Jon Stewart. Finally, I look ahead to consider possible directions in which the conversation between Catholics and Kierkegaardians might continue.
book reviews
12. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 87 > Issue: 3
Walter Redmond Die Rezeption Edith Steins: Internationale Edith-Stein-Bibliographie 1942–2012: Festgabe für M. Amata Neyer, OCD. By Francesco Alfieri, OFM
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13. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 87 > Issue: 3
Catherine Jack Deavel On the Meaning of Sex. By J. Budziszewski
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14. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 87 > Issue: 3
Felix Ó Murchadha The Intimate Strangeness of Being: Metaphysics after Dialectic. By William Desmond
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15. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 87 > Issue: 3
Christopher Toner The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion. By Jonathan Haidt
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16. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 87 > Issue: 3
Kody W. Cooper The Limits of Reason in Hobbes's Commonwealth. By Michael P. Krom
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17. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 87 > Issue: 3
Christopher J. Malloy Analogia Entis: On the Analogy of Being, Metaphysics, and the Act of Faith. By Steven A. Long
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18. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 87 > Issue: 3
Kevin M. Staley Anselm of Canterbury and the Desire for the Word. By Eileen Sweeney
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19. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 87 > Issue: 3
Books Received
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