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articles
1. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 84 > Issue: 4
Yong Huang The Self-Centeredness Objection to Virtue Ethics: Zhu Xi’s Neo-Confucian Response
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As virtue ethics has developed into maturity, it has also met with a number of objections. This essay focuses on the self-centeredness objection: since virtue ethics recommends that we be concerned with our own virtues or virtuous characters, it is self-centered. In response, I first argue that, for Zhu Xi’s neo-Confucianism, the character that a virtuous person is concerned with consists largely in precisely those virtues that incline him or her to be concerned with the good of others. While such an answer is also available to the Aristotelian virtue ethics, I argue that Zhu Xi’s neo-Confucianism can better respond to the objection on two deeper levels: (1) a virtuous person is not only concerned with others’ external well-being but also their virtuous characters, and (2) a virtuous person’s concern with others’ wellbeing, both internal and external, is neither self-indulgent nor self-effacing.
2. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 84 > Issue: 4
Michael Renemann The Mind’s Focus as an Efficient Cause: Francisco Suárez’s Re-interpretation of the Traditional Understanding of the Idea
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Central to early modern Scholastic theories of artistic production (whether the artist is God or a human being) is the term “idea,” which, in the traditionalaccount, signifies “that which is being imitated in the process of artistic production.” Francisco Suárez rejects this account, on the grounds that, by making theidea depend on being imitated, it obviously leaves the idea without any (efficient) causal role. On his alternative account, the exemplary cause governing the production process is not an “objective representation” or preconception, but the act of thought itself, the “formal representation” by which the mind is directly referred to the thing outside. This does not imply that this thing has to pre-exist the act of thought, because for Suárez this act is a kind of focusing (mentis acies), or, more metaphorically, “a light which goes before [praeit], showing the way, the mode and the terminus of the operation.”
3. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 84 > Issue: 4
Helen Tattam Philosophers’ Stories: Gabriel Marcel and Narrative
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With reference to the work of Gabriel Marcel (1889–1973), this paper illustrates how, in spite of its general neglect in philosophical contexts, narrativeform can be significant in philosophical writing. This, in turn, highlights an aspect of Marcel’s specificity that has been overlooked: recognition of narrative’s structural importance in Marcel reveals the extent to which the form and content of his investigations into the nature of Being are indissociable; and this sheds light on his particular phenomenological method, which, like that of Martin Heidegger (1889–1976), takes an indirect approach to ontology—specifically through itsuse of first-person narratives. For this reason, I argue, parallels can also be drawn between Marcel’s philosophy and that of Paul Ricoeur (1913–2005)—especiallywith his discussions of narrative identity.
4. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 84 > Issue: 4
Eddo Evink Horizons and Others: Gadamer, Levinas, Patočka
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The relation between identity and difference is a much discussed issue in continental philosophy. Within the phenomenological tradition several approachesto this relation stand over and against each other, among them hermeneutics and philosophies of difference. This article sketches their confrontation by choosingtwo “representatives,” Gadamer and Levinas, and by focussing on one term that is used by both of them, namely the metaphor of the horizon. For Gadamer thehorizon is an open border of a perspective that always includes other perspectives; for Levinas the horizon is an enclosure that is broken through by the Other. Both views have their strong and weak points. Finally, a third approach, the “asubjective phenomenology” of Jan Patočka, is suggested as a position that combines the strong and convincing ideas of both sides, while avoiding their problems.
5. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 84 > Issue: 4
Edmund Wall Toward a Unified Foundation of Natural Law Ethics
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I locate possible fertile common ground among the “new natural law theory” of Finnis, Grisez, and Boyle, the “traditional” Thomism of McInerny, and natural law derivationism. I respond to Murphy’s contention that the “inclinationism” of Finnis cannot be successfully asserted along with what Murphy takes to be a basic requirement of natural law ethics, namely that basic practical principles are to be “strongly grounded” in human nature. I argue that the tension between the inclinationism of Finnis and Murphy’s basic requirement is not irresolvable. In response to objections by Murphy to natural law derivationism, I argue, basedin part on Searle’s attempt to derive an “ought” from an “is,” that the new natural law theorists and McInerny can and should investigate natural law derivationismfor possible adoption.
6. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 84 > Issue: 4
Stephen Napier Vulnerable Embryos: A Critical Analysis of Twinning, Rescue, and Natural-Loss Arguments
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Contemporary philosophical discussion on human embryonic stem cell research has focused primarily on the metaphysical and meta-ethical issues suchresearch raises. Though these discussions are interesting, largely ignored are arguments rooted in the secular research ethics tradition already informing humansubject research. This tradition countenances the notion of vulnerability and that vulnerable human subjects (of which human embryos are likely members)ought to be protected from research-related harms. This is the basic idea behind the argument from vulnerability, and it enjoys prima facie plausibility. This articlepresents the vulnerability argument and then focuses critically on several lines of attack including: (1) twinning and totipotency arguments, (2) embryo-rescuearguments, and (3) natural loss arguments. The article concludes that there is no good defeater for the vulnerability argument, and, therefore, we have undefeated reasons for protecting human embryos from research related harms.
book reviews
7. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 84 > Issue: 4
John F. Crosby Will as Commitment and Resolve: An Existential Account of Creativity, Love, Virtue, and Happiness
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8. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 84 > Issue: 4
Gloria Frost An Introduction to Medieval Philosophy: Basic Concepts
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9. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 84 > Issue: 4
James D. Madden Personal Agency: The Metaphysics of Mind and Action
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10. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 84 > Issue: 4
E. J. Coffman, J. Cervantez The Elusive God: Reorienting Religious Epistemology
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