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1. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 62 > Issue: 2
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2. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 62 > Issue: 2
Scott J. Roniger The Activities of Truth
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In this essay, I discuss the essence of truth. In order to do so, I continue a fecund dialogue between Husserlian phenomenology, as recapitulated by Robert Sokolowski, and Aristotelian metaphysics, as developed by St. Thomas Aquinas. Integrating these phil­osophical approaches enables us to see that beings reveal themselves to us through their activities, both substantial and accidental, and that the active self-disclosure of things can be identified with their intelligibility. It is this objective yet potential intelligibility that we disclose and activate when we think about things truthfully by articulating them in the medium of speech. I therefore define truth as the human person’s syntactic activation of the potential intelligibility of things, and I conclude by showing how these reflections lead us to acknowledge God as the highest and first Truth.
3. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 62 > Issue: 2
J. P. Moreland Conceivability, Rational Intuition, and Metaphysical Possibility: Husserl’s Way Out
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The purpose of this article is to provide a case against certain claims made by modal skeptics with a specific application to the debate about whether conceivability is the right notion to employ in justifying the move from some state of affairs being conceivable to its being metaphysically possible. Does conceivability provide adequate, defeasible grounds for inferring metaphysical possibility? If not, is there a better approach that employs a replacement for conceivability? I argue that conceivability should be abandoned in favor of rational intuitions understood in a way I hope to make clear and precise.To accomplish this purpose, I begin by examing the general way conceivability has been related to metaphysical possibility and opt for a replacement for conceivability. Next, I make clear and precise what I mean by that replacement—rational intuitions. Third, I present three representative accounts of modal knowledge offered by Timothy O’Connor, George Bealer, and Edmund Husserl. O’Connor’s account is externalist, Bealer’s is a hybrid between an internalist and externalist view, and Husserl’s is a purely internalist perspective. While all three are plausible perspectives, I will criticize and reject the first two accounts and argue that Husserl’s way out of modal skepticism is successful. I conclude that Husserl’s employment of rational intuition made precise by his notions of eidetic and categorial intuition, provides a rigorous, fruitful way to ground modal knowledge in general, and de re and de dicto possibility in particular.
4. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 62 > Issue: 2
Matthew Kirby, Mark K. Spencer The One Has the Many: A Further Synthesis of Aquinas, Scotus, and Palamas
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In an earlier paper, Mark Spencer synthesized three understandings of divine simplicity, arguing that the Thomist account can be enriched by Scotist and Palamite distinctions. After summarizing that earlier work, this paper builds upon it in four main ways. Firstly, it relates Scotus’ logical (diminished) univocity to Aquinas’ metaphysical analogy in language about God. Secondly, it explores the limits of univocity and the formal distinction as applied to the divine essence (in the Palamite sense), utilising the scientific metaphor of tomography. Thirdly, it defends Palamite energies from the charge of being Thomistic accidents by introducing the concept of “intrinsic ramification” and applying that concept to the Thomistic divine ideas. Fourthly, it tabulates some significant pre-existing parallels between the three systems’ nomenclature in referring to similar aspects of the divine.
5. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 62 > Issue: 2
Guido Vanheeswijck Reform or Euthanasia of Metaphysics?: R. G. Collingwood versus Wilhelm Dilthey on the Historical Role of Metaphysics
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Although the philosophical ideas of the English philosopher Robin George Collingwood on history and art have often been compared with those of the German philosopher Wilhelm Dilthey, an in-depth comparison between their concepts of metaphysics was never made. Therefore, the focus in this article is on both authors’ concepts of metaphysics. It is shown that, despite the undeniable affinity, their views of the status of metaphysics differ substantially. Both Dilthey and Collingwood focus on an inherent antinomy in the project of metaphysics. On the one hand, there is the inescapable relativity of all time-bound ways of thinking and their results; on the other, there is the metaphysical search for objective and generally accepted knowledge of reality as a whole. For Dilthey, the awareness of its historical character reveals the impossibility for metaphysics to provide a foundation for natural and human sciences alike. Collingwood’s aim, by contrast, is to safeguard the possibility of metaphysics as a historical science to supply an enduring foundation of natural and human sciences. To clarify this radical difference with regard to the role of metaphysics, I make three steps. First, I situate Dilthey’s critique of metaphysics within the context of his work in order to present his ‘solution’ of the metaphysical antinomy. Second, I focus on the role of Collingwood’s reform of metaphysics and his ‘solution’ of the metaphysical antinomy. Finally, I relate the different status of their views of metaphysics to their divergent interpretations of human finitude.
6. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 62 > Issue: 2
Evan Dutmer Imagination and the Genealogy of Morals in the Appendix to Spinoza’s Ethics 1
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The so-called “analytical” appendix to the first part of Spinoza’s Ethics has at times puzzled scholars. It notably breaks with the geometrical method adopted in most of the text, and includes an impassioned argument against teleology, popular morality, and, ultimately, the faculty of imagination. In this essay I seek to resolve this interpretive difficulty by side-by-side comparison with philosophical resources from one of Spinoza’s main influences. In particular, I argue that analysis of the appendix to the first part of his Ethics is benefitted by comparison with certain Maimonidean arguments regarding the “imagination”—themselves part of a long tradition of debate on the powers of the imaginative faculty in ancient and medieval philosophy—contained in The Guide of the Perplexed. I introduce and trace this connection across both texts. This helps us to better appreciate both the appendix and its place within the Ethics and Spinoza’s sustained, complicated relationship with Medieval Judaism’s greatest thinker.
7. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 62 > Issue: 2
Joseph L. Lombardi Why Christian Monotheism Requires a Social Trinity
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Pursuing a suggestion made by Christopher Stead in his book Divine Substance and employing distinctions made by Gottlob Frege in his article “Concept and Object,” it becomes possible to answer a common charge against Trinitarian Theism: its alleged inconsistency in claiming that, while there is only one God, there are also three “persons,” each rightly named “God.” The argument advanced, while supporting the logical coherence of traditional Trinitarian Theism, also defends the orthodoxy of the controversial “Social Trinitarianism” associated with Richard of Saint Victor.
8. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 62 > Issue: 2
Mark T. Nelson Absolutism, Utilitarianism and Agent-Relative Constraints
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Absolutism—the idea that some kinds of acts are absolutely wrong and must never be done—plays an important role in medical ethics. Nicholas Denyer has defended it from some influential consequentialist critics who have alleged that absolutism is committed to “agent-relative constraints” and therefore intolerably complex and messy. Denyer ingeniously argues that, if there are problems with agent-relative constraints, then they are problems for consequentialism, since it contains agent-relative constraints, too. I show that, despite its ingenuity, Denyer’s argument does not succeed. The defense of absolutism must move to other grounds.