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articles
1. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 91 > Issue: 3
Therese Scarpelli Cory Knowing as Being? A Metaphysical Reading of the Identity of Intellect and Intelligibles in Aquinas
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I argue that Thomas Aquinas’s Identity Formula—the statement that the “intellect in act is the intelligible in act”—does not, as is usually supposed, express his position on how the intellect accesses extramental realities (responding to the so-called “mind-world gap”). Instead, it should be understood as a claim about the metaphysics of intellection, according to which the perfection requisite for performing the act of understanding is what could be called “intellectual-intelligible being.” In reinterpreting Aquinas’s Identity Formula, I explore the notion of being “in act” as an intellect or intelligible (intelligibile actu, intellectus actu), his curious comments about an “order” or “genus” of intelligibles, and the relationship of understanding and being-understood.
2. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 91 > Issue: 3
Matthew K. Minerd Beyond Non-Being: Thomistic Metaphysics on Second Intentions, Ens morale, and Ens artificiale
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In Thomistic metaphysics, the domain of ens rationis pertains to a hazy region of “non-real” being, laying outside of the proper scientific subject of metaphysics. In addition to negations and privations, a very important domain of entia rationis pertains to that of relationes rationis, especially such relationes as play a role in human reasoning. Logic, studying these “non-real” relations, thus focuses on a unique, if hazy, realm of “non-being.” While this particular type of ens rationis receives the lion’s share of attention among Thomists, there is evidence that similar reflection should be given to two additional domains of experience, namely that of “moral being” and “artificial being” (i.e., the being of artifacts). This paper lays out the general metaphysical concerns pertaining to each of these domains, providing an outline of topics pertinent to a Thomistic discussion of the intentional existence involved in logic, moral realities, and artifacts.
3. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 91 > Issue: 3
Jennifer Soerensen Aquinas on the Nature of the Human Soul: Starting Points in Article 2 of On Spiritual Creatures
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While examining how Aquinas defends his account of the human soul in Article 2 of On Spiritual Creatures, I will point out the difficulties that arise in determining the nature of the human soul when the very starting question is formulated in the manner of Article 2’s question: “Can a spiritual substance be united to a body?” This way of examining the human soul—beginning by considering pure spiritual substantiality and then considering whether it is possible that spiritual substance can relate to a body—reveals an intractable tension which Aquinas would have a difficult time resolving. However, this tension is avoided when the method for discussing the nature of the soul is a bottom-up analysis of the human composite and its operations, which is precisely how Aquinas argues in his Answer. The dialectic between these two different sorts of questioning in Article 2 represents the key opposition between Aquinas’s arguments regarding the soul and those of Averroes and Avicenna.
4. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 91 > Issue: 3
Tully Borland, T. Allan Hillman Scotus and God’s Arbitrary Will: A Reassessment
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Most agree that Scotus is a voluntarist of some kind. In this paper we argue against recent interpretations of Scotus’s ethics (and metaethics) according to which the norms concerning human actions are largely, if not wholly, the arbitrary products of God’s will. On our reading, the Scotistic variety of voluntarism on offer is much more nuanced. Key to our interpretation is keeping distinct what is too often conflated: the reasons why Scotus maintains that the laws of the Second Table of the Decalogue are (a) contingent (a modal distinction) as well as (b) not universal (a categorical distinction). A proper interpretation of Scotus must also take seriously the fact that these Second Table laws are natural laws “exceedingly in harmony with” (multum consona) the necessary laws, and are distinct from and not reducible to divine positive laws.
5. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 91 > Issue: 3
Joshua C. Thurow Finding Collective Sin and Recompense in Anselm’s Cur Deus Homo
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Anselm’s argument in Cur Deus Homo commits him to the existence of collective sin and to Jesus’s offering recompense for the human race’s collective sin. By “collective sin” I mean sin of a collective entity—in this case, the human race. In the bulk of this paper I argue that one of Anselm’s defenses of a crucial assumption of his argument—what I call Anselm’s Principle—can succeed only on the assumption that Jesus offers recompense for the collective sin of the human race. At the end of the paper’s final section I briefly present a second argument that another, quite separate, aspect of Anselm’s argument—regarding the conditions for blessed happiness—also implies that Jesus offers recompense for the collective sin of the human race.
6. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 91 > Issue: 3
William Matthew Diem Prima Secundae, Q. 18 and De Malo, Q. 2: A Critical Comparison of Their Teachings Concerning Circumstances and Their Role in Moral Specification
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This essay examines the role that circumstances play in determining the morality of moral acts as presented in ST I-II, q. 18 and argues that q. 18 uses two different sets of principles that are left unreconciled in the text. The paper argues that consequently the text is not coherent but is radically divided; specifically, q. 18 holds both that a circumstance—by virtue of being a true circumstance and accident of the act—can make a good act evil but also that whenever a circumstance renders a good act evil it must cease to be a circumstance and an accident. This paper then shows that in De Malo, q. 2 Aquinas provides a distinct and heretofore unappreciated account of circumstances and that he explicitly used the unique features of this account to reconcile the propositions that were left unreconciled in q. 18.
7. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 91 > Issue: 3
Rico Vitz, Marissa Espinoza The Divine Energies and the “End of Human Life”
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In this paper, we elucidate an alternative conception of the “end of human life” that Germain Grisez considers but never develops. We then defend this conception against two key objections. We conclude by explaining a few ways that this alternative conception of the “end of human life” is particularly important both theologically (e.g., for interfaith discourse) and philosophically (e.g., for understanding the traditional Christian conception of human nature and, hence, of natural law).
book reviews
8. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 91 > Issue: 3
Kelly Gallagher Structure and the Metaphysics of Mind: How Hylomorphism Solves the Mind-Body Problem. By William Jaworski
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9. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 91 > Issue: 3
Kenneth Boyce In Defense of Conciliar Christology: A Philosophical Essay. By Timothy Pawl
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10. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 91 > Issue: 3
Peter J. Younger The Myth of Liberalism. By John P. Safranek
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11. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 91 > Issue: 3
Heidi Giebel Cultivating Virtue: Perspectives From Philosophy, Theology, and Psychology. Edited by Nancy E. Snow
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