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articles
1. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 92 > Issue: 4
Daniel Shields Everything in Motion is Put in Motion by Another: A Principle in Aquinas’s First Way
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I argue for a novel reading of the mover principle used in Aquinas’s motion proofs for God’s existence. Many interpret Aquinas’s principle as holding that everything in motion is moved by something else currently in contact with it. Others, following James Weisheipl, understand the principle as claiming only that everything being moved is being moved by something else. I argue against both readings and hold that the principle means that everything in motion is moved by something else—whether that something else simply set it in motion or is currently moving it by contact. By looking closely at Aquinas’s inductive argument for the mover principle, I show that simultaneity between mover and moved is not necessary on Aquinas’s view. My interpretation allows me to respond to objections to Aquinas’s act-potency argument for the mover principle more convincingly than others, and sets the groundwork for robust engagement between Thomism and modern science.
2. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 92 > Issue: 4
Nathan Rockwood Hume on Laws and Miracles
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Hume famously argues that our past experience of the laws of nature provide us with decisive reason to believe that any testimony of a miracle is false. In this paper, I argue that the laws of nature, as such, give us no reason at all to believe that the testimony of a miracle is false. I first argue that Hume’s proof is unsuccessful if we assume the Humean view of laws, and then I argue that Hume’s proof is unsuccessful even if we assume a governing view of laws. I conclude that regardless of which kind of view we adopt, the fact that a miracle is a violation of the laws of nature does not give us any reason to believe it did not happen.
3. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 92 > Issue: 4
Thomas DePauw The Principles of Distinction in Material Substances in the Philosophy of St. Thomas and St. Albert
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In this paper we argue that the problem of the one and the many, as first proposed in the West by Parmenides, can be resolved without recourse to either monism or nominalism by an appeal to distinct though mutually ordered principles of distinction in the realm of material substances, namely that of material individuation, distinction according to form, and supposital distinction. This solution, rooted in St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Albert the Great, maintains that what distinguishes one material substance from any other substance absolutely is the agency of the Divine Intellect. This agency elicits in the created material substance the actuality of the relation of creation, which is the cause or principle that, in inhering in the ens creatum as a property subsisting in it, sustains the material substance in its mode of being as suppositum by formally perfecting its distinction with reference to God the Creator.
4. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 92 > Issue: 4
Martin Cajthaml Dietrich von Hildebrand’s Moral Epistemology
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The first part of the paper focuses on the elements of von Hildebrand’s general and moral epistemology that can be related to Brentano’s philosophy. The salient concepts discussed are those of Kenntnisnahme (taking cognizance) and Stellungnahme (response). I explain their meaning and show their role in von Hildebrand’s critical assessment of Brentano’s conception of the acts of higher (or correct) love and hate. In the second part of the paper, I argue that von Hildebrand’s material ethics is based on the basic ontological presupposition of Scheler’s material value ethics and that it is, therefore, to be considered a version of it, notwithstanding some quite basic differences from Scheler in other respects. In the third part of the paper, I discuss von Hildebrand’s most important analyses of the different epistemic acts through which values are given. The salient concepts are those of the seeing and feeling of values.
5. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 92 > Issue: 4
Jeff D’Souza The Self-Absorption Objection and Neo-Aristotelian Virtue Ethics
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This paper examines one of the central objections levied against neo-Aristotelian virtue ethics: the self-absorption objection. Proponents of this objection state that the main problem with neo-Aristotelian accounts of moral motivation is that they prescribe that our ultimate reason for acting virtuously is that doing so is for the sake of and/or is constitutive of our own eudaimonia. In this paper, I provide an overview of the various attempts made by neo-Aristotelian virtue ethicists to address the self-absorption objection and argue that they all fall short for one reason or another. I contend that the way forward for neo-Aristotelian virtue ethicists is to reject the view that the virtuous agent ought to organize her life in a way that is ultimately good for her, and instead adopt a more expansive conception of her ultimate end, one in which no special preference is given to her own good.
6. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 92 > Issue: 4
Adam D. Bailey Shared Intention and Cooperation with Evil
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In a recent essay, Charles F. Capps takes issue with a permissive interpretation of St. Alphonsus Liguori’s influential understanding of cooperation with evil, and develops a more stringent interpretation. In response, I argue that Capps relies on a particular conception of what it is for a cooperator to share a wrongdoer’s bad intention, that this conception of intention sharing is not plausible because it is overly inclusive, and, that on account of this over-inclusiveness, it yields mistaken moral judgments. I then develop and defend an alternative conception of intention sharing.
book reviews
7. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 92 > Issue: 4
Sarah Borden Sharkey The Concept of Woman. Volume III: The Search for Communion of Persons, 1500–2015. By Sr. Prudence Alle
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8. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 92 > Issue: 4
Karen R. Zwier The Believing Scientist: Essays on Science and Religion. By Stephen M. Barr
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9. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 92 > Issue: 4
Virgil Martin Nemoianu Wagering on an Ironic God: Pascal on Faith and Philosophy. By Thomas S. Hibbs
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10. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 92 > Issue: 4
Christopher Stephen Lutz Ethics in the Conflicts of Modernity: An Essay on Desire, Practical Reasoning, and Narrative. By Alasdair MacIntyre
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11. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 92 > Issue: 4
Michael J. Dodds, OP Divine Causality and Human Free Choice: Domingo Banez, Physical Premotion and the Controversy De Auxiliis Revisited. By Robert Joseph Matava
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12. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 92 > Issue: 4
Michael Krom Justice as A Virtue: A Thomistic Perspective. By Jean Porter
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13. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 92 > Issue: 4
Geoffrey Karabin Gabriel Marcel and American Philosophy: The Religious Dimension of Experience. By David Rodick
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14. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 92 > Issue: 4
Contents of Volume 92 (2018)
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articles
15. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 92 > Issue: 3
Trent Dougherty Introduction: Special Issue on Religious Epistemology
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16. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 92 > Issue: 3
Katherine Dormandy Evidence-Seeking as an Expression of Faith
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Faith is often regarded as having a fraught relationship with evidence. Lara Buchak even argues that it entails foregoing evidence, at least when this evidence would influence your decision to act on the proposition in which you have faith. I present a counterexample inspired by the book of Job, in which seeking evidence for the sake of deciding whether to worship God is not only compatible with faith, but is in fact an expression of great faith. One might still think that foregoing evidence may make faith more praiseworthy than otherwise; but I argue against this claim too, once more drawing on Job. A faith that expresses itself by a search for evidence can be more praiseworthy than a faith that sits passively in the face of epistemic adversity.
17. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 92 > Issue: 3
Amir Saemi The Morally Difficult Notion of Heaven: A Critique of the Faith-Based Ethics of Avicenna and Aquinas
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I will argue that Avicenna’s and Aquinas’s faith-based virtue ethics are crucially different from Aristotle’s virtue ethics, in that their ethics hinges on the theological notion of heaven, which is constitutively independent of the ethical life of the agent. As a result, their faith-based virtue ethics is objectionable. Moreover, I will also argue that the notion of heaven that Avicenna and Aquinas deploy in their moral philosophy is problematic; for it can rationally permit believers to commit morally horrendous actions. Finally, I will present a Kantian notion of heaven which is immune to the aforementioned moral objection. The Kantian notion of heaven, nevertheless, cannot ground any view of ethics as it is constitutively dependent on the ethical life of the agent.
18. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 92 > Issue: 3
Andrew James Komasinski Faith, Recognition, and Community: Abraham and “Faith-In” in Hegel and Kierkegaard
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This article looks at “faith-in” and what Jonathan Kvanvig calls the “belittler objection” by comparing Hegel and Kierkegaard’s interpretations of Abram (later known as Abraham). I first argue that Hegel’s treatment of Abram in Spirit of Christianity and its Fate is an objection to faith-in. Building on this from additional Hegelian texts, I argue that Hegel’s objection arises from his social command account of morality. I then turn to Johannes de Silentio’s treatments of Abraham in Fear and Trembling and Søren Kierkegaard’s Works of Love to argue that Kierkegaard defends faith-in as part of a moderate divine command account of moral knowledge. Finally, this article concludes that the belittler objection is ultimately an objection to faith-in as a divine command source of moral knowledge or obligation rather than a social command source.
19. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 92 > Issue: 3
Zachary M. Mabee Become What You Receive: A Eucharistic Approach to Faith
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Much work in the philosophy of religion has been devoted to exploring the virtue of faith. Very little of it, however, has done so from the perspective of Christian worship and liturgical practice. In this essay, I explore the virtue of faith, articulated in a traditionally Catholic manner, as it is practiced, engaged, and deepened through participation in the Eucharist. I begin by emphasizing both the cognitive and the volitional dimensions of a robust conception of the virtue of faith and then show how devout Eucharistic practice confirms and strengthens them, affording believers a unique opportunity to deepen their belief and concretely strengthen their trust in God. I conclude by noting how a Eucharistic approach to faith can avoid a common criticism—that faith is exceedingly passive—and also help us to understand why faith and religious practice can so easily become stagnant.
20. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 92 > Issue: 3
Joe Milburn Faith and Reason in the Oxford University Sermons: John Henry Newman and the Legacy of English Deism
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I argue that we can understand John Henry Newman as defending the Principle of Faith throughout the University Sermons. According to the Principle of Faith, belief in the Christian message is in itself a good act of the mind, and it has moral significance. I argue that Newman’s developed account of faith and its relation to reason in Sermons 10 through 12 are designed to defend the Principle of Faith. Finally, I argue that we can understand Newman’s defense of the Principle of Faith as a reaction against criticisms dating back to the English Deists.