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101. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 91 > Issue: 4
Robert Lee Miller The Religious Significance of von Hildebrand’s Notion of Second Order Beauty
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In his Aesthetics, Dietrich von Hildebrand analyzes an interesting form of beauty adhering to audible and visible things that he calls second order beauty. In this paper, I will attempt to develop something which von Hildebrand recognizes, but which he himself does not fully develop: the religious significance of second order beauty. In particular, I wish to show that an aesthetic experience of this second order beauty can engender an encounter with God not in the “abstract,” but rather as a concrete, individual, living person.
102. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 91 > Issue: 4
Fritz Wenisch Phenomenological Realism, Pre-Theoretical Awareness of Philosophical Objects, and Theoretical Views about Them
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First, the chief method and object of philosophy as phenomenological realism understands it will be explained. Second, I turn to Dietrich von Hildebrand’s distinction between a person’s awareness of philosophical objects based on that person’s lived contact with the world and his or her theories about these objects. I emphasize that there is to be an organic transition between these two levels of awareness but that this organic transition is often missing, as in the case of non-philosophers who uncritically adopt theoretical views without paying attention to what reality has “told” them about itself, as well as in the case of philosophers. I will show that often, the absence of this organic transition leads to contradictions between what a person is aware of pre-theoretically and that very same person’s theoretical views. Thus, it is of crucial importance to pay attention to what is immediately given.
103. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 91 > Issue: 4
Andreas A. M. Kinneging Hildebrand’s Platonic Ontology of Value
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In this paper Hildebrand’s moral ontology is discussed. It is shown that his moral ontology is, in essence, Platonic rather than Aristotelian. Although Hildebrand’s language differs from that of Plato, the ideas are very similar, given that both are moral absolutists who think that moral eidê are ante rem rather than in re. They agree on the structure of the moral realm and have identical views on participation of the ideal in the real. They also have similar ideas on man’s relationship towards the moral realm.
104. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 91 > Issue: 4
Martin Cajthaml Von Hildebrand on Acting against One’s Better Knowledge: A Comparison to Plato
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In this article, I present and analyze Dietrich von Hildebrand’s explanation of how acting against one’s better knowledge is possible. I do so by comparing it to Plato’s analysis of the same problem. By this comparison, I seek to show the specificity of von Hildebrand’s approach to the phenomenon which, since Aristotle’s time, has been known as “akrasia.”
105. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 91 > Issue: 4
Michał Bardel The Island Community of Spinalonga Seen in the Light of Dietrich von Hildebrand’s Phenomenology of Community
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The paper aims at a phenomenological clarification of the “island community” category in the light of Dietrich von Hildebrand’s metaphysics of community. I begin with presenting a brief social history of the Spinalonga leprosarium as a model of an island community; then follows a sketch of some of the main findings made by the German philosopher concerning community per se (as presented in his Metaphysik der Gemeinschaft), and finally an attempt is made to explain the place of island communities in Hildebrand’s hierarchy of communities. I aim to show that an island community should be taken as a special example of what he calls a life circle (Lebenskreis). It is special because it somehow transcends the “primitiveness” imposed by Hildebrand on Lebenskreise in general, as a result of being rooted in a serious realm of value and meaning (Sinn- und Wertbereich).
106. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 91 > Issue: 4
Mariano Crespo The Husserlian Sources of Emotive Consciousness in Dietrich von Hildebrand’s Moral Philosophy
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In this paper, I would like to show, in general terms, the Husserlian sources of the way in which von Hildebrand understands emotive consciousness, while still recognizing important differences beween the two authors. To carry out this task I will develop four points of contact between the two thinkers: (1) the idea of the existence of a priori laws in the emotional sphere, (2) the defense of spiritual (geistige) forms of affectivity, (3) the idea that affective responses to value can be correct or incorrect, that is, adequate or not according to the value to which they respond, and (4) the existence of a kind of emotive evidence (Gemütsevidenz) that parallels evidence in the realm of judgment.
107. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 91 > Issue: 4
John F. Crosby Developing Dietrich von Hildebrand’s Personalism
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I explore the personalism embedded in von Hildebrand’s moral philosophy, and then I explore the personalism in his later account of love. I claim that his personalism was significantly developed in his later work, and that it can be still further developed by us. I begin by explaining what Hildebrandian value-response is, and then I proceed to show how he subsequently qualified this foundational concept, first in his Ethics but especially in his late work, The Nature of Love, and here especially through the concept of Eigenleben that was introduced in that work. I am particularly interested in showing why the personalism of von Hildebrand’s thought is enriched through this concept.
108. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 91 > Issue: 4
M. T. Lu Love, Freedom, and Morality in Kant and Dietrich von Hildebrand
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Modern commentators like Allen Wood have noted that for Kant there “is a basic tension in human nature between loving people and respecting them.” Love is a threat to pure morality insofar as love is an empirical inclination and any will determined by such an inclination is unfree. In this paper, I begin by exploring why Kant thinks that love is a threat to moral freedom. Drawing on the insights of Dietrich von Hildebrand, I propose instead an analysis of love as “value-response.” I argue that a more complete phenomenological analysis of the nature of human affectivity (as fundamentally intentional and responsive) exposes a serious defect in Kant’s moral psychology, particularly his unreasonable denial of the compatibility of higher-order affectivity and human freedom. Drawing on von Hildebrand’s notion of “cooperative freedom,” I argue that not only is a higher-order spiritual affectivity compatible with freedom and morality, but it is essential to it.
109. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 91 > Issue: 4
Mark K. Spencer The Many Powers of the Human Soul: Von Hildebrand’s Contributions to Scholastic Philosophical Anthropology
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Dietrich von Hildebrand is often seen as being at odds with the scholastics in his anthropology. I argue that he in fact uses scholastic principles when distinguishing the powers of the human soul, but he uses these principles to distinguish many more powers in our souls than the scholastics do. His expansion of the list of human powers both is supported by and safeguards his expanded metaphysics of given reality. I first consider the principles that the scholastics use in reasoning about powers. I then show how von Hildebrand’s account of the human person is hylomorphic. Finally, I present von Hildebrand’s account of human powers, in light of the scholastic principles, considering his accounts first of bodily powers and then of powers in the soul.
110. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 91 > Issue: 4
Josef Seifert Human Action and the Human Heart: A Critique of an Error in Hildebrand’s Ethics, Philosophical Anthropology, and Philosophy of Love
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Hildebrand oftentimes said that his disciples—even when they believed they were deeply indebted to him for knowledge, wisdom, and truth—had a duty to criticize and overcome any error they would find in his philosophy, because the sole purpose of his writings was to state the truth. He himself gave some extraordinary examples of self-critique. In the following, I wish to treat such an example: a significant error about the nature of the free volitional response, which Stephen Schwarz was the first to note and which Hildebrand himself later explicitly revoked. Furthermore, I wish to show that Hildebrand’s rejecting this error makes his ethics as a whole much more consistent, and opens the way to bringing his philosophy of love closer to our experience.
111. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 91 > Issue: 4
Rocco Buttiglione Reflections on Dietrich von Hildebrand’s My Battle Against Hitler
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112. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 91 > Issue: 4
A Dietrich von Hildebrand Bibliography
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113. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 91 > Issue: 4
Contents of Volume 91 (2017)
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114. 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.
115. 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.
116. 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.
117. 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.
118. 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.
119. 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.
120. 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).