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Displaying: 41-60 of 2490 documents


session 4: philosophy, faith, and modernity
41. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association: Volume > 91
Mark K. Spencer Grace, Natura Pura, and the Metaphysics of Status: Personalism and Thomism on the Historicity of the Human Person and the Genealogy of Modernity
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Christian Personalists (such as Balthasar and Yannaras) have objected to Thomism’s claim that humans could have existed in a state (status) of pure nature, on the grounds that this claim entails that historical states like grace do not give fundamental meaning to us, that these states are merely accidental, and that it led to modern secularism. I show that Thomism can affirm its traditional claims regarding grace and pure nature, while denying the first two implications, by developing the Thomistic metaphysics of status. In Thomism rightly understood persons develop historically through status in non-accidental ways and grace gives fundamental meaning to our lives. But I also argue that modern secular experiences (such as experiences of secularity, anxiety, and absurdity described by Heidegger, Camus, and Taylor) are natural to the human person, not merely the result of sin, and that this is rightly supported by the theory of pure nature.
session 5: philosophy of nature—2
42. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association: Volume > 91
Marco Stango Understanding Hylomorphic Dualism
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In this paper I will claim that the standard interpretation of Aquinas’s philosophy of mind is not satisfactory. A better reading is possible, which I will call strong hylomorphic dualism. Thus, I intend to do three things: first, I introduce strong hylomorphic dualism by highlighting the shortcomings of the standard reading, to which I will refer as weak hylomorphic dualism; second, I reconstruct two arguments provided by Aquinas to prove that his position is in fact best understood as strong hylomorphic dualism. Finally, I suggest that Aquinas thinks of the relationship between intellect and phantasms in terms of what could be called diagrammatic causality, as exemplified by his theory of abstraction and attention to the phantasms.
43. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association: Volume > 91
Chad Engelland Dispositive Causality and the Art of Medicine
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For many philosophers, the relation of medicine to health is exemplary for understanding the relation of human power to nature in general. Drawing on Heidegger and Aquinas, this paper examines the relation of art to nature as it emerges in the second book of Aristotle’s Physics, and it does so by articulating the duality of efficient causality. The art of medicine operates as a dispositive cause rather than as a perfective cause; it removes obstacles to the achievement of health, but it does not impose health. Medicine, on this conception, aids the efficient causality of the natural body rather than substituting for it. The loss of dispositive causality makes efficient causality an imposition of force that bypasses the natural power to achieve natural goods. The paper concludes, with Plato, by arguing that dispositive causality offers a way to understand not only medicine but also governing, teaching, and parenting.
session 6: philosophy of human person
44. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association: Volume > 91
Michael Potts Catholic Hylomorphism, Disembodied Consciousness, and Temporary Bodies
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This paper considers the possibility of a disembodied conscious soul, arguing that a great deal of current research converges in a direction that denies the possibility of a bodiless consciousness for human beings. Contemporary attacks on Cartesianism also serve as attacks on the view of some hylomorphist Catholics, such as Thomas Aquinas, that there can be a disembodied consciousness between death and resurrection, a view that violates the Catechism of the Catholic Church. However, there may be a way out for the Catholic hylomorphist which was suggested by Dante—the possibility of a temporary body. The first section of the paper will summarize the contemporary attack against both the Cartesian soul and physicalist systems that reduce the mind to the brain. The alternative position proposed is that the human being is a psychosomatic unity at the level of the organism as a whole, and that both mind-body and brain-body dualism should be avoided. Such a position, I will argue, supports the notion that a disembodied soul, including a disembodied consciousness, is not possible for human beings. Finally, I will discuss Dante’s views on temporary bodies and explore three ways of understanding a temporary body, any of which can preserve a conscious intermediate state between death and resurrection.
45. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association: Volume > 91
Jeremy W. Skrzypek Complex Survivalism, or: How to Lose Your Essence and Live to Tell About It
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Of those who defend a Thomistic hylomorphic account of human persons, “survivalists” hold that the persistence of the human person’s rational soul between death and the resurrection is sufficient to maintain the persistence of the human person herself throughout that interim. (“Corruptionists” deny this.) According to survivalists, at death, and until the resurrection, a human person comes to be temporarily composed of, but not identical to, her rational soul. One of the major objections to survivalism is that it is committed to a rejection of a widely accepted mereological principle called the weak-supplementation principle, according to which any composite whole must, at any moment of its existence, possess more than one proper part. In this paper, I argue that by recognizing the existence of certain other metaphysical parts of a human person beyond her prime matter and her rational soul, hylomorphists can adhere to survivalism without violating the weak-supplementation principle.
session 7: ethics
46. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association: Volume > 91
Hilary Yancey Frontiers of Analogous Justice: A Thomistic Approach to Martha Nussbaum’s Justice for Animals
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In this paper I argue for a Thomistic alternative to Martha Nussbaum’s justice for animals as outlined in Frontiers of Justice (2007). I argue that an account of analogous justice between humans and animals can generate real and robust obligations towards animals. I first show how Aquinas’s treatment of nonhuman animals in the questions on law evince a wider, shared community between humans and animals by which we see animals and humans as equally under divine providence. I then argue that while Aquinas’s definition of justice excludes animals in its proper sense, his treatment of animals (or irrational creatures) in questions such as those on theft and charity prove that there is room to understand at least an analogous or metaphorical sense by which we can see them as recipients of justice. Finally, I examine Nussbaum’s own account and illustrate key similarities between her view and that of Aquinas.
47. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association: Volume > 91
Gregory M. Reichberg Restrictive versus Permissive Double Effect: Interpreting Aquinas
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The doctrine of double effect (DDE) can have two different functions, permissive and restrictive. According to the first function, agents are exculpated from the negative consequences of their actions, consequences that would be deemed illicit were they intentionally chosen. According to the second, agents are reminded that they are responsible, albeit in a distinctive manner, for the foreseeable damages that flow from their chosen actions. Aquinas has standardly been credited with a permissive version of DDE. I argue by contrast (drawing on the treatment of this issue in my Thomas Aquinas on War and Peace, Cambridge University Press, 2017) that the permissive version results from a misreading of Sum. theol. II-II, q. 64, a. 7. Other texts in the same work indicate that he embraced a restrictive version of DDE.
session 8: mereology
48. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association: Volume > 91
Joshua Lee Harris Things within Things? Toward an Ontology of the Firm
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The burgeoning analytic literature on “social ontology”—that is, the properly ontological status of “social” phenomena, such asinstitutions, firms and nation-states—has yielded some promising avenues of research for economists interested in the economic agency of groups as opposed to individual persons. Following M. D. Ryall, in this paper I offer a preliminary sketch of an ontology of social entities inspired by the work of Bernard Lonergan and the Aristotelian metaphysical tradition.
49. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association: Volume > 91
Lindsay K. Cleveland “Property” Characterization and the Status of Accidental Unities in Aquinas: A Response to Brower
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Jeffrey Brower argues that Aquinas’s hylomorphic account of change entails a distinction between “property” possession and “property” characterization. Given that and Brower’s assumption that Aquinas’s fundamental hylomorphic compounds are material substances and accidental unities, it follows that material substances are not characterized by the accidents they possess. In order to avoid that counterintuitive consequence, Brower stipulates a form of derivative property characterization and a numerical sameness without identity relation, which together enable him to affirm that material substances are derivatively characterized by the accidents they possess. I argue that, by affirming a plausible alternative to Brower’s account of Aquinas’s fundamental hylomorphic compounds, we can maintain that accidents characterize material substances in the primary sense without having to affirm the real existence of accidental unities or Brower’s objectionable numerical sameness without identity relation.
acpa reports and minutes
50. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association: Volume > 91
Mirela Oliva Minutes of the 2017 Executive Council Meeting
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51. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association: Volume > 91
Mirela Oliva Secretary’s Report (2017)
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52. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association: Volume > 91
Treasurer’s Report (2016)
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53. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association: Volume > 91
American Catholic Philosophical Association Financial Statements: Years Ended December 31, 2016 and 2015
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54. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association: Volume > 91
Necrology (2017–June 2019)
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55. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association: Volume > 91
Available Back Issues of the Proceedings
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presidential address
56. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association: Volume > 90
Kevin L. Flannery, S.J. Rule of Law and the Virtue of Justice: The Socrates of Plato’s and a Pair of Later Moral Issues
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The author considers, first of all, recent and fairly recent interpretations of Plato’s dialogue the Crito, arguing that the character Socrates, whose expressed ideas probably correspond in major detail to the convictions of the historical Socrates, is not saying that the laws of Athens demand unquestioning obedience. The dialogue is rather an account of the debate that goes on in Socrates’s mind itself. A strong consideration in this debate is clearly the rule of law; but equally strong is Socrates’s lifelong commitment to carry out what, in the end, he regards as the most reasonable course of action. The author then considers two contemporary ethical issues: our way of coming to know the natural law and the proper understanding of laws that allow of exceptions. Regarding the first, he argues—consistently with what we find not only in the Crito but also in Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas—that we come to know the natural law through being immersed in the laws and customs of a particular society: the more just the society, the better access to the natural law it provides. Regarding the second, he argues that an article in Aquinas is sometimes interpreted as suggesting that the realm of concrete human experience is beyond the reach of law. He argues, in the spirit of the historical Socrates, that the rule of law is equivalent to the rule of reason and that this does reach into the realm of concrete human experience, where exceptions are sometimes recognized as contained in the law.
presentation of the aquinas medal
57. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association: Volume > 90
Jeffrey Bloechl Life and Work of Adriaan T. Peperzak, 2016 Aquinas Medal Recipient
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aquinas medalist’s address
58. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association: Volume > 90
Adriaan T. Peperzak A Great Tradition
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plenary sessions
59. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association: Volume > 90
John O’Callaghan Mercy Beyond Justice: The Tragedy of Shylock and Antonio
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Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice provides a dramatic setting for thinking about the relationship of mercy to justice, a topic of great concern to contemporary ethical and political thought. Traditionally classified as among Shakespeare’s comedies, the play can also be analyzed as a tragedy in which Shylock is the protagonist. The tragedy is driven by the relatively weak conception of mercy in relationship to justice that informs Portia’s famous soliloquy “the quality of mercy . . . . ” The mercy she praises is closely related to the stoic conception of mercy that Seneca urges upon Nero, a mercy that is bound within the confines of justice. Examining Aquinas’ discussion of misericordia in relation to justice and forgiveness provides a more robust conception of mercy that is closely associated with friendship, particularly the friendship Aquinas argues is owed by all human beings to all human beings. This concept of mercy can rightly be said to be a mercy beyond justice, a mercy that justice strives to attain.
60. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association: Volume > 90
Terence Irwin Aristotle’s Second Thoughts on Justice
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The Aristotelian Corpus contains two extended treatments of justice as a virtue of character: Magna Moralia i 33 and Nicomachean Ethics Book V (or Eudemian Ethics Book IV). Differences between the two treatments include these: (1) MM denies, but EN V affirms, that natural justice is part of political justice; (2) MM denies, but EN V affirms, that general (or ‘universal’) justice is an other-directed virtue that should concern us in the treatment of justice as a virtue; (3) MM does not discuss the relation between equity (epieikeia) and justice, while EN V affirms that equity and justice do not conflict. Are these differences connected? How are they to be explained? Might they help us to answer questions about (a) the relation of MM to the other two ethical treatises, and (b) the relation of EN V to the EE and to the EN ?