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41. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 87 > Issue: 2
John J. McDermott Editor's Introduction
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42. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 87 > Issue: 2
Marilyn Fischer Reading Dewey’s Political Philosophy through Addams’s Political Compromises
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Both John Dewey and Jane Addams believed that the cure for the ills of democracy is more democracy. While their vision of democracy is rightly called radical, the processes through which they proposed to cure the ills of democracy are in large measure conservative, in the classical, Burkean sense of the term. To show this, I first explain how well their political philosophies line up, particularly their proposals for political reconstruction. I then use Addams’s experiences as a delegate to the 1912 Progressive Party Convention as a test case in real time for Dewey’s proposals for political reconstruction. The compromises she made there demonstrate the Burkean conservative character of the process of pragmatist change, as well as reveal how the tragic resides within pragmatist efforts at social reconstruction.
43. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 87 > Issue: 2
Robert E. Wood Aesthetics: The Complementarity of, and Differences between, John Dewey and Martin Heidegger
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In aesthetics and in philosophy generally, Dewey and Heidegger have many surprising convergences. Both find the contemporary world unsuitable for full human flourishing: Dewey because of the separation of art and religion from everyday life; Heidegger because of the disappearance of the sense of Mystery. Both go back to a time before the problems emerged. Both hold for the intentionality of consciousness, the bodily inhabitance of a common world having priority over a sovereign consciousness, the founding role of language in the life-world, the distinction between the art-product and the working of art upon its audience, the founding role of poetry, and the way a sense of the Whole can open up in the working of art. But Dewey, centering upon the aesthetic as integral experience, underscored its linkage with the rhythmic character of the body interacting with the environment, while Heidegger focused upon the sense of the surrounding Mystery.
44. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 87 > Issue: 2
Charles Royal Carlson The Return of Experience: Reinterpreting Dewey for Contemporary Evolutionary Biology
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John Dewey provides a philosophy of nature riven with questions of contexted-function, education, ecological balance, and in general an analysis of nature that understands that fixity won’t work, in the pragmatist sense of work, and consequently, that survival necessitates change. In light of the recent flood of evidence showing that epigenetic factors may have a greater role in evolution than previously thought, a re-envisioning of Dewey’s philosophy of nature is warranted. Dewey’s emphasis on the process of the moving parts, rather than the identity of the parts themselves, provides a contrasting view that largely avoids many of the problems of a gene-centric viewpoint and offers an interpretation of Darwin’s evolutionary theory that emphasizes the instrumental factor of experience in a way that is compatible with the findings of epigenetics.
45. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 87 > Issue: 2
Jennifer A. Gaffney Evolution, Poetry, and Growth: Dewey’s Romantic Appropriation of the Darwinian Worldview
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This paper challenges the assumption that John Dewey’s appeal to the philosophical significance of evolutionary theory serves primarily to legitimize the sciences. By contrast, I argue that a more careful examination of Dewey’s conception of growth reveals that his appropriation of the Darwinian worldview is fundamentally aesthetic. To give contour to the aesthetic Dewey extracts from Darwinism, I consider several aspects of his thought alongside Friedrich Schlegel’s conception of romantic poetry. This, in turn, helps to illustrate that, for Dewey, the dramatic subsistence involved in evolutionary development yields a natural aesthetic that makes possible his notion of meaningful experience.
46. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 87 > Issue: 2
Erin McKenna Democracy and Dewey’s Notion of Religious Experience
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Is Dewey a purely secular philosopher? Is his work on religion and the religious separate and distinct from his social and political views? I think the answer is “yes and no.” For a while now I have thought that what Dewey has to say about religion and the religious is directly related to his overall political project, and this is what I begin to explore in this paper. I believe that while the habits of religion often interfere with democracy, the religious attitude as Dewey defines it is necessary for democracy to work.
47. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 87 > Issue: 2
Jason L. Hills Pragmatism and Phenomenology: A Reconciliation
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Scott Aikin recently claimed that pragmatism and phenomenology are incompatible. Pragmatic naturalism is incompatible with phenomenology’s anti-naturalism. Therefore, pragmatists trying to appropriate insights from phenomenology encounter a dilemma: either reject naturalism and thereby pragmatism, or reject anti-naturalism and thereby phenomenology. I will argue that Aikin’s dilemma is unmerited, especially in the case of John Dewey, because he has misidentified its horns. Given his definition of pragmatic naturalism, the classical pragmatists are neither naturalists nor pragmatists. His discussion of “phenomenology” misconstrues phenomenological method as subjective self-reporting, which hamstrings his assessment of phenomenology and its prospects of reconciliation with pragmatism. I hope to engage and dispel not only Aikin’s dilemma, but also common preconceptions about the intersection of pragmatism and phenomenology. They may be reconciled, although there are antipathies, of which I will discuss Dewey’s principle of continuity.
48. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 87 > Issue: 2
Stuart Rosenbaum Relativism, Pragmatism, and John Dewey
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The charge of relativism is regularly leveled against pragmatists. The best response to this charge appears in the work of John Dewey. Contemporary pragmatists such as Richard Rorty and Hilary Putnam frequently bear the brunt of that charge, although they do not rebut the charge as effectively as does Dewey himself. This essay brings focus to the charge of relativism against pragmatists and turns it aside by recourse to an essay of Dewey’s from 1908 that specifically focuses on issues of knowledge. This essay also explains how what we think of as a priori arts—logic, mathematics, ethics, ontology, etc.—appear differently from the humanizing perspective of pragmatism.
49. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 87 > Issue: 2
Thomas M. Alexander John Dewey’s Uncommon Faith: Understanding “Religious Experience”
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Dewey’s A Common Faith has been variously interpreted, both in terms of its relation to Dewey’s corpus and internally in terms of its leading ideas. I argue for its crucial relevance in understanding Dewey and undertake an analysis of the key idea of “religious experience” as an “attitude of existence.” This distinguishes religious experience from other types of qualitative experience and shows the unique place this concept has for Dewey.
50. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 87 > Issue: 2
Books Received
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51. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 87 > Issue: 1
Edward Feser Kripke, Ross, and the Immaterial Aspects of Thought
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James Ross developed a simple and powerful argument for the immateriality of the intellect, an argument rooted in the Aristotelian-Scholastic tradition while drawing on ideas from analytic philosophers Saul Kripke, W. V. Quine, and Nelson Goodman. This paper provides a detailed exposition and defense of the argument, filling out aspects that Ross left sketchy. In particular, it elucidates the argument’s relationship to its Aristotelian-Scholastic and analytic antecedents, and to Kripke’s work especially; and it responds to objections or potential objections to be found in the work of contemporary writers like Peter Dillard, Robert Pasnau, Brian Leftow, and Paul Churchland.
52. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 87 > Issue: 1
Sarah Powrie The Importance of Fourteenth-Century Natural Philosophy for Nicholas of Cusa’s Infinite Universe
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This paper argues that Nicholas of Cusa’s investigation of infinity and incommensurability in De docta ignorantia was shaped by the mathematical innovations and thought experiments of fourteenth-century natural philosophy. Cusanus scholarship has overlooked this influence, in part because Raymond Klibansky’s influential edition of De docta ignorantia situated Cusa within the medieval Platonic tradition. However, Cusa departs from this tradition in a number of ways. His willingness to engage incommensurability and to compare different magnitudes of infinity distinguishes him from his Platonic predecessors, who had appropriated the Pythagorean model of universal harmonies. Cusa’s penchant for representing quantity geometrically suggests not only that he has adopted the fourteenth-century method of latitude measurement, but that he accepts incommensurability as normative. Finally, Cusa’s persistent attention to mathematical inaccuracy and to his own learned ignorance suggests his kinship with the meta-critical, conjectural quality of fourteenth-century thought.
53. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 87 > Issue: 1
James B. Reichmann, S.J. Edith Stein, Thomas Aquinas, and the Principle of Individuation
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This paper focuses on the major work of Edith Stein, Finite and Eternal Being. It seeks to determine whether her mature philosophical synthesis is correctly viewed as Thomist. It strives to accomplish this by focusing mainly on her treatment of the problem of individuation.
54. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 87 > Issue: 1
Scott Austin Modality and Predication in Parmenides’s Fragment 8 and in Subsequent Dialectic
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In this paper I shall attempt to enter part of the way into the microstructure of the account of truth in the Parmenidean fragment 8, and to reveal that account as a dialectical sequence of affirmation and denial involving various kinds of modal utterance. The sequence will then be put into parallel with the first four hypotheses of the second half of Plato’s Parmenides as well as with Zeno and some of the later tradition.
55. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 87 > Issue: 1
Maria M. Wolter Examining the Need to Complement Karol Wojtyła’s Ethical Personalism through an Ethics of Inner Responses, Fundamental Moral Attitudes, and Virtues
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An objection has been raised that Karol Wojtyła presents an ethical system heavily centered on actions and deeds. With the exception of his occasional references to the virtue of chastity in Love and Responsibility and his first writing on Saint John, some of the most central themes of ancient and medieval, as well as of contemporary, ethics seem almost entirely absent. In the following article, we will turn to Wojtyła’s most important philosophical work, The Acting Person, to glean from it his understanding of “action.” We will then turn to the writings of Dietrich von Hildebrand, as an example of a classic counterpart for any approach to man primarily through action. After briefly discussing the ethical relevance of aspects such as inner responses, fundamental moral attitudes, and virtues, we will conclude by returning to Wojtyła and re-evaluating the legitimacy of the objection raised against him.
56. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 87 > Issue: 1
Alexander Jech Affinity and Reason to Love
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What is the nature of our reasons for loving something? Why does a particular person or activity stimulate our imagination and hopes more deeply than others do? Is the reason in the object of our affection or in ourselves? Much philosophical debate revolves around this dichotomy between objective and subjective reasons for loving. In this paper I will instead propose that our reasons are primarily relational, having to do with the concept of affinity. Affinity, defined as “fitness” between two parties, allows us to analyze loving activity in terms of a practical inference concerned with a long-term engagement in activities and relationships that are worthwhile and suitable to oneself. This approach does justice to the considerations on both sides of the debate.
57. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 87 > Issue: 1
Charles M. Zola Prudential Elder Care: A Thomistic Approach
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A growing phenomenon in contemporary society is adult children caring for their elderly parents. Although some interest has been directed to the question of filial piety in general, surprisingly, scant attention has been focused on the ethical dimensions of caring for elderly parents. This article explores the contribution that Aquinas’s theory of the virtues of filial piety and prudence can make to the ethical dilemmas of elder care. In examining Aquinas’s theory, I explicate the relationship between moral agency and prudence, with a special emphasis on the relationship between the integral parts of prudence and the exercise of moral virtue. In doing so, I suggest how Aquinas’s theory can shape and guide contemporary filial piety in order to advance quality elder care.
review essay response
58. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 87 > Issue: 1
Martin Rhonheimer The Perspective of Morality Revisited: A Response to Steven J. Jensen
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In this response to Steven Jensen’s ACPQ review essay of Martin Rhonheimer’s The Perspective of Morality, its author argues that Jensen failed to understand the proper subject matter, the inner logic, and the methodology of the book. As a result, he misread key passages while passing over others, with the result that his criticisms miss the mark. Correcting these misreadings provides the occasion to explain some key features of the book, namely its idea of integrating in a single ethical theory eudaimonistic ethics and its theory of happiness with action theory, anthropology of action, a theory of practical reason, an account of the moral virtues, a doctrine of natural law, of prudence, of conscience, and of moral norms, disproving thereby Jensen’s misleading claim that the book rejects nature as a standard of ethics.
book reviews
59. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 87 > Issue: 1
Gaven Kerr, O.P. Words of Wisdom: A Philosophical Dictionary for the Perennial Tradition. By John W. Carlson
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60. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 87 > Issue: 1
Angela Schwenkler Pursuits of Wisdom: Six Ways of Life In Ancient Philosophy From Socrates To Plotinus. By John M. Cooper
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