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Displaying: 71-80 of 2435 documents


session v: habit and ethics
71. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association: Volume > 88
Mathew. T. Lu Hexis within Aristotelian Virtue Ethics
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In Book II, Chapter 5 of the Nicomachean Ethics Aristotle famously identifies the virtues as hexeis (sing. hexis). Like so many Greek philosophical terms of art, hexis admits of many translations; recent scholarly choices have included “habit,” “disposition,” “state,” “active condition.” In this paper, I argue that some of these translations have tended to obscure the active and causal role that hexeis play in Aristotle’s theory of moral action. This, in turn, has led at least some critics to misunderstand the Aristotelian virtue ethics tradition and mischaracterize virtue ethics as not properly action guiding. Ultimately, seeing the true significance of Aristotle’s claim that the virtues, both moral and intellectual, are hexeis helps us recognize just how radically different the Aristotelian conceptions of practical reason and moral action are from with those typically held by adherents of the alternative theories of normative ethics.
72. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association: Volume > 88
Paul Kucharski On the Habit of Seeing Persons
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In Existence and the Existent, Jacques Maritain speaks about the difficulty of knowing persons as subjects. Typically we know persons as objects, or “from without,” and this explains why we describe people as instantiations of various qualities that can be shared in common with others. But according to Maritain, “To be known as object . . . is to be severed from oneself and wounded in one’s identity. It is to always be unjustly known.” In this paper, I consider the epistemological means by which knowing persons as subjects is possible. I argue that we can find parallels between knowing persons and what Maritain refers to as the “intuition of being” (the appreciation of existence as a distinct metaphysical principle), and that reflecting on these parallels can help us to see a solution to the problem of knowing persons—just as the act of existence (or esse) is not known through a concept, but through a judgment that separates what a thing is from the act by which it exists, so too, I argue, one’s subjectivity is known not through a concept but through a judgment that separates one’s shareable qualities from the self/person underlying these qualities.
session vi: passions in morality
73. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association: Volume > 88
Elizabeth A. Murray Compunction and Passion: Two Moments of Moral Conversion
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This paper is a critical examination of Lonergan’s notion of moral conversion. Conversion in general is described as a mode of self-transcendence and distinguished from development. Then moral conversion is contrasted with the two other basic forms of conversion, intellectual and religious. Next, I propose that there are two distinct moments of moral conversion: a negative moment of rational compunction, which is more Kantian in nature, and a positive moment of passionate transcendence, which is consonant with Scheler’s value ethics. I draw on philosophical accounts of the initial awakening of moral consciousness, and argue that it is possible to make this first movement yet fail to make the second movement.
74. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association: Volume > 88
Leonard Ferry Sorting Out Reason’s Relation to the Passions in the Moral Theory of Aquinas
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This essay challenges a growing consensus among Aquinas scholars who attribute to him a pro-passion attitude, linking his virtue theory to accounts of emotion that see the emotions in a primarily positive light. There are good reasons for thinking Aquinas far more skeptical of the role to be played by emotion in the virtuous life—indeed, one can safely argue, in agreement with Aquinas, that the emotions are often threats to and so in need of control by the virtues (rather than as merely their supports). I focus on the ideal of reason’s control (IRC) over the emotions in the essay in contrast with the work of Robert Miner whose understanding of Aquinas on the passions and virtues tends to downplay the dominating role that reason plays in the moral theory of Aquinas. For Aquinas IRC is central to the normativity of the virtues that relate to the emotions. In contrast, Miner appears to minimize the need for the emotions to be controlled, which entails a certain elevation of the emotions to a nearly co-equal status with reason in Aquinas’s moral theory. Miner adopts two argumentative strategies to achieve this valorization of emotion in Aquinas, but I find both exegetically inaccurate and experientially deficient.
session vii: two defenses of virtue
75. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association: Volume > 88
Justin Matchulat Defending Virtue against the Situationist Challenge: Aristotle, Aquinas, and Contemporary Metaphysicians on Degreed Traits
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My essay addresses the situationist critique of virtue ethics. I defend a rarity of virtue response to this critique, but blunt its tip by developing an account of degrees of virtue. On this account, full virtue will indeed be a statistical rarity, but lesser degrees of virtue more common. I argue for this degreed conception of virtue both on historical and systematic grounds: historically, I show that Aristotle and especially Aquinas thought of virtue as being the sort of property that admits of degrees; and systematically, I draw from recent work in metaphysics on dispositions that challenges a simple counterfactual account of dispositions, and allows for gradable dispositions.
76. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association: Volume > 88
Lindsay K. Cleveland A Defense of Aristotelian Magnanimity against the Pride Objection with the Help of Aquinas
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I defend a broadly Aristotelian account of the virtue of magnanimity against the objection that Aristotelian magnanimity is an expression of the vice of pride and so cannot be a virtue. I identify the essential features of magnanimity on Aristotle’s account and argue that Aquinas preserves these essential features while identifying additional necessary conditions of the virtue of magnanimity that illuminate the virtue and show it to be incompatible with pride. I also show where two other attempts to defend Aquinas’s development of Aristotelian magnanimity against the pride objection fail.
session viii: truth
77. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association: Volume > 88
Michael Bowler Heidegger, Aristotle, and Philosophical Leisure
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I examine the two different accounts of the activity of philosophy and the nature of the philosophical life put forward by Heidegger and Aristotle. I do so by examining Heidegger’s well-known claim that for Aristotle sophia is the arete of techne. It is argued that this claim is the result of Heidegger’s deep engagement with critical philosophy, which his own early philosophy develops in interesting ways, and that this claim results in Heidegger overlooking crucial elements of Aristotle’s account of philosophy. I maintain that Aristotle’s conception of philosophy represents a counter-point to the critical conception of philosophy developed by Heidegger, one that focuses upon the importance of the leisure embodied in philosophical activity. I suggest that it would be especially fruitful to compare and contrast these two conceptions of philosophy from the perspective of the ethical question of the nature and value of philosophical activity and the life of philosophy.
78. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association: Volume > 88
Joshua Lee Harris Does Aquinas Hold a Correspondence Theory of Truth in De Veritate?
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At least since Martin Heidegger’s influential reading of Thomas Aquinas’s account of truth as a precursor to modern philosophy’s unfortunate “forgetfulness of being,” it has been popular to classify the Angelic Doctor as one of the fore­runners of the modern “correspondence theory” of truth. In what follows, I attempt to answer the question of whether or not this is a correct assessment. I want to suggest that Aquinas’s account of truth has superficial concord but deep conflict with modern correspondence theories. The argument proceeds in two major segments: First, I attempt to establish a working definition of correspondence theory by tracing its development in the work of John Locke, John Stuart Mill and Bertrand Russell. Next, in light of these fundamental features of correspondence theory, I sketch out the way in which Aquinas’s own account is in superficial concord but deep conflict with it.
acpa reports and minutes
79. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association: Volume > 88
R. E. Houser Minutes of the 2014 Executive Council Meeting
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80. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association: Volume > 88
R. E. Houser Secretary’s Report (2013–2014)
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