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141. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 15 > Issue: 4
Kenneth W. Kemp The Virtue of Faith in Theology, Natural Science, and Philosophy
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In this paper, I attempt to develop the account of intellectual virtues offered by Aristotle and St. Thomas in a way which recognizes faith as a good intellectual habit. I go on to argue that, as a practical matter, this virtue is needed not only in theology, where it provides the basis of further intellectual work, but also in the natural sciences, where it is required given the complexity of the subject matter and the cooperative nature of the enterprise.
142. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 15 > Issue: 4
Notes and News
143. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 15 > Issue: 4
David A. Horner What It Takes to be Great: Aristotle and Aquinas on Magnaminity
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The revival of virtue ethics is largely inspired by Aristotle, but few---especially Christians---follow him in seeing virtue supremely exemplified in the “magnanimous” man. However, Aristotle raises a matter of importance: the character traits and type of psychological stance exemplified in those who aspire to acts of extraordinary excellence. I explore the accounts of magnanimity found in both Aristotle and Aquinas, defending the intelligibility and acceptability of some central elements of a broadly Aristotelian conception of magnanimity. Aquinas, I argue, provides insight into how Christian ethics may appropriate central elements of a broadly Aristotelian conception of extraordinary virtue.
144. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 15 > Issue: 4
Robert C. Roberts Character Ethics and Moral Wisdom
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A particular conception of the enterprise of character ethics is proposed, in which the central preoccupation of the discipline is to explore the logical-psychological features of particular virtues. An attraction of this approach is the prospect it holds out of promoting in its practitioners and readers the virtue of moral wisdom. Such analysis is sensitive to differences among moral traditions which imply differences in the logical-psychological features of versions of types of virtues. Thus Christian generosity could be expected to have some features which differentiate it from Aristotelian or Stoic generosity. On the proposed view, the aim is not to produce a theory of the virtues which, it is argued, is likely to be reductivist and thus systematically distorting. Instead, the aim is produce “grammatical” analyses of them. To this end a series of open-ended questions are provided, to guide the exploration. The method is illustrated by aschematic analysis of the virtue of gratitude. The paper ends with remarks about the power and limits of such analysis to produce moral wisdom.
145. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 16 > Issue: 1
David P. Hunt On Augustine’s Way Out
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This paper seeks to rehabilitate St. Augustine’s widely dismissed response to the alleged incompatibility of divine foreknowledge and free will. This requires taking a fresh look at his analysis in On Free Choice of the Will, and arguing its relevance to the current debate. Along the way, mistaken interpretations of Augustine are rebutted, his real solution is developed and defended, a reason for his not anticipating Boethius’s a temporalist solution is suggested, a favorable comparison with Ockham is made, rival solutions are rejected, and the aporetic nature of the problem is explained.
146. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 16 > Issue: 1
Frances Howard-Snyder, Daniel Howard-Snyder God, Knowledge & Mystery: Essays in Philosophical Theology
147. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 16 > Issue: 1
David Reiter Faith, Freedom, and Rationality: Philosophy of Religion Today
148. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 16 > Issue: 1
Stewart Goetz Stumping For Widerker
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David Widerker has forcefully argued that a libertarian is on firm ground in believing that the principle of alternative possibilities (PAP) is true. Eleonore Stump has argued that not all libertarians need accept PAP, and that its acceptance is not required for a rejection of compatibilism.This paper is a defense of Widerker against Stump. I argue that it is not at all clear that Stump’s view of freedom is libertarian in nature, and that she has not provided a good reason for thinking that a libertarian can abandon PAP.
149. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 16 > Issue: 1
Bruce R. Reichenbach Inclusivism and the Atonement
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Richard Swinburne claims that Christ’s death has no efficacy unless people appropriate it. According to religious inclusivists, God can be encountered and his grace manifested in various ways through diverse religions. Salvation is available for everyone, regardless of whether they have heard about Christ’s sacrifice. This poses the question whether Swinburne’s view of atonement is available to the inclusivist. I develop an inclusivist interpretation of the atonement that incorporates his four features of atonement, along with a subjective dimension that need not include specific knowledge of Christ’s sacrifice.
150. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 16 > Issue: 1
Elizabeth Murray Morelli Kierkegaard and Post/Modernity
151. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 16 > Issue: 1
W. Jay Wood Moral Wisdom and Good Lives
152. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 16 > Issue: 1
William L. Rowe The Problem of Divine Sovereignty and Human Freedom
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According to the Westminster Confession, “God from all eternity did ... freely and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass. Yet ... thereby neither is God the author of sin or is violence offered to the will of the creatures.” It is hard to see how these two points can be consistently maintained. Hugh McCann, however, argues that by placing God’s decisions outside of time, both propositions are perfectly consistent. I agree with McCann that God’s determining decisions do not make him the author of our sins. But I think that God’s determining decisions, whether temporal or outside of time, preclude our possessing the libertarian free will that McCann’s believes we do possess. In fact, so I argue, if we possess libertarian free will, then elevating God’s determining decisions outside of time only results in God’s eternal decisions being within our power to determine.
153. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 16 > Issue: 1
Michael J. Murray Three Versions of Universalism
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In recent years a number of sophisticated versions of soteriological universalism have appeared in the literature. In this essay I offer some critical retlections them. In particular, I argue that universalism offers no explanation for the fact that God puts human creatures through the earthly life, and that if there is no such reason then the earthly life and the evil it contains are both gratuitous. Finally, I argue that universalists are obliged to deny that human beings have a centrally important feature of human freedom.
154. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 16 > Issue: 1
Notes and News
155. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 16 > Issue: 1
Kent Reames A Response to Swinburne’s Latest Defense of the Argument For Dualism
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This paper responds to Swinburne’s recent article “Dualism Intact,” which defends his argument for a body/soul dualism. It pays particular attention to his defense against the charges of Alston and Smythe, especially the appeal to the “quasi-Aristotelian assumption,” on which the essence of a thing is necessary to its being the thing that it is. I argue that this defense does not save the argument, but only makes clear that its apparent plausibility rests on an ambiguity between two understandings of the nature of logical possibility. Swinburne’s argument draws on and requires both understandings at different points in his argument, but the two are incompatible at the key point.
156. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 16 > Issue: 1
Thomas Talbott Universalism and the Greater Good: Reply to Gordon Knight
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Gordon Knight recently challenged my assumption, which I made for the purpose of organizing and classifying certain theological disputes, that a specific set of three propositions is logically inconsistent (or necessarily false). In this brief rejoinder, I explain Knight’s objection and show why it rests upon a misunderstanding.
157. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 16 > Issue: 1
Mark Wynn Natural Theology In an Ecological Mode
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The paper considers the possibility of an alliance between natural theologians and environmental ethicists in so far as both uphold the goodness of the natural world. Specifically, it examines whether the work of Holmes Rolston III can contribute towards the natural theologian’s treatment of two issues: the nature and extent of the world’s goodness, and the reasons why we may fail to register its goodness fully. The paper argues that the holism and non-anthropocentrism of Rolston’s work throw new light on the values in nature, and on the multiple achievements which are presupposed in any informed appreciation of its goodness.
158. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 16 > Issue: 1
Alexander Pruss, Richard M. Gale Atheism & Theism
159. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 16 > Issue: 1
James F. Sennett Is There Freedom In Heaven?
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This paper examines the dilemma of heavenly freedom. If there is freedom in heaven, then it seems that there is the possibility of evil in heaven, which violates standard intuitions. If there is not, then heaven is lacking a good significant enough that it would justify God in creating free beings, despite the evil they might cause. But then how can God be justified in omitting such a good from heaven? To resolve this dilemma, I present the Proximate Conception of freedom, which holds that actions may be free though determined, but only if they have in their causal history some undetermined free actions by the same agent. I show how this conception resolves the dilemma, defend it against objections, and comment on its implications.
160. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 16 > Issue: 3
Shane R. Cudney “Religion Without Religion”: Caputo, Derrida, and the Violence of Particularity
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Jack Caputo’s most recent book follows Derrida in proposing a “religion without religion”, a posture that, while committed to the general structure of religion, attempts to philosophically distance itself from specific, historical exemplifications of that structure. I propose that by determining what motivates the distinction between what is termed the “messianic” and “messianisms”, a space opens that allows us to call into question this “desert religion.” I will conclude by suggesting an alternative posture, one that attempts to honor both the universal structure of religion, and the particular, historical content of religion.