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Displaying: 1-10 of 27 documents


presidential address
1. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association: Volume > 87
John O’Callaghan, The Identity of Knower and Known: Sellars’s and McDowell’s Thomisms
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Wilfrid Sellars’ engagement with Thomism in “Being and Being Known” is examined, specifically for his reformulation of the thesis that the mind in its mental acts is in some sense identical in form to the object known. Borrowing the notion of “isomorphism” from modern set theory, Sellars describes an identity of form between mind and world that is non-intentional in the “Realm of the Real,” while confining all questions of meaning and truth to the “Realm of the Intentional.” John McDowell’s response to Sellars’ reformulation is then examined. McDowell is critical of Sellars’ “blind spot” on the normativity of truth, and argues for the embedding of the intentional in the Realm of the Real under the guise of truth. This paper notes difficulties with both authors’ discussions. Both authors are misled in their discussions of Aquinas by an overemphasis upon the “mental word” as described by Peter Geach. In addition it is proposed that Sellars’ notion of “isomorphisms” has the additional problem of adequately distinguishing various types of mental statements as neural states in the Realm of the Real. The paper concludes by arguing for a deep affinity between McDowell and Aquinas on the normativity of truth.
presentation of the aquinas medal
2. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association: Volume > 87
Theodore R. Vitali, C.P., Introduction of Eleonore Stump: 2013 Aquinas Medal Recipient
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aquinas medalist’s address
3. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association: Volume > 87
Eleonore Stump, The Nature of a Simple God
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plenary sessions
4. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association: Volume > 87
Alasdair MacIntyre, Philosophical Education Against Contemporary Culture
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Four stages in an adequate philosophical education are distinguished. The first is that in which students learn to put in question some commonly shared assumptions about what happiness is and to ask what the good of engaging in this kind of questioning is. The second is a conceptual and linguistic analysis of “good” which enables questions about what human goods are to be formulated. The third is an investigation into the nature and unity of human beings designed to enable us to propose rationally justifiable answers to those questions. In the fourth and final stage those questions are posed.
5. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association: Volume > 87
Candace Vogler, Good and Bad in Human Action
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According to Aristotle, every action is aimed at some good. Neo-Aristotelians argue that all intentional actions are pursued “under the guise of the good.” Contemporary critics find this thesis either perplexing or obviously false. In this essay, I survey a recent attempt to defend the guise of the good thesis, urge that the critic will reject the defense, and sketch a novel direction for defense of the thesis based on the thought that practical reason’s orientation to the future is fundamentally different from a modern predictive stance. Practical reason is directed to what is supposed to happen next, whether or not things go as they are supposed to go.
6. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association: Volume > 87
V. Bradley Lewis, Aristotle, the Common Good, and Us
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While the notion of the common good figures frequently in both rhetoric and the inquiries of academic political theory, it is often neither closely examined nor precisely defined. This article examines Aristotle’s use of the idea, focusing primarily on two sets of key texts: first, Politics 1.1–2 and Nicomachean Ethics 1.2; and second, Nic. Ethics 8.9 and Politics 3.7. The first set of texts emphasizes the common good as flourishing and the city as its necessary condition; the second emphasizes the common good as the good of all citizens as distinct from that of the rulers alone and leads to Aristotle’s notion of the generic political regime with its focus on the middle class and the rule of law. The conclusion notes both continuities and discontinuities with and challenges to contemporary politics posed by Aristotle’s view, which is neither as readily supportive of modern political programs nor as opposed to modern practices as is sometimes thought.
session i: reviving aristotelian natural science?
7. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association: Volume > 87
Christopher O. Blum, The Prospect of an Aristotelian Biology
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In recent decades, a growing number of biologists has testified to the priority of the whole organism with respect to its parts and protested against the dominance of mechanist and reductionist accounts of the organism in biological science. To see disinterested inquiry thus shaped “by constraint of facts” (Parts of Animals 1.1.642a28) will delight, but cannot surprise, an Aristotelian. Taking this rediscovery of nature by biologists as an occasion for reflection, this essay considers, first, what is presupposed by any healthy biological inquiry, second, the prospects of renewal for the science itself, and, finally, a good that could follow from such a renewal. Aristotelian biology is an invitation to consider the forms of living things. Since “philosophy claims to know” (Metaphysics 4.2.1004b25), philosophers are called to bear witness to the primacy of form and, like biologists, to be models of attentiveness to form.
8. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association: Volume > 87
Michael W. Tkacz, Albertus Magnus and the Animal Histories:: A Medieval Anticipation of Recent Developments in Aristotle Studies
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During the past three decades, Aristotle studies have been significantly influenced by a series of ground-breaking investigations of the zoological works, especially the Historia animalium. As a result, contemporary Aristotle scholars have developed a clearer and more consistent interpretation of the zoology and have demonstrated its consonance with Aristotle’s logic and metaphysics. This revolution in Aristotle studies was anticipated by the medieval natural philosopher Albertus Magnus. As the first thinker since Theophrastus to pursue an Aristotelian research program in the life sciences, he interpreted Aristotle’s animal histories as a series of pre-demonstrative researches preparatory to causal explanation as prescribed in the Posterior Analytics and the Topics. The medieval anticipation of these recent developments in Aristotle studies provides a compelling comparison of the interpretation of Aristotle now and then.
session ii: aristotle on the intellect
9. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association: Volume > 87
Mary Elizabeth Tetzlaff, An Alternative Reading of De Anima 413a8–9
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This paper presents three interpretations of the infamous “sailor / ship” sentence that concludes Aristotle’s De Anima II.1. The first two interpretations represent the ones most popular in contemporary scholarship; the final is the author’s original. The interpretations are then evaluated with respect to grammatical plausibility and explanatory strength. The paper makes a case that the new reading answers to both points of evaluation and contributes to an interpretive approach to Aristotle that values the coherence and cogency of his De Anima as a whole.
10. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association: Volume > 87
Jonathan Buttaci, Aristotle’s Intellects: Now and Then
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One of the most highly debated passages in Aristotle is his doctrine of the nous poiētikos of de Anima III.5. The interpretations of its precise nature and operation that were given by ancient and medieval commentators abound also today. With few exceptions, however, present-day interpretations disagree with the ancients and others on the logic of the passage. In particular, while most ancient and medieval commentators agree that there are three intellects or intellectual powers on scene in the passage, most contemporary interpreters assume that there are only two, identifying the pathētikos nous at the end of III.5 with the intellect described in III.4. In this paper I argue that this assumption is wrong, and that although the text is underdetermined in several ways, it is not so in this respect. The text, taken with other relevant passages, demands that the pathētikos nous be different from the intellect described in III.4.