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1. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 55 > Issue: 3
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articles
2. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 55 > Issue: 3
W. Matthews Grant, The Privation Account of Moral Evil: A Defense
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The privation account of moral evil holds that the badness of morally bad acts consists not in the positive act itself or in any positive feature of the act but rather in the act’s lack of conformity to the moral standard. Traditionally recognized for its theological usefulness, the account has been the target of at least five recent objections. In this paper I offer a positive philosophical argument for the account and then show that the objections fail.
3. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 55 > Issue: 3
B. A. Worthington, What Has Self-Reference to Do With Self-Consciousness?
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In the Tractatus Russell’s caveat against linguistic reflexivity becomes a caveat against reflective thought. The paper explores the relation between these. There is a connection, perhaps exemplified by 1789, between reflection on one’s assumptions and change (with, perhaps, consequent aporia). The same connection may be exemplified by violation of Russell’s system of levels (levels of generality and detail). Even though Russell never explored this area, they will be violated by interactions of the macroscopic and microscopic. These interactions, like the philosophical questioning of assumptions, are a source of change and instability, of the failure of assumptions or presuppositions, and with it of aporia. Russell’s system of levels precludes these. An aim of avoiding presupposition failure links type theory to “On Denoting.” It is likely that the resistance to reflexivity has its origin in Russell’s rejection of the philosophy of Hegel where reflective thought is the motor of historical development.
4. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 55 > Issue: 3
James M. Ambury, Plato’s Conception of Soul as Intelligent Self-Determination
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This paper articulates two seemingly distinct but interrelated conceptions of soul in the Platonic corpus: soul as self-mover (the ontological soul) and soul as self-ruler (the ethical soul). It argues that Plato conceives of soul as a principle of intelligent self-determination. The dialogues in principal focus are the two in which the ontological soul and ethical soul are most manifest: the Phaedrus and the Laws. The article concludes with a brief reflection, by way of the Timaeus, on the relationship between soul thus understood and Plato’s sense of the importance of the care of the soul for the good life.
5. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 55 > Issue: 3
Travis Dumsday, How Divine Hiddenness Sheds Light on the Problem of Evil
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The problems of evil and of divine hiddenness are the two most prominent arguments for atheism in the contemporary literature on the philosophy of religion. But relatively little has been written on the possible relations between these two problems, and especially on whether a solution to one could shed light on a solution to the other. I explore this question here by arguing that a resolution to the hiddenness problem could help address the problem of evil, specifically by supplying a new counter-argument to a common objection raised against the free-will defense.
6. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 55 > Issue: 3
V. Martin Nemoianu, Pascal on Divine Hiddenness
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This essay aims to reconstruct and defend Pascal’s account of divine hiddenness. In the first section I explain Pascal’s view that divine hiddenness is primarily a function of human volitional aversion and only secondarily a result of God’s intentional action. In the following section I evaluate the primary sense of hiddenness by considering Pascal’s response to the objection that divine goodness requires and divine power makes possible God’s provision of evidence sufficient to overcome human volitional indisposition. While Pascal does think it possible for God to provide such evidence, he argues that this would unjustly harm human freedom and endanger human intellectual understanding. I conclude by addressing a weaker form of the objection through consideration of the second sense of divine hiddenness and Pascal’s surprising view that God’s intentional “hiding” is in fact a progressively deeper entry into the particulars of human history.
7. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 55 > Issue: 3
Zemian Zheng, Self-deception, Sincerity (Cheng), and Zhu Xi’s Last Word
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Zhu Xi believes that if one attains genuine knowledge of good and evil, one will do good and avoid evil wholeheartedly. As a result, the phenomena of self-deception and akrasia (weakness of will) pose a challenge to his moral psychology. On his deathbed, he revised his commentary on self-deception and sincerity in the book Great Learning. His final explanatory model could be understood as a moderate version of intentionalism: a self-deceiver tacitly allows room for thoughts that run counter to his ethical beliefs, even if this potentially undermines his integrity. This model highlights two major causes for self-deception: uncritical self-trust and the dubious ethical status of first-order desires. Zhu contends that thoughts cannot render themselves sincere on their own. As a remedy, he advocates an open-minded dialogue with the cultural world documented in the classics so as to avoid the myopia of the self.
contemporary currents
8. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 55 > Issue: 3
Earl Stanley B. Fronda, Supernaturalism is Unwittingly Naturalistic
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Supernaturalism is a philosophical position used in modernity that employs the “supernatural” to explain certain “natural” phenomena. The supernatural is defined by circumscription from the natural. But the line that is supposed to delineate the supernatural from the natural is porous and tenuous, to the point that the distinction between the two becomes a matter of no import. This renders vacuous the concept of the supernatural as well as the concept of the natural. Supernaturalism ends up naturalizing what is supposed to be supernatural. But there is a conception of the supernatural (introduced by John Scotus Eriugena and sent into theological circulation by Thomas Aquinas) that predates the modernist one. Benchmarked against this conception, the God posited by supernaturalism in the modern sense is not supernatural.
book reviews
9. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 55 > Issue: 3
Joseph W. Koterski, S.J., Political Augustinianism: Modern Interpretations of Augustine’s Political Thought. By Michael J. S. Bruno
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10. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 55 > Issue: 3
Virginia L. Arbery, Comic Cure for Delusional Democracy. By Gene Fendt
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