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1. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 51 > Issue: 4
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2. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 51 > Issue: 4
Philip E. Devine, Against Superkitten Ethics
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I here criticize the use of science-fiction examples in ethics, chiefly, though not solely, by defenders of abortion. We have no reliable intuitions concerning such examples—certainly nothing strong enough to set against the strong intuition that infanticide is virtually always wrong.
3. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 51 > Issue: 4
Lawrence Moonan, Re-tracing the Five Famous Ways of Summa theologiae I.2.3
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Aquinas’s Five Ways are not to be understood as demonstrative proofs, successful or not, for the existence of God. Rather, they provide a necessary step towards supplying licensable surrogates for the essential predications that cannot logically be drawn from the incomprehensible nature of God, yet would seem needed for the Summa’s declared genre of argued theology. (Predication secundum analogiam provides surrogates for non-relational accidental predications, likewise unavailable.) What Aquinas is proving in arguing deum esse in ST I.2.3 is not God’s actual existence (see ST I.3.4 ad 2) but an alternative interpretation of “God’s being something” where “God is something” is a placeholder for, say, “God is prime mover” or, more explicitly, for such (necessary) identities as “The prime mover is the necessitated necessitator,” an identity whose necessity depends at more than one place on the assumption of God’s existence from faith, not on demonstrative proof of God’s existence.
4. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 51 > Issue: 4
Joe McCoy, Re-examining Recollection: The Platonic Account of Learning
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The doctrine of recollection is one of the most controversial in the Platonic corpus, and much scholarship has been aimed at altering the doctrine to resolve its paradoxical features, many of which, I argue, are generated by a failure to appreciate the difference between memory (mneme) and the distinct capacity of recollection (anamnesis). In several of the Platonic dialogues, Socrates gives an account of how recollection functions in ordinary contexts, and thus provides a basis for showing how anamnesis may be employed to describe learning in general. The mystery of learning consists in the fact that one must possess someknowledge of the matter being investigated prior to learning about it, and thus learning may be aptly described as a remembrance of some knowledge previously forgotten. I argue that the recollection account was formulated, not to resolve this mystery, but rather to capture descriptively its essential features.
5. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 51 > Issue: 4
Raymond D. Boisvert, The Fall: Camus versus Sartre
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This essay reads Camus’s novel The Fall as a reductio ad absurdum for two major strands in Western intellectual culture, the hyper-Augustinian “we are all depraved” strand and, more decisively, what I call the “hyper-Sartrean” strand of existentialist humanism. Many commentators have identified Sartre as a target of Camus’s novel, but a detailed exploration of the critique is rarely undertaken. Examining Sartre’s Existentialism is a Humanism reveals an understanding of the human condition as involving a double disconnection: from nature and from other people. Camus’s protagonist is just such a doubly detached individual. With little subtlety, Camus depicts his protagonist, as “Satanic,” i.e., the fallen one, the universal accuser, the friend of destruction, the enemy of connection. Such a “Fall” into self-isolation represents the all too alluring temptation against which Camus wishes to warn us.
6. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 51 > Issue: 4
Andrew LaZella, Siger of Brabant on Divine Providence and the Indeterminacy of Chance
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The compatibility of divine providence with the contingency of human freedom is widely-debated within medieval thought. Following recent works on the Islamicphilosopher Averroes, this essay expands the issue of causal indeterminism to include the less disputed question of contingency in the larger framework of chance. In tradition of Latin Averroism, Siger of Brabant provides a unique and heterodox perspective on the compatibility of chance with providence. Unlike his fellow scholastics who attempt to preserve contingency under the watchful gaze of divine providence, Siger rejects such moves as destructive of contingency. He instead argues for restrictions on the determination of such events by the arche of divine providence, thus leaving them anarchic with respect to its order but capable of introducing new beginnings in the otherwise closed universe of causes.
7. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 51 > Issue: 4
Matthew D. Walz, Stoicism as Anesthesia: Philosophy’s “Gentler Remedies” in Boethius’s Consolation
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Boethius first identifies Philosophy in the Consolation as his medica, his “healer” or “physician.” Over the course of the dialogue Philosophy exercises her medical art systematically. In the second book Philosophy first gives Boethius “gentler remedies” that are preparatory for the “sharper medicines” that she administers later. This article shows that, philosophically speaking, Philosophy’s “gentler remedies” amount to persuading Boethius toward Stoicism, which functions as an anesthetic for the more invasive philosophical surgery that she performs afterwards. Seeing this, however, requires understanding how Philosophy draws out Boethius’s spiritedness in the first book and how in the second book she sublimates it into an intellectual and volitional apathy toward the things of fortune, i.e., into a Stoic attitude toward that which is other. Significantly, though, the Stoicism to which Philosophy leads Boethius is of a mitigated sort, inasmuch as friendship is not included among the things of fortune to which Boethius is anesthesized, an exception that opens up Boethius to genuine wonder and, consequently, to genuine philosophizing.
book reviews and notices
8. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 51 > Issue: 4
Jeffrey Flynn, Cogent Science in Context
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9. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 51 > Issue: 4
John K. O’Connor, Starting with Heidegger
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10. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 51 > Issue: 4
Arthur Madigan, S.J., The Ancient Commentators on Plato and Aristotle
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