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1. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 26 > Issue: 1
Jacek Surzyn The Twenty-Fifth Anniversary of Forum Philosophicum
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2. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 26 > Issue: 1
Piotr S. Mazur Polish Christian Philosophy of the Twentieth Century
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3. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 26 > Issue: 1
Ted Peters Natural Science within Public Christian Philosophy and Public Systematic Theology
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Christian philosophy provides the form and systematic theology the substance when the church turns its intellectual face toward the wider public. This united front is vital in the context of a global competition between worldviews, where naturalism in the form of aggressive scientism has declared war on all things religious. Through discourse clarification the philosopher should distinguish between genuine science and the naturalistic reductionism that attempts to co-opt it; and through worldview construction the theologian should then demonstrate how nature viewed by science belongs within a picture where all reality is oriented toward the one God of grace. In the battle between competing explanations of real­ity, the public Christian philosopher along with the public systematic theologian should offer a worldview with greater explanatory adequacy.
4. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 26 > Issue: 1
Michał Chaberek The Metaphysical Problem for Theistic Evolution: Accidental Change Does Not Generate Substantial Change
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This paper focuses on one of the metaphysical problems facing theistic conceptions of evolution: namely, that of evolutionary transition from one specified substantial form to another. According to the evolutionary account, new substantial forms appear due to accidental changes in previously existing substances. However, accidental change may only lead to the production of new accidents, not entirely new and distinct substantial forms. The solutions proposed by modern Thomists go in two directions: reducing the number of substantial forms (species), and rejecting substantial form altogether. Both proposals deviate from classical metaphysics. The evolutionary account of the origin of species is ultimately obliged to challenge the real existence of species, and so leads to nominalism. As such it cannot be reconciled with classical metaphysics.
5. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 26 > Issue: 1
James D. Capehart Étienne Gilson: Three Stages and Two Modes of His Christian Philosophy
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In this paper, I demarcate the three main stages of development of Étienne Gilson’s doctrine concerning Christian philosophy through an examination of some of his key works, treated in chronological order. Thus, I proceed to explicate how Gilson’s doctrine developed from its gestational stage in the 1920s, through the first Christian philosophy debate of the 1930s, into its second phase of birth and infancy from the 1930s through the early 1950s, ending with its third period, that of maturity, in the later 1950s and 1960s. Furthermore, I note that implicit throughout those three stages are conceptions of Christian philosophy as existing in two modes: one as the philosophical component present within theology, and the other as, properly speaking, outside of theology—though by no means outside of the influence of Christianity. Additionally, Gilson’s influence upon St. John Paul II’s treatment of Christian philosophy in Fides et Ratio is addressed. The paper culminates in a demonstration of how Gilson’s mature doctrine regarding Christian philosophy is relevant as a guide for the pursuit of Christian philosophy in this, our Third Christian Millennium.
6. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 26 > Issue: 1
Anna Varga-Jani From the Husserlian Transcendental Idealism to the Question on Being: An Original Linkage between Phenomenology and Theology in Edith Stein’s Thinking
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It is a well-known fact that Husserl’s Ideas Pertaining to a Pure Phenomenology and phenomenological Philosophy I, published in 1913, was disappointingly received in the phenomenological circle around Husserl, and started a reinterpretation of Husserlian phenomenology. The problem of the constitution was a real dilemma for the studentship of Munich–Gottingen. More of Husserl’s students from his Gottingen years reflected in the 1930s on transcendental idealism, which they originated from the Ideas and found fulfilled in Husserl’s Cartesian Meditations and Formal and transcendental Logic. The remarkable similarity between these papers lies in how the question of being is incorporated into the problematic of the method in Husserlian phenomenology. But this parallelism in the problem reveals the origin of the religious phenomenon in Husserlian phenomenology as well. Adolf Reinach’s religious terms such as gratitude (Dankbarkeit), charity (Barmherzigkeit), etc. in his religious Notes, Heidegger’s notion of being as finiteness in Being and Time, Edith Stein’s concept of the finite and eternal being in Finite and Eternal Being are fundamental to the problem of constitution in transcendental phenomenology, but these two phenomena of being point at the constitution theologically. In my paper I would like to show the transition from the critique of Husserlian transcendental idealism to the roots of the experience of religious life through the phenomenological problem of being in Edith Stein.
7. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 26 > Issue: 1
Wojciech Szczerba The Concept of Universal Salvation: Apokatastasis in the Thought of Friedrich Schleiermacher. An Outline
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The article analyzes the concept of universal salvation—apokatastasis in the thought of Friedrich Schleiermacher especially with reference to his early Speeches on Religion and the later treatise The Christian Faith. It moves from Schleiermacher’s understanding of religion per se to his soteriological and escha­tological theories. He understands the nature of religion as the feeling-intuition of the Infinite and points to a certain aspect of mystery, which religion contains. He rejects in the Speeches on Religion the anthropomorphic understanding of God and speaks of God-Universum. In the treatise Christian Faith, he reinterprets the theological concept of original sin and depravation, and points to a natural process of development of humankind from Godless-consciousness to God-consciousness. From the Protestant-reformed tradition Schleiermacher adopts the concept of predestination. However, he rejects the so called “double predestination” of sal­vation and condemnation. According to him, all people are chosen to be saved “in Christ”. This way, Schleiermacher continues the Reformed tradition, however he understands the election in universal categories. He rejects God, who chooses for salvation only some people, but accepts God-Universum, who maintains the unity of creation and leads people to perfect communion. This drives the German thinker to universalistic beliefs. In the convictions pointing to the final unity of humankind, Schleiermacher exposes his deep humanism. He assumes that it is impossible to reconcile the traditional view of eternal hell with God’s love. Divine punishment can serve as an aspect of overall paidagogia, leading to the maturing of humanity. However, it cannot be understood as a retribution, based on God’s wrath and cruel lex talionis. Such an understanding of God is for Schleiermacher unacceptable. Understanding soteriology in these terms, Schleiermacher refers to the apokata­static tradition of the Church Fathers and the classical concept of apokatastasis. In the modern context he continues and develops the personal aspect of apokatastasis, but also—through his affinities to the thought of Spinoza—draws near to its macro-scale, cosmological form.
8. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 26 > Issue: 1
Jean Gové Distributed Cognition, Neuroprostheses and their Implications to Non-Physicalist Theories of Mind
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This paper investigates the notion of “distributed cognition”—the idea that entities external to one’s organic brain participate in one’s overall cognitive functioning—and the challenges it poses to the notion of personhood. Related to this is also a consideration of the ever-increasing ways in which neuroprostheses replace and functionally replicate organic parts of the brain. However, the litera­ture surrounding such issues has tended to take an almost exclusively physicalist approach. The common assumption is that, given that non-physicalist theories (chiefly, dualism, and hylomorphism) postulate some form of immaterial “soul,” then they are immune from the challenges that these advances in cognitive science pose. The first aim of this paper, therefore, is to argue that this is not the case. The second aim of this paper is to attempt to elucidate a route available for non-physicalists that will allow them to accept the notion of distributed cognition. By appealing to an Aristotelian framework, I propose that non-physicalists can accept the notion of distributed cognition by appealing to the notion of “unitary life” which I introduce, as well as to Aristotle’s dichotomy between active and passive mind.
9. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 26 > Issue: 1
Alex R. Gillham Expressing Tranquility: Worthwhile Action at the Limit of Epicurean Pleasure
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The Epicureans are hedonists who believe that pleasure is the only intrin­sic good. Since pleasure is the only intrinsic good, other things are only worthwhile for the sake of pleasure. Tranquility is the final Epicurean telos, i.e., all of our actions should aim for freedom from bodily and mental pain. According to the Epicureans, tranquility is the limit of the magnitude of pleasures so that there is no pleasure beyond tranquility. Once we free ourselves from all pain, there are no further pleasures to pursue. This poses the following problem. Since hedonism is true and something is only worthwhile for the sake of pleasure, but there are no further pleasures for those who have achieved tranquility to pursue, then it seems that nothing is worthwhile to the tranquil. This poses a problem for Epicureans because they should reject this consequence and they seem to want to do so, but they cannot without contradicting themselves about the nature and limit of pleasure. I call this the Nothing is Worthwhile to the Tranquil Problem (NWP). This paper develops a strategy that Epicureans can adopt to solve NWP. I develop this strategy in three stages. First, I explain NWP: Epicurean claims about the limit and nature of pleasure suggest that nothing can be worthwhile to the tranquil. Second, I show that this problem is analogous to the Problem of Creation (PoC), which claims that an impassible God has no reasons to create. Third, I argue that a prominent solution to PoC can also solve NWP. That solution goes as follows. Some activities are worthwhile to the tranquil because these activities express tranquility, just as creating is worthwhile to God because it expresses God’s perfections. In the final section, I raise three objections to this solution. None of them is strong enough to defeat the solution for which I argue, and so I conclude that it merits consideration as a solution to NWP.
book reviews
10. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 26 > Issue: 1
Christopher Tollefsen Tadeusz Ślipko. Edited by Ewa Podrez
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11. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 26 > Issue: 1
Brendan Sweetman Piotr Lenartowicz. Edited by Józef Bremer, Damian Leszczyński, Stanisław Łucarz, Jolanta Koszteyn
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12. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 26 > Issue: 1
Note about Forum Philosophicum
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13. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 25 > Issue: 2
Daniel H. Spencer Evolution, Middle Knowledge, and Theodicy: A Philosophical Reflection
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In this paper, I investigate the relationship between a nonlapsarian, evolutionary account of the origin of sin and the potential ramifications this might have for theodicy. I begin by reviving an early twentieth century evolutionary model of the origin of sin before discussing the most prominent objection which it elicits, namely, that if sin is merely the misuse of natural animal passions and habits, then God is ultimately answerable for the existence of sin in the human sphere (the “Responsibility Argument”). Though I suggest that this argument likely misfires, my main concern lies elsewhere. For the proponent of the Responsibility Argument will customarily reject an evolutionary account of sin’s origin and instead endorse something like the traditional Fall account—the doctrine of Origi­nal Sin. I argue, however, that the Fall theory is also clearly subject to a parallel Responsibility Argument, so long as we take God to possess (minimally) Molina’s scientia media. While I will not pretend to have solved every issue in my discus­sion of Molinism, still the desired conclusion should emerge unscathed: if the Responsibility Argument is a problem for an evolutionary account of the origin of sin, then it is a problem for the Fall doctrine, too.
14. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 25 > Issue: 2
Alex R. Gillham Threats, Coercion, and Willingness to Damn: Three More Objections against the Unpopulated Hell View
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In this paper, I develop and evaluate three new objections to the Un­populated Hell View (UHV). First, I consider whether UHV is false because it presupposes that God makes threats, which a perfect being would not do. Second, I evaluate the argument that UHV is false because it entails that God coerces us and therefore limits our freedom to an objectionable degree. Third, I consider whether UHV is false because it implies that God is willing to damn some individuals to Hell. I conclude that none of these objections defeats UHV. First, even if God’s creation or allowance of Hell constitutes a threat, a perfect God might choose to threaten us when doing so is in our best interest. Second, God’s creation or allowance of Hell is not coercive and does not limit our freedom to an objectionable degree. Third, although damnation in Hell is possible, God is unwilling to actualize it. In light of these findings, I stand by the conclusion from my initial article: UHV merits further consideration as a solution to the Problem of Hell.
15. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 25 > Issue: 2
Marcus William Hunt Exorcism and Justified Belief in Demons
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The paper offers a three-premise argument that a person with first-hand experience of possession and exorcism, such as an exorcist, can have a justified belief in the existence of demons. (1) “Exorcism involves a process by which the exorcist comes to believe that testimony is offered by a demon.” Cited for (1) are the Gospels, the Roman Ritual, some modern cases of exorcism, and exorcism practices in non-Christian contexts. (2) “If defeaters are absent, the exorcist may treat as reliable the process by which he comes to believe that testimony is offered by a demon.” For (2) a case is offered that we have a reliable ability to identify when testimony is being offered and when it is being offered by particular types of agents, what is termed testifier-identification. (3) “In many cases of exorcism, defeaters are absent.” An inductive case is given for (3) by responding to possible defeaters, including several suggested recently by David Kyle Johnson. Therefore, in many cases of exorcism the exorcist may treat as reliable the processes by which he comes to believe that testimony is offered by a demon, and so can have a justified belief in the existence of demons.
16. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 25 > Issue: 2
Anna Bogatyńska-Kucharska The Doctrine of Double Effect: A Comparison of the Version of Thomas Aquinas and Contemporary Accounts as Formulated by Joseph Mangan and Joseph Boyle
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The aim of the article is to present some of the differences and similari­ties in various versions of the double effect principle (DDE or PDE). The following formulations will be analyzed: that of Thomas Aquinas and two contemporary ap­proaches, namely those of Mangan and Boyle. It will be shown that the presented modern versions vary significantly and the distinction between their intended and only predicted effects is far from clear. As a result, the different contemporary formulations of DDE lead to contradictory conclusions, with some justifying what others condemn. Moreover, it will be demonstrated that, unlike Aquinas, contem­porary authors mostly concentrate on unintentionality condition while neglecting the proportionality requirement. So, unlike Aquinas, they only take into account a narrow scope of cases, where the evil effect occurs with certainty, which leads to a complicated and intricate hypothetical intention test like Donagan’s. It will be shown that, besides its theoretical indistinctness, DDE lead to serious pragmatic risks. It can be quite easily misused as a kind of psychological mechanism to protect self-esteem from a sense of guilt since wrong-doing is treated as merely a predicted unintended effect.
17. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 25 > Issue: 2
Richard Taye Oyelakin Can Scientists Help Philosophers Regarding the Nature of Phenomenal Experience?
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In response to Putnam’s computational hypothesis on the question of the nature of the mind, Searle and Churchland argue that the nature of mental states essentially consists of neurophysiological processes in an organic brain. However, this seems to imply that mental states are products of the brain and thus, contra Putnam, that an adequate account of mental states which excludes an implementing organic structure is impossible. To this extent, an attempt is made in the paper to structure a biological-organic program. By this structure, it is identified that mental state is a process of the whole organism which necessarily produces phenomenal experience. However, if phenomenal experience is a product of mental states, which consists in neural firings in the brain, then it appears the problem is reducible to a question of how; i.e. how does the brain do it? In turn, this may direct our attention to neuroscientists. However, the paper argues that even perceptual internalism, which is the theoretical basis of contemporary neuroscience, may not really be of help in this case. It is argued that the experimentation and observation which foreground scientific enquiry may not be able to sufficiently account for the how question without leaving some other questions unanswered. As a result, a seemingly implied otherworldly reality or principle is explored. It is submitted that our natural tendency and apparatus (what else do we have) do not appear to lead us forward. Again, withdrawing back to our natural system, our deficient human nature requires us to tread with caution but hopefully, perhaps, we may eventually make progress in this regard.
18. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 25 > Issue: 2
Per Bjørnar Grande Girard’s Optimism
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This article contains a discussion on René Girard’s understanding of the positive sides of imitation—despite the ambivalent nature of desire. Historically speaking, the discovery of the scapegoat mechanism made a great contribution towards limiting violence. The decomposition of the scapegoat mechanism, and its power to find non-violent alternatives, has paved the way for a culture with numerous opportunities. Even if humans constantly rival one another, one must understand and define the close relationship between competition, cooperation, and rivalry. To be able to see the positive sides of mimesis, one needs to have a robust understanding of human nature as competitive and, thereby, see friendship and competition as closely related. Learning and creativity can actually become optimal when there is a high degree of competition. Fierce competition today is allowed because of the taboo against violence. The decomposition of myth has destroyed archaic societies but, at the same time, created problems of an apocalyptic kind. Increasingly, cultures are now de­veloping without the shelter that sacrificial society previously provided. Positive human development, as is evident in the demystifying of violent myths and the increased concern for victims, cannot stem the power of global terror. Despite greater pessimism in his later works, Girard’s hope is that, through the model of Christ, people will finally learn to love their neighbours as themselves. A change of heart is to a certain degree capable to lead people towards the same kind of non-differentiated love as God.
19. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 25 > Issue: 2
Cezary Zalewski From “catharsis in the text” to “catharsis of the text.”: “A Marginal Commentary on Aristotle’s Poetics” by Roman Ingarden in the (critical) light of mimetic theory
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Roman Ingarden (1893–1970) was a prominent Polish philosopher, phenomenologist, and student of Edmund Husserl. A characteristic feature of his works was the almost complete absence of analyzes from the history of philosophy. That is why it is so surprising that right after the end of World War II, the first text analyzed when Ingarden started working at the Jagiellonian University was Aristotle’s “Poetics.” Ingarden published the results of his research in Polish in 1948 in “Kwartalnik Filozoficzny” and in the early 1960s his essay was translated and published in the renowned American magazine “The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism” as “A Marginal Commentary on Aristotle’s Poetics.” As far as I know today, this text does not arouse much interest among the many commentators and followers of Ingarden’s philosophy. Perhaps this state of affairs is justified: Ingarden’s own ideas are only repeated here, and their usefulness in the meaning of “Poetics” remains far from obvious. However, I think that this relative obscurity is worth considering now, because it shows how modern reason tries to control ancient concepts. The main purpose of this article is therefore to recon­struct the strategy by which philosophy tames the text of “Poetics,” especially its concepts such as catharsis and mimesis. The discovery and presentation of these treatments would not have been possible were it not for the mimetic theory of René Girad, which provides anthropological foundations for a critique of philosophical discourse.
book reviews
20. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 25 > Issue: 2
Mark K. Spencer Jacek Woroniecki. The Polish Christian Philosophy in the 20th Century
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