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Displaying: 1-10 of 2406 documents


presidential address
1. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association: Volume > 89
J. L. A. Garcia, From Neighbor-Love to Utilitarianism, and Back: Uncovering Some Structures and Dynamics for Ethical Theory
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Contrasting loving our neighbors with utilitarians’ demand to maximize good reveals important metatheoretic structures and dynamics that I call virtues- basing, input drive, role centering, and patient focus. First, love (good will) is a virtue; such virtues are foundational to both moral obligations and the impersonally valuable. Second, part of loving is acting lovingly. Whether and how I act lovingly, and how loving it is, is a matter of motivation; this input-driven account contrasts with highlighting actions’ outcome. Third, in regarding someone as our neighbor we view her in relation to ourselves; a role-centered perspective shows that a wide range of person-to-person role-relationships constitute moral life. Fourth, if our moral task is loving each person, the moral question is how we respond to each person’s relevant welfare and needs, focusing on those toward someone acts (moral patients), not on maximizing good across persons or producing an optimal world.
presentation of the aquinas medal
2. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association: Volume > 89
Thérèse-Anne Druart, Introduction of Rémi Brague, 2015 Aquinas Medal Recipient
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aquinas medalist’s address
3. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association: Volume > 89
Rémi Brague, On the Need for a Philosophy of Nature and on Aquinas’s Help in Sketching One
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A philosophy of nature is an urgent need if we want to avoid falling back into the Gnostic view of the world and of man’s place in it that modern science can’t help fostering. The medieval idea of the world as the creation of stable natures by a rational and benevolent God should provide us with useful guidelines. In particular, Aquinas gives us valuable hints about how our scientific knowledge of nature might help us to get a correct appreciation of our own worth.
plenary sessions
4. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association: Volume > 89
Brian Leftow, Divine Simplicity and Divine Freedom
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I explain the doctrine of divine simplicity, and reject what is now the standard way to explicate it in analytic philosophy. I show that divine simplicity imperils the claim that God is free, and argue against a popular proposal for dealing with the problem.
5. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association: Volume > 89
Thomas D. Sullivan, World-Maker, Mind-Maker, Revealer
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Is religion “noxious rubbish to be buried as deeply, as thoroughly, and as quickly as possible”? Philip Kitcher tells us that’s the dominant idea among atheists. In this paper I take a step back from the minutiae of standard journal articles to dispute the broad atheistic claim, and in the process suggest there is in fact a great deal to be said for religious belief. I argue that: (1) It’s not highly implausible that there is a cause of the universe distinct from the universe—a World-Maker; (2) Because the act of cognizing instantiables is not purely a physical action, Christian teachings on the nature and status of humans are defensible against common claims to the contrary based on neo-Darwinism, and there’s reason to think the World-Maker is a Mind-Maker; (3) Kitcher’s case that there is no true religion is vulnerable to myriad objections, and since it’s been lauded as the best attack on the credibility of religion to date, it’s entirely reasonable not to abandon all religion, and in particular Christianity: there’s good reason for thinking the World-Maker and Mind-Maker is also a Revealer.
session i: philosophy of religion
6. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association: Volume > 89
Robert A. Elisher, Molinist Divine Complicity: A Response to Neal Judisch
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I argue here that God, as Molinism conceives Him, is complicit in moral evil. This is of course a problem because complicity in evil undermines divine perfection. I argue, however, that it is a problem that Open Theism, as a theory of “general” (as opposed to “meticulous”) providence, avoids. This claim opposes that of Neal Judisch, who has recently (2012) argued that theories of general providence (e.g., Open Theism) are in no better position to answer the problem of gratuitous evil (i.e., the evidential problem of evil) than theories of meticulous providence (e.g., Molinism or Calvinism). Here, Judisch draws on important insights about just what these theories involve in terms of gratuitous evil to diffuse what he calls “the argument for divine complicity.” In response, I offer a reformulation of this argument that is immaterial to the question of gratuitous evil. I then explain why my argument does not convict an Open Theist God and, in the course of doing so, I consider whether an application of the doctrine of double effect exonerates a Molinist God as well.
7. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association: Volume > 89
Matthew Kent Siebert, Aquinas on Believing God
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Aquinas says that faith is belief about things one does not “see” for oneself. But if you do not see it for yourself, what makes your belief reasonable? Recent interpreters have missed a key part of Aquinas’s answer, namely, that faith is believing God (credere Deo). In other words, they have not given sufficient attention to the formal object of faith. As a result, they overemphasize other parts of his answer. Drawing partly on recent epistemology of testimony, I explain how the formal object of faith contributes to the justification of one’s faith.
session ii: metaphysics
8. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association: Volume > 89
Joshua Lee Harris, Transcendental Multitude in Thomas Aquinas
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In this study, I consider the viability of what is perhaps one of the more “obscure” transcendentals in Aquinas’s work—that is, the concept of multitudo transcendens. This strange notion is mentioned explicitly (as a member of the transcendentia, that is) on four occasions in Aquinas’s oeuvre. Despite its apparent difficulties, i.e., the clear difficulties associated with claiming that ens is really convertible with both unum and multitudo, I suggest that Aquinas’s affirmation of multitudo as a transcendental is a conceptually coherent way of providing a compelling answer to a perennial problem in both ancient and modern philosophy: namely, the logical and metaphysical problem of doing justice to the seemingly equiprimordial notions of “the one” and “the many”—as harmonious perfections rather than competitive notions.
9. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association: Volume > 89
Travis Dumsday, A New Argument for the Incompatibility of Hylomorphism and Metaphysical Naturalism
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Within the substance ontology literature in recent analytic metaphysics, four principal theories are in competition: substratum theory, bundle theory, primitive substance theory, and hylomorphism. This paper is part of a larger project attempting to show that each of these four theories is incompatible with metaphysical naturalism (which of course creates a problem for that view, if indeed these four theories are the only potentially workable options). To that end, I explicate and defend the following argument: Premise 1: Prime matter either can exist on its own (unactualized by substantial form) or it cannot. Premise 2: If prime matter can exist on its own (unactualized by substantial form) then metaphysical naturalism is false. Premise 3: If prime matter cannot exist on its own (unactualized by substantial form) then metaphysical naturalism is false. Conclusion: Therefore, either way, metaphysical naturalism is false.
session iii: ethics
10. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association: Volume > 89
Alexander Schimpf, Robert Spaemann’s Approach to Ethical Analysis
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The essay identifies and explains four prominent features of Robert Spaemann’s approach to applied ethical analysis: recollection of the origins of ethical dilemmas, assignment of the burden of proof, appeals to shared ethical intuitions, and references to the reality of the human person. The article concludes with a brief assessment of the potential merits and demerits of Spaemann’s approach.