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Displaying: 1-10 of 27 documents


presidential address
1. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association: Volume > 81
Timothy B. Noone Nature, Freedom, and Will: Sources of Philosophical Reflection
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2. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association: Volume > 81
Alexander Pruss Presentation of the Aquinas Medal
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aquinas medalist’s address
3. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association: Volume > 81
Nicholas Rescher Aquinas and the Principle of Epistemic Disparity
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The Principle of Epistemic Disparity has it that a mind of lesser power cannot adequately comprehend the ways of a more powerful intellect. The paperconsiders the role of this principle in the thought of St. Thomas and also offers some commentary on its wider implications.
plenary sessions
4. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association: Volume > 81
Daniel O. Dahlstrom The Development of Freedom: A Phenomenological Approach
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This paper elaborates four asymmetrical, developmental stages of the phenomenon of human freedom, starting with a rudimentary sort of freedom, thebasic experience of a relatively unencumbered power to act in alternative ways. The paper argues that structural elements of this rudimentary form of freedomare demonstrable in three distinct, supervening forms of freedom: instrumental freedom, the experience of the self-reflective ability to pursue certain aims, perfectionist freedom, the experience of the capacity to master oneself according to some ideal, and, finally, interpersonal freedom, the experience of empowerment and alternatives only available through commitments to others.
5. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association: Volume > 81
John Rist Freedom and Nature among the Greeks
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session 1
6. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association: Volume > 81
John J. Davenport Augustine on Liberty of the Higher-Order Will: Answers to Hunt and Stump
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I have argued that like Harry Frankfurt, Augustine implicitly distinguishes between first-order desires and higher-order volitions; yet unlike Frankfurt, Augustineheld that the liberty to form different possible volitional identifications is essential to responsibility for our character. Like Frankfurt, Augustine recognizes that we can sometimes be responsible for the desires on which we act without being able to do or desire otherwise; but for Augustine, this is true only because such responsibility for inevitable desires and actions traces (at least in part) to responsibility for our volitional identifications, which in turn has leeway-libertarianconditions. However, David Hunt has interpreted Augustine’s account of divine foreknowledge as implying a type of source-incompatibilism that does not require alternative possible actions or intentions. Moreover, while Eleonore Stump’s account of Augustine on sanctification supports my interpretation, Augustine’s position on predestination in his latest writings may be incompatible with liberty of the higher-order will. I will argue against Hunt’s interpretation but admit that the leeway-libertarian has to reject the ‘no autonomy’ model in some of Augustine’s late writings.
7. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association: Volume > 81
Gregory B. Sadler Freedom, Inclinations of the Will, and Virtue in Anselm’s Moral Th eory
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Freedom, justice, and inclinations of the will have significant roles in St. Anselm’s moral theory, as does, I argue, virtues and vices, which can be understoodin relation to freedom and justice and as inclinations of the will. The first section of the paper discusses the relationship between freedom, justice, and the will inAnselm’s works. The second part explores Anselm’s distinctions between different aspects of the human will, as will-as-instrument, will-as-use, and will-as-inclination, then examines his further distinction of the latter into the will-for-justice and will-for-benefit. The third part then argues that the will-as-inclination-for-justice takes determinate forms as virtues, which may be understood as ways of properly using and preserving human freedom.
session 2
8. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association: Volume > 81
Michael Rota Infinite Causal Chains and Explanation
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Many cosmological arguments for the existence of a first cause or a necessary being rely on a premise which denies the possibility of an infinite regress ofsome particular sort. Adequate and satisfying support for this premise, however, is not always provided. In this paper I attempt to address this gap in the literature. After discussing the notion of a causal explanation (section I), I formulate three principles which govern any successful causal explanation (section II). I then introduce the notions of a caused being, a causal network, and a causal chain, and argue that (roughly) an infinite causal chain cannot be explained merely by reference to the causal activities of the members of that chain (section III). In a sequel to the present paper, I employ this result to construct two closely related arguments for the existence of a necessary being.
9. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association: Volume > 81
Sharon Kaye William of Ockham and the Unlikely Connection between Transubstantiation and Free Will
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William of Ockham was tried for heresy due to his assertion that certain qualities can exist independently of substances. Scholars have assumed he made thisstrange assertion in order to account for the Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation. I argue, however, that the assertion was philosophically rather than theologically motivated. Ockham develops a nominalist substance ontology, according to which most changes can be explained as the result of local motion. Knowledge and virtue are changes in human beings that cannot be so explained, however, because they are not entirely passive processes. In fact, knowledge and virtue require free will, which could not be considered truly free if it were not an independently existing quality. In this paper, I explain Ockham’s nominalist substance ontology and show how it functions as the sine qua non foundation for his uncompromising commitment to metaphysical libertarianism.
session 3
10. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association: Volume > 81
Kevin White Aquinas on Purpose
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Starting from Summa Theologiae 1.2.3.obj.2, I consider some aspects of the term propositum as it occurs in his works. The objection divides “everything thatappears in the world” into what is natural and what is a proposito, and argues that each of these can be accounted for by causes other than God. I suggest that what is a proposito be called “the purposed,” and I try to clarify Aquinas’s understanding of purpose in relation to other notions in his writings, in particular nature, fortune, and above all deliberation or “counsel,” which is the prelude to choice. After some reflection on the theme of “deliberated will” and on the contrast between deliberating and being deliberate, I return to Aquinas’s reply to the objection I began with, then conclude with reference to a recent discussion of the difference between ends and purposes.