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articles
1. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 79 > Issue: 3
Roopen Majithia On the Eudemian and Nicomachean Conceptions of Eudaimonia
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The gathering consensus on the inclusive/exclusive debate regarding happiness in the Nicomachean Ethics seems to be that both sides of the story are partly right. For while the life of happiness (understood as the total life of an individual) is inclusive of ethical and contemplative virtue among other things, the central activity of happiness is exclusively contemplation. The discussions of the Eudemian Ethics, on the other hand, seem to suggest that this text is broadly inclusive. The view I defend here is that the Eudemian text is no more and no less inclusive that the Nicomachean version, although there are significant differences between them in terms of the life of contemplation. That is, I argue that the Eudemian Ethics is concerned with the political life and the actualization of theōria in this context, and suggest that the Nicomachean Ethics is concerned with contemplation in the context of both political and philosophical lives.
2. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 79 > Issue: 3
Benjamin Brown Bonaventure on the Impossibility of a Beginningless World: Why the Traversal Argument Works
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Th is paper examines St. Bonaventure’s arguments for the impossibility of a beginningless world, taking into consideration their historical background and context. His argument for the impossibility of traversing the infinite is explored at greater length, taking into account the classic objection to this argument. It is argued that Bonaventure understood the issues at hand quite well and that histraversal argument is valid. Because of the nature of an actually infinite multitude, the difference between the infinite by division and the infinite by addition collapses and a beginningless past entails a day infinitely distant from the present, as Bonaventure claims. Because such a chasm is not traversable, as virtually everyone admits, Bonaventure’s conclusion that the world must have a beginning is correct.
3. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 79 > Issue: 3
Jan A. Aertsen Aquinas and the Human Desire for Knowledge
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This essay examines Aquinas’s analysis of the human desire to know, which plays a central role in his thought. (I.) This analysis confronts him with the Aristotelian tradition: thus, the desire for knowledge is a “natural” desire. (II.) It also confronts him with the Augustinian tradition, which deplores a non-virtuous desire in human beings that is called “curiosity.” (III.) Aquinas connects the natural desire with the Neoplatonic circle motif: principle and end are identical. The final end of the desire to know is the knowledge of God. (IV.) Aquinas also connects the end of the natural desire to know with Christian eschatology, teaching that man’s ultimate end is the visio Dei. This end, however, is “supernatural.” (V.) Duns Scotus severely criticizes central aspects of Aquinas’s account. (VI.) As a rejoinder to Scotus’s objections, we finally consider Aquinas’s view on the proper object of the human intellect.
4. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 79 > Issue: 3
Craig A. Boyd Participation Metaphysics in Aquinas’s Theory of Natural Law
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Interpreters of Aquinas’s theory of natural law have occasionally argued that the theory has no need for God. Some, such as Anthony Lisska, wish to avoid an interpretation that construes the theory as an instance of theological definism. Instead Lisska sees Aquinas’s ontology of natural kinds as central to the theory. In his zeal to eliminate God from Aquinas’s theory of natural law, Lisska has overlooked two important features of the theory. First, Aquinas states that the desire for God is a primary precept of the natural law and thus constitutes a critical aspect of his ontology. Secondly, Aquinas’s theory of natural law must be seen in the larger context of his theory of participation since he says, “The natural law is the rational creature’s participation in the eternal law.”
5. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 79 > Issue: 3
Ian Leask Ethics Overcomes Finitude: Levinas, Kant, and the Davos Legacy
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This article situates Levinas’s reading of Kant in terms of his opposition to Heidegger. It suggests that, although Levinas and Heidegger both put great stress upon the affective aspect of Kant’s philosophy, ultimately they diverge sharply over the issue of finitude: where Heidegger’s Kant suggests that there is “nothing but finite Dasein,” Levinas stresses the significance of transcending finitude, ethically. In this respect, Levinas’s Kant-reading converges strongly with the interpretation Heidegger so strongly opposed—Cassirer’s. And, as such, Levinas’s anti-Heideggerian position commits him—perhaps surprisingly—to a kind of neo-Kantian Manichaeism: on the one hand, finite and sense-less Being; on the other, an ethical intrigue beyond ontology. The article concludes that Levinas thereby maintains (rather than “deconstructs”) central schisms of High Modernity.
6. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 79 > Issue: 3
John Deely Defining the Semiotic Animal: A Postmodern Definition of Human Being Superseding the Modern Definition “Res Cogitans”
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As modernity began with a redefinition of the human being, so does postmodernity. But whereas the modern definition of the human being as res cogitans cut human animals off from both their very animality and the world of nature out of which they evolved and upon which they depend throughout life, the postmodern definition as semeiotic animal both overcomes the separation from nature and restores the animality essential to human being in this life. Semiotics, the doctrine of signs suggested by Augustine and theoretically justified by Poinsot, developed in our own day after Peirce, introduces postmodernity by overcoming the Kantian epistemological limits on the side of ens reale and showing the social constructions superordinate to ens reale as essential to animal life.
review articles
7. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 79 > Issue: 3
Thomas Williams Aquinas in Dialogue with Contemporary Philosophy: Eleonore Stump’s Aquinas
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In her volume on Aquinas for Routledge’s “Arguments of the Philosophers” series, Eleonore Stumps aims at an interpretation of Aquinas that is historically faithful but also responsive to the concerns of contemporary philosophers. I assess her success in attaining this twofold aim by examining in detail Stump’s overview of Aquinas’s metaphysics, which engages with contemporary debates over constitution and identity, and her interpretation of Aquinas’s account of justice, which brings Aquinas into dialogue with Annette Baier and Thomas Nagel. I conclude with a brief evaluation of the merits of Stump’s twofold aim.
8. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 79 > Issue: 3
Johannes M.M.H. Thijssen Prolegomena to a Study of John Buridan’s Physics
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After a brief sketch of the state of Buridan studies, this review article examines the recent study, by Benoît Patar, of a commentary on Aristotle’s Physics that is generally attributed to Albert of Saxony, but which Patar believes to have been authored by John Buridan (the text is preserved in the manuscript Bruges, Stadsbibliotheek 477, fols. 60va–163vb, and was edited by Patar himself in 1999). Patar is utterly convinced that the Bruges Quaestiones represent Buridan’s prima lectura, that is, his first course of lectures on the Physics, which preceded the two other redactions that are traditionally attributed to him. However, there is no textual evidence in support of this assumption, but only speculative circumstantial evidence. The article therefore rejects Patar’s thesis as highly problematic.
book reviews
9. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 79 > Issue: 3
Johannes Fritsche Heidegger’s Roots: Nietzsche, National Socialism, and the Greeks
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10. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 79 > Issue: 3
Christopher Kaczor Aquinas’s Philosophical Commentary on the Ethics: A Historical Perspective
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11. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 79 > Issue: 3
Robert J. Deltete Deeper Than Darwin: The Prospect for Religion in the Age of Evolution
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12. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 79 > Issue: 3
Michael Ewbank Culture and the Thomist Tradition After Vatican II
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books received
13. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 79 > Issue: 3
Books Received
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