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articles
1. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 77 > Issue: 1
James McEvoy Too Many Friends or None at All? A “Difference” Between Aristotle and Postmodernity
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Diogenes Laertius preserved a saying of Aristotle, “He who has friends can have no true friend.” This was mistranslated by Erasmus and gave rise to the words Montaigne attributed to Aristotle, “O mes amis, il n’y a nul amy.” Kant and Nietzsche both used the saying in this sense, which is in fact a contresens. The original Greek words carried much of the sense of ancient friendship, being a warning against polyphilia and a reminder that intimacy is the central value of friendship. This meaning was turned upside down to become an emblem of the lonely subject at the core of modernity.
2. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 77 > Issue: 1
Thomas V. Upton Aristotle on Monsters and the Generation of Kinds
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In this paper I present an interpretation of a phrase used throughout Aristotle’s Metaphysics: “man begets man.” Basing my interpretation on Aristotle’s account of the generation of animals in general and of monsters (terata) in particular, I argue that the universal genus and the universal species have causal roles to play in the generation of animals. Because the movements in the male sperm of the universal species and the universal genus (though the species and genus do not exist separately) are real, and are actual, not potential, movements, I maintain that the roles of these universals normally precede the further particularization of the developing embryo by the movements in the sperm of the particular father. I show that the roles of the movements of the genus and species are most clear in the case of the generation of monsters. I believe that the often neglected topic of the generation of monsters has important implications for Aristotle’s view of metaphysics and scientific demonstration.
3. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 77 > Issue: 1
John A. Laumakis Weisheipl’s Interpretation of Avicebron’s Doctrine of the Divine Will: Is Avicebron a Voluntarist?
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In his interpretation of Avicebron’s doctrine of the divine will, Weisheipl claims that Avicebron is a voluntarist because he holds that God’s will is superior to God’s intelligence. Yet, by reexamining his Fons vitae, I argue that Avicebron is not a voluntarist. For, according to Avicebron, God’s will can be considered in two ways—(1) as inactive or (2) as active—and in neither case is God’s will superior to God’s intelligence. I conclude by noting that if, as Weisheipl contends, Avicebron—and not Augustine—was the source of the voluntarism that characterized thirteenth-century Augustinianism, that was the case only because thirteenth-century Christian thinkers misunderstood—as Weisheipl has—Avicebron’s doctrine of the divine will. For, in fact, Avicebron is not a voluntarist.
4. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 77 > Issue: 1
Mark D. Gossiaux Thomas Aquinas and Giles of Rome on the Existence of God as Self-Evident
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Thomas Aquinas holds that the existence of God is self-evident in itself (because God’s essence is his existence) but not to us (since we do not know the divine essence). Giles of Rome agrees with the first part of Thomas’s claim, but he parts company with Aquinas by maintaining that God’s existence is self-evident to the wise. Since the wise can know that God is his existence, they cannot think of him as not existing. This paper reexamines Thomas’s teaching in the light of Giles’s criticisms. By examining closely what is involved in the claim that God’s essence is his existence, and how one’s knowledge of this claim is related to the knowledge that God exists, it argues that Thomas’s position has the resources to withstand Giles’s objections.
5. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 77 > Issue: 1
Michael J. Cholbi Contingency and Divine Knowledge in Ockham
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Ockham appeared to maintain that God necessarily knows all true propositions, including future contingent propositions, despite the fact that such propositions have determinate truth values. While some commentators believe that Ockham’s attempt to reconcile divine omniscience with the contingency of true future propositions amounts to little more than a simple-minded assertion of Ockham’s Christian faith, I argue that Ockham’s position is more sophisticated than this and rests on attributing to God a dual knowledge property: God not only knows every true proposition, but knows its modal properties as well. Future contingent propositions are determinately true when actualized, not timelessly, and God’s knowledge of their truth values is knowledge of when the truth value of a proposition is actually determined.
6. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 77 > Issue: 1
Stephen Fields, S.J. The Singular as Event: Postmodernism, Rahner, and Balthasar
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Postmodernism’s unifying theme of the absent center raises an important question for metaphysics done in the Catholic tradition. Is novelty a “totally other” that utterly eludes human knowing? In posing this question, postmodernism spurs this tradition on to consider afresh how it integrates novelty and contingency. The following study concludes that no adequate account of this integration is possible without a rich concept of the singular. Rahner’s and Balthasar’s metaphysics of the singular shows that contingency, far from being an impasse to a deeper penetration into reality, is the heart of creative process in both human and non-human events. Rahner’s doctrine of substance and Balthasar’s doctrine of analogy deconstruct the relativism in postmodernism’s view of the singular, even as they develop a more extensive view of the singular for which some strains of postmodernism seem instinctively to be groping.
discussion article
7. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 77 > Issue: 1
Janice L. Schultz-Aldrich Revisiting Aquinas on “Naturalism”: A Response to Patrick Lee
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This article defends as correct and as faithful to Aquinas’s thought the tenets of “descriptivism” (sometimes called “naturalism”) in the context of criticisms that Patrick Lee has made in “Is Thomas’s Natural Law Theory Naturalist?” (American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 71:4 [1997]: 567–87). “Revisiting Aquinas” argues that evaluative utterances are descriptive; so even if human goods were immediately known by practical reason (a position nonetheless rejected), their understanding would be a descriptive one, which moral objectivity requires. The arising of the prescriptivity of precepts in relation to practical reason is then treated. The descriptivism articulated in this paper supports Lee’s emphasis on the primacy of love and choice; it further stresses that submission to an understood order of objective goods is essential to willing well.
book reviews
8. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 77 > Issue: 1
Michelle Boulous Walker Driven Back to the Text: The Premodern Source of Levinas’s Postmodernism
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9. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 77 > Issue: 1
Thomas Ewens Phenomenology and Lacan on Schizophrenia After the Decade of the Brain
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10. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 77 > Issue: 1
Michael Harrington Vom Einen Zum Vielen: Texte des Neoplatismus im 12. Jahrhundert
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11. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 77 > Issue: 1
Mary Beth Ingham, C.S.J. World as Word: Philosophical Theology in Gerard Manley Hopkins
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12. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 77 > Issue: 1
Books Received
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