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Displaying: 1-10 of 1598 documents

1. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 34 > Issue: 2
A. J. Cotnoir, Mutual Indwelling
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Perichoresis, or “mutual indwelling,” is a crucial concept in Trinitarian theology. But the philosophical underpinnings of the concept are puzzling. According to ordinary conceptions of “indwelling” or “being in,” it is incoherent to think that two entities could be in each other. In this paper, I propose a mereological way of understanding “being in,” by analogy with standard examples in contemporary metaphysics. I argue that this proposal does not conflict with the doctrine of divine simplicity, but instead affirms it. I conclude by discussing how mutual indwelling relates to the concepts of unity (modal inseparability) and identity (qualitative indiscernibility).
2. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 34 > Issue: 2
Shieva Kleinschmidt, Atheistic Prayer
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In this paper I will argue, contrary to common assumptions, that rational atheistic prayer is possible. I will formulate and respond to two powerful arguments against the possibility of atheistic prayer: first, an argument that the act of prayer involves an intention to communicate to God, precluding disbelief in God’s existence; second, an argument claiming that reaching out to God through prayer requires believing God might exist, precluding rational disbelief in God. In showing options for response to these arguments, I will describe a model on which atheistic prayer is not only possible, but is on a par with theistic prayer in many more ways than one might expect.
3. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 34 > Issue: 2
Tomas Bogardus, Mallorie Urban, How to Tell Whether Christians and Muslims Worship the Same God
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Do Muslims and Christians worship the same God? We answer: it depends. To begin, we clear away some specious arguments surrounding this issue, to make room for the central question: What determines the reference of a name, and under what conditions do names shift reference? We’ll introduce Gareth Evans’s theory of reference, on which a name refers to the dominant source of information in that name’s “dossier,” and we then develop the theory’s notion of dominance. We conclude that whether Muslims’ use of “Allah” co-refers with Christians’ use of “God” depends on how much weight is given to what type of information in the dossiers of these two names, and we offer a two-part test by which the reader can determine whether Muslim and Christian uses of the divine names co-refer: If Christianity were true and Islam false, might “Allah” still refer to God? And: If Islam were true and Christianity false, might “God” still refer to Allah? We explain the implications of your answers to those questions, and we close with a few reflections about what, in addition to reference, might be required for worship, and whether, from a Christian perspective, salvation turns on this issue.
4. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 34 > Issue: 2
Dennis Vanden Auweele, Reconciliation, Incarnation, and Headless Hegelianism
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A number of contemporary authors (e.g., Catherine Malabou, Slavoj Žižek, and John Caputo) claim that Hegel’s Religionsphilosophie provides important insights for contemporary philosophy of religion. John Caputo argues that Hegel’s notion of incarnation as radical kenosis is a powerful tool for postmodern Radical Theology. In this essay, I scrutinize this claim by balancing Hegel’s notion of incarnation with his notion of recognition—the latter of which Caputo removes from a “headless Hegelianism.” I argue that a non-Hegelian, non-dialectic sense of recognition ought to be introduced in contemporary philosophy of religion to remove the confrontation with the Other from the realm of radical trauma.
5. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 34 > Issue: 2
Thomas Williams, Anselm on Free Choice and Character Formation
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Character formation is a central theme in Katherin Rogers’s Freedom and Self-Creation: Anselmian Libertarianism. According to Rogers, Anselm holds that the purpose of free choice is to afford creatures the possibility of creating their own characters through their free choices. I argue that Anselm has no doctrine of character formation. Accordingly, he does not hold the view of the purpose of free choice that Rogers attributes to him. Creatures cannot bring about justice in themselves, let alone increase it by their own efforts; any moral progress is divine gift, not creaturely achievement. I offer an alternative account of the purpose of free choice.
book reviews
6. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 34 > Issue: 2
Jeff Snapper, Skeptical Theism: New Essays, ed. Trent Dougherty and Justin P. McBrayer
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7. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 34 > Issue: 1
Kenneth L. Pearce, Counterpossible Dependence and the Efficacy of the Divine Will
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The will of an omnipotent being would be perfectly efficacious. Alexander Pruss and I have provided an analysis of perfect efficacy that relies on non-trivial counterpossible conditionals. Scott Hill has objected that not all of the required counterpossibles are true of God. Sarah Adams has objected that perfect efficacy of will (on any analysis) would be an extrinsic property and so is not suitable as a divine attribute. I argue that both of these objections can be answered if the divine will is taken to be the ground, rather than the cause, of its fulfillment.
8. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 34 > Issue: 1
Jonathan Curtis Rutledge, Commonsense, Skeptical Theism, and Different Sorts of Closure of Inquiry Defeat
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Trent Dougherty argues (contra Jonathan Matheson) that when taking into consideration the probabilities involving skeptical theism (ST) and gratuitous evils, an agent may reasonably affirm both ST and that gratuitous evils exist. In other words, Dougherty thinks that assigning a greater than .5 probability to ST is insufficient to defeat the commonsense problem of evil. I argue that Dougherty’s response assumes, incorrectly, that ST functions solely as an evidential defeater, and that, when understood as a closure of inquiry defeater, ST may still defeat reasonable belief in gratuitous evils, even in the face of strong evidence that gratuitous evils exist.
9. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 34 > Issue: 1
Joshua Lee Harris, Analogy in Aquinas: The Alston-Wolterstorff Debate Revisited
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In the last decade there arose a debate between William P. Alston and Nicholas Wolterstorff on the subject of Thomas Aquinas’s doctrine of analogia—that is, the position that perfection terms, when properly predicated of God and of creatures, are distinct, yet related in meaning. Whereas Alston interprets Aquinas to hold this well-known position before criticizing it, Wolterstorff argues that Aquinas actually did not hold the position as it is usually presented. In this paper, I show why Alston’s “orthodox” interpretation is more faithful to the letter of Aquinas’s text than is Wolterstorff’s “heterodoxy” and attempt to defuse Alston’s criticisms.
10. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 34 > Issue: 1
Alonso Villarán, Kant’s Highest Good: The “Beck-Silber Controversy” in the Spanish-Speaking World
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In the 1960s Lewis White Beck criticized Kant’s highest good as a moral concept. In 1963 John Silber responded. Thus, the “Beck-Silber controversy.” This paper explores such controversy in the Spanish literature. It begins identifying four criticisms: the problems of heteronomy, derivation, impossibility, and irrelevance. It then identifies a new problem rescued from the Spanish literature: dualism. After categorizing, following Matthew Caswell, the Spanish defenses into revisionists, secularizers, and maximalists, this paper assesses these defenses. The paper also translates sections of such literature into English and leaves us closer to a complete defense of the highest good by salvaging what it can of the Spanish literature’s unique points.