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articles
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 34 > Issue: 1
Jerome Gellman, A Surviving Version of the Common Sense Problem of Evil: A Reply to Tweedt
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Chris Tweedt has offered a solution to the “common sense problem of evil,” on which that there is gratuitous evil is justified non-inferentially as a trivial inference from non-inferentially justified premises by invoking versions of CORNEA. Tweedt claims his solution applies not only to the versions of the common sense problem of evil offered by Paul Draper and Trent Dougherty, but also to that offered by me in this journal in 1992. Here I argue that Tweedt fails to defeat this version of the problem. So even if Tweedt’s response to Draper and Dougherty is successful, a version of the common sense problem of evil survives.
6. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 34 > Issue: 1
William Hasker, Molinism’s Freedom Problem: A Reply to Cunningham
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Arthur Cunningham has asserted that my argument targeting the “freedom problem” for Molinism is unsuccessful. I show that while he has correctly identified two minor (and correctible) problems with the argument, Cunningham’s main criticisms are ineffective. This is mainly because he has failed to appreciate the complex dialectical situation created by the use of a reductio ad absurdum argument. The result is to underscore the difficulty for Molinism of the freedom problem.
book reviews
7. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 34 > Issue: 1
W. Jay Wood, Vainglory: The Forgotten Vice, by Rebecca Konyndyk DeYoung
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8. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 34 > Issue: 1
Glen Pettigrove, Anger and Forgiveness: Resentment, Generosity, Justice, by Martha Nussbaum
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9. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 34 > Issue: 1
Andrew Ter Ern Loke, In Defense of Conciliar Christology: A Philosophical Essay, by Timothy Pawl
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articles
10. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 33 > Issue: 4
Richard Cross, Duns Scotus on Divine Immensity
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In a recent article, Hud Hudson analyses divine omnipresence in terms of a spatial property, ubiquitous entension, neither reducible to nor derivative from any other divine attribute. Hudson’s view is an alternative to the predominant view in recent philosophical theology, in which omnipresence is reduced to omnipotence. I show that Duns Scotus adopts a view that conforms very closely to Hudson’s account, and show how he argues against the derivative view, which he finds in Aquinas. Hudson claims that ubiquitous entension helps dissolve the mystery of causal interactions between God and creatures. Scotus argues against this claim. He also argues against the view taken by Hudson that entension entails materiality. While fundamentally agreeing with Hudson’s basic position, then, Scotus nevertheless provides challenges both for Hudson and his opponents.