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Faith and Philosophy

Volume 28, Issue 1, January 2011

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Displaying: 1-10 of 14 documents


1. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 28 > Issue: 1
Sarah Coakley Introduction: Faith, Rationality and The Passions
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2. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 28 > Issue: 1
Charles Taylor Reason, Faith, and Meaning
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There are two connected illusions which have become very common today. The first consists in marking a very sharp distinction between reason and faith—even to the point of defining faith as believing without good reason! The second is to take as a model of rationality what we might call “disengaged” reason. One illusion exaggerates the capacities of “reason alone” (allusion to Kant intended); the second sees reason as essentially “dispassionate.” Moreover, the two are closely linked. This paper argues against both, while exploring the link.
3. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 28 > Issue: 1
Paul J. Griffiths Tears and Weeping: An Augustinian View
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This essay describes and commends the treatment of tears and weeping in Augustine’s Confessions. It shows that Augustine depicts these acts as communicative of a particular judgment about the way things are; and that he understands these acts as a species of confession appropriate to the human condition. To become, or attempt to become, the kind of person who does not weep is to distance oneself from God; Augustine therefore commends weeping to Christians as a mode of establishing intimacy with God.
4. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 28 > Issue: 1
Eleonore Stump The Non-Aristotelian Character of Aquinas’s Ethics: Aquinas on the Passions
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Scholars discussing Aquinas’s ethics typically understand it as largely Aristotelian, though with some differences accounted for by the differences in world­view between Aristotle and Aquinas. In this paper, I argue against this view. I show that although Aquinas recognizes the Aristotelian virtues, he thinks they are not real virtues. Instead, for Aquinas, the passions—or the suitably formulated intellectual and volitional analogues to the passions—are not only the foundation of any real ethical life but also the flowering of what is best in it.
5. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 28 > Issue: 1
John Cottingham Sceptical Detachment or Loving Submission to the Good? Reason, Faith, and the Passions in Descartes
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The paper begins by challenging a received view of Descartes as preoccupied with scepticism and setting out entirely on his own to build up everything from scratch. In reality, his procedure in the Meditations presupposes trust in the mind’s reliable powers of rational intuition. God, the source of those powers, is never fully eclipsed by the darkness of doubt. The second section establishes some common links between the approach taken by Descartes in the Meditations and the ‘faith seeking understanding’ tradition. So far from insisting on the autonomy and independence of human inquiry, Descartes sees the meditator as finding freedom in spontaneous submission to both the natural light of reason and also the supernatural light of faith. The approach to God which lies at the heart of the Meditations in some ways resembles a direct cognitive encounter as much as a formal demonstrative proof. The paper’s final section deals with Descartes’ ‘incarnational’ theodicy of the passions. Lacking the clarity and transparency of intellectual perceptions, the passions can often lead to confusion and error. Nevertheless they are part of the (divinely bestowed) endowment of our human nature, which is not a pure intellect plugged into a machine, but a genuine psycho-physical unity. The passions can serve as valued auxiliaries of reason in the search for goodness and truth.
6. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 28 > Issue: 1
John Hare Kant, The Passions, and The Structure of Moral Motivation
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This paper is an account of Kant’s view of the passions, and their place in the structure of moral motivation. The paper lays out the relations Kant sees be­tween feelings, inclinations, affects and passions, by looking at texts in Metaphysics of Morals, Religion within the Boundaries of Mere Reason, Anthropology, and Lectures on Education. Then it discusses a famous passage in Groundwork about sympathetic inclination, and ends by proposing two ways in which Kant thinks feelings and inclinations enter into moral judgment, and two ways in which this can go wrong. This analysis involves responding to Karl Ameriks on the question of whether Kant is an internalist about moral motivation.
7. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 28 > Issue: 1
Douglas Hedley “The Monstrous Centaur”? Joseph de Maistre on Reason, Passion and Violence
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This essay remarks upon a seeming paradox in the philosophical anthropology of Joseph de Maistre (1753–1821). He presents a traditional Platonic asymmetry of reason and the passions. This is put to the service of an Origenistic-universalistic theology that revolves around questions of guilt, punishment and redemption and a theory of sacrifice. Maistre is far from being the irrationalist that many political theorists observe, even if he presents an antagonistic relationship between reason and passions, the rational self and its desires. The apparently grim and sanguinary Platonism of the Savoyard Count can be neatly compared with Kant and contrasted with Hume’s sanguine, if not breezy, view of reason as a slave to the passions.
8. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 28 > Issue: 1
Merold Westphal Kierkegaard on Faith, Reason, and Passion
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Religious faith is often critiqued as irrational either because its beliefs do not rise to the level of knowledge as defined by some philosophical theory or be­cause it rests on emotion rather than knowledge. Or both. Kierkegaard helps us to see how these arguments rest on a misunderstanding of all three terms: faith, reason, and emotion.
9. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 28 > Issue: 1
Peter Goldie Intellectual Emotions and Religious Emotions
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What is the best model of emotion if we are to reach a good understanding of the role of emotion in religious life? I begin by setting out a simple model of emotion, based on a paradigm emotional experience of fear of an immediate threat in one’s environment. I argue that the simple model neglects many of the complexities of our emotional lives, including in particular the complexities that one finds with the intellectual emotions. I then discuss how our dispositions to have these kinds of emotions, which are part of what it is to be a virtuous intellectual enquirer, are subject to vicissitudes, in particular brought about by depression, apathy and other damaging changes to our psychic economy. These changes can flatten affect, so that one’s intellectual life goes cold on one. Finally, I commend the idea of applying this model of intellectual emotion onto religious emotion.
book reviews
10. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 28 > Issue: 1
Nicholas Wolterstorff Crossing the Threshold of Divine Revelation
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