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1. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 25 > Issue: 2
Daniel H. Spencer Evolution, Middle Knowledge, and Theodicy: A Philosophical Reflection
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In this paper, I investigate the relationship between a nonlapsarian, evolutionary account of the origin of sin and the potential ramifications this might have for theodicy. I begin by reviving an early twentieth century evolutionary model of the origin of sin before discussing the most prominent objection which it elicits, namely, that if sin is merely the misuse of natural animal passions and habits, then God is ultimately answerable for the existence of sin in the human sphere (the “Responsibility Argument”). Though I suggest that this argument likely misfires, my main concern lies elsewhere. For the proponent of the Responsibility Argument will customarily reject an evolutionary account of sin’s origin and instead endorse something like the traditional Fall account—the doctrine of Origi­nal Sin. I argue, however, that the Fall theory is also clearly subject to a parallel Responsibility Argument, so long as we take God to possess (minimally) Molina’s scientia media. While I will not pretend to have solved every issue in my discus­sion of Molinism, still the desired conclusion should emerge unscathed: if the Responsibility Argument is a problem for an evolutionary account of the origin of sin, then it is a problem for the Fall doctrine, too.
2. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 25 > Issue: 2
Alex R. Gillham Threats, Coercion, and Willingness to Damn: Three More Objections against the Unpopulated Hell View
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In this paper, I develop and evaluate three new objections to the Un­populated Hell View (UHV). First, I consider whether UHV is false because it presupposes that God makes threats, which a perfect being would not do. Second, I evaluate the argument that UHV is false because it entails that God coerces us and therefore limits our freedom to an objectionable degree. Third, I consider whether UHV is false because it implies that God is willing to damn some individuals to Hell. I conclude that none of these objections defeats UHV. First, even if God’s creation or allowance of Hell constitutes a threat, a perfect God might choose to threaten us when doing so is in our best interest. Second, God’s creation or allowance of Hell is not coercive and does not limit our freedom to an objectionable degree. Third, although damnation in Hell is possible, God is unwilling to actualize it. In light of these findings, I stand by the conclusion from my initial article: UHV merits further consideration as a solution to the Problem of Hell.
3. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 25 > Issue: 2
Marcus William Hunt Exorcism and Justified Belief in Demons
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The paper offers a three-premise argument that a person with first-hand experience of possession and exorcism, such as an exorcist, can have a justified belief in the existence of demons. (1) “Exorcism involves a process by which the exorcist comes to believe that testimony is offered by a demon.” Cited for (1) are the Gospels, the Roman Ritual, some modern cases of exorcism, and exorcism practices in non-Christian contexts. (2) “If defeaters are absent, the exorcist may treat as reliable the process by which he comes to believe that testimony is offered by a demon.” For (2) a case is offered that we have a reliable ability to identify when testimony is being offered and when it is being offered by particular types of agents, what is termed testifier-identification. (3) “In many cases of exorcism, defeaters are absent.” An inductive case is given for (3) by responding to possible defeaters, including several suggested recently by David Kyle Johnson. Therefore, in many cases of exorcism the exorcist may treat as reliable the processes by which he comes to believe that testimony is offered by a demon, and so can have a justified belief in the existence of demons.
4. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 25 > Issue: 2
Anna Bogatyńska-Kucharska The Doctrine of Double Effect: A Comparison of the Version of Thomas Aquinas and Contemporary Accounts as Formulated by Joseph Mangan and Joseph Boyle
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The aim of the article is to present some of the differences and similari­ties in various versions of the double effect principle (DDE or PDE). The following formulations will be analyzed: that of Thomas Aquinas and two contemporary ap­proaches, namely those of Mangan and Boyle. It will be shown that the presented modern versions vary significantly and the distinction between their intended and only predicted effects is far from clear. As a result, the different contemporary formulations of DDE lead to contradictory conclusions, with some justifying what others condemn. Moreover, it will be demonstrated that, unlike Aquinas, contem­porary authors mostly concentrate on unintentionality condition while neglecting the proportionality requirement. So, unlike Aquinas, they only take into account a narrow scope of cases, where the evil effect occurs with certainty, which leads to a complicated and intricate hypothetical intention test like Donagan’s. It will be shown that, besides its theoretical indistinctness, DDE lead to serious pragmatic risks. It can be quite easily misused as a kind of psychological mechanism to protect self-esteem from a sense of guilt since wrong-doing is treated as merely a predicted unintended effect.
5. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 25 > Issue: 2
Richard Taye Oyelakin Can Scientists Help Philosophers Regarding the Nature of Phenomenal Experience?
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In response to Putnam’s computational hypothesis on the question of the nature of the mind, Searle and Churchland argue that the nature of mental states essentially consists of neurophysiological processes in an organic brain. However, this seems to imply that mental states are products of the brain and thus, contra Putnam, that an adequate account of mental states which excludes an implementing organic structure is impossible. To this extent, an attempt is made in the paper to structure a biological-organic program. By this structure, it is identified that mental state is a process of the whole organism which necessarily produces phenomenal experience. However, if phenomenal experience is a product of mental states, which consists in neural firings in the brain, then it appears the problem is reducible to a question of how; i.e. how does the brain do it? In turn, this may direct our attention to neuroscientists. However, the paper argues that even perceptual internalism, which is the theoretical basis of contemporary neuroscience, may not really be of help in this case. It is argued that the experimentation and observation which foreground scientific enquiry may not be able to sufficiently account for the how question without leaving some other questions unanswered. As a result, a seemingly implied otherworldly reality or principle is explored. It is submitted that our natural tendency and apparatus (what else do we have) do not appear to lead us forward. Again, withdrawing back to our natural system, our deficient human nature requires us to tread with caution but hopefully, perhaps, we may eventually make progress in this regard.
6. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 25 > Issue: 2
Per Bjørnar Grande Girard’s Optimism
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This article contains a discussion on René Girard’s understanding of the positive sides of imitation—despite the ambivalent nature of desire. Historically speaking, the discovery of the scapegoat mechanism made a great contribution towards limiting violence. The decomposition of the scapegoat mechanism, and its power to find non-violent alternatives, has paved the way for a culture with numerous opportunities. Even if humans constantly rival one another, one must understand and define the close relationship between competition, cooperation, and rivalry. To be able to see the positive sides of mimesis, one needs to have a robust understanding of human nature as competitive and, thereby, see friendship and competition as closely related. Learning and creativity can actually become optimal when there is a high degree of competition. Fierce competition today is allowed because of the taboo against violence. The decomposition of myth has destroyed archaic societies but, at the same time, created problems of an apocalyptic kind. Increasingly, cultures are now de­veloping without the shelter that sacrificial society previously provided. Positive human development, as is evident in the demystifying of violent myths and the increased concern for victims, cannot stem the power of global terror. Despite greater pessimism in his later works, Girard’s hope is that, through the model of Christ, people will finally learn to love their neighbours as themselves. A change of heart is to a certain degree capable to lead people towards the same kind of non-differentiated love as God.
7. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 25 > Issue: 2
Cezary Zalewski From “catharsis in the text” to “catharsis of the text.”: “A Marginal Commentary on Aristotle’s Poetics” by Roman Ingarden in the (critical) light of mimetic theory
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Roman Ingarden (1893–1970) was a prominent Polish philosopher, phenomenologist, and student of Edmund Husserl. A characteristic feature of his works was the almost complete absence of analyzes from the history of philosophy. That is why it is so surprising that right after the end of World War II, the first text analyzed when Ingarden started working at the Jagiellonian University was Aristotle’s “Poetics.” Ingarden published the results of his research in Polish in 1948 in “Kwartalnik Filozoficzny” and in the early 1960s his essay was translated and published in the renowned American magazine “The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism” as “A Marginal Commentary on Aristotle’s Poetics.” As far as I know today, this text does not arouse much interest among the many commentators and followers of Ingarden’s philosophy. Perhaps this state of affairs is justified: Ingarden’s own ideas are only repeated here, and their usefulness in the meaning of “Poetics” remains far from obvious. However, I think that this relative obscurity is worth considering now, because it shows how modern reason tries to control ancient concepts. The main purpose of this article is therefore to recon­struct the strategy by which philosophy tames the text of “Poetics,” especially its concepts such as catharsis and mimesis. The discovery and presentation of these treatments would not have been possible were it not for the mimetic theory of René Girad, which provides anthropological foundations for a critique of philosophical discourse.
book reviews
8. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 25 > Issue: 2
Mark K. Spencer Jacek Woroniecki. The Polish Christian Philosophy in the 20th Century
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9. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 25 > Issue: 2
Francisco E. Plaza Mieczysław Gogacz. The Polish Christian Philosophy in the 20th Century
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10. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 25 > Issue: 2
Reviewers of Articles Submitted in 2020
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11. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 25 > Issue: 2
Note about Forum Philosophicum
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