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articles
1. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 17 > Issue: 2
Dale Jacquette Faith as a Mustard Seed
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This investigation of the concept of faith is divided into two parts. Part One evaluates a topical philosophical interpretation of faith as irreducibly disjunctive, collecting the best fragmented ideas as to what constitutes faith in a recent family resemblance exposition as an objective for an adequate essentialist analysis of the concept of faith to achieve. Part Two offers a more extended essentialist analysis of the concept of faith as unconditional patience in the eventuality of a positive future state, and a detailed reduction of six supposedly disparate family resemblance senses of faith to this single definition. Criteria for a satisfactoryanalysis of faithfulness are considered and defended. In contrast with what has become a standard doxastic-epistemic interpretation of faith as persistent unjustified or even unjustifiable belief, a concept of faith is advanced that appears to satisfy the necessary and sufficient criteria identified. Systematic comparisonwith a variety of usages of the word “faith” suggests that the analysis agrees with many and arguably most applications of this sometimes loosely understood term.Implications of the analysis of the concept of faith are considered and defended against anticipated objections. Pascal’s wager is critically examined in relationto matters of religious faith, along with positivist meaningfulness requirements that seem to conflict especially with epistemically ungrounded belief, the powerof faith, and the metaphorical size of mustard seeds. The inquiry concludes with a synthesis of five aspects of six supposedly distinct senses of faith under the single essentialist reductive umbrella of unconditional patience in the eventuality of a positive future state.
2. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 17 > Issue: 2
Daniel Gustafsson The Beauty of Christian Art
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This paper deals with beauty as we encounter it in Christian works of art. Three main points are argued: (i) beauty, as it appears in the Christian work of art, is an invitation to delight and gratitude; (ii) beauty, as we encounter it in the Christian work of art, asks of us both the deepening of discernment and the cultivation of desire; (iii) beauty, as it is manifested in the Christian work of art, is not created by the artist but is bestowed as a gift of God. Firstly, beauty must be recognised as giving delight. In defending this claim, the paper argues against theories which identify beauty with pleasure, and which devalue or dismiss beauty based on this false identification. Further, beauty does not only give, but also—as a gift—makes a claim upon us. Gratitude is the appropriate response to beauty’s gift. Secondly, beauty as manifested in beautiful particulars embedded in the material and cultural world requires discernment. Moreover, we must embody a real receptiveness to beauty—by becoming beautiful ourselves—through the cultivation of desire. A full response to beauty entails the reorientation of our vision as well as our volition towards the infinite beauty of God. Thirdly, though beauty is manifestly present in made-made objects, it is so as a gift of God. This understanding is supported by emphasising the Trinitarian nature of beauty. It is proposed that beauty is best identified not with the Son but with the Holy Spirit.
3. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 17 > Issue: 2
Francis Jonbäck How to Be a Friendly Skeptical Theist
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In this paper Skeptical Theism is described, applied and defended. Furthermore, William Rowe’s position of Friendly Atheism is described and a version of Friendly Theism suggested. It is shown that Skeptical Theism can be defended against two common arguments and that skeptical theists might be able to adopt the position of Friendly Theism.
4. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 17 > Issue: 2
Martin Lembke Grim, Omniscience, and Cantor’s Theorem
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Although recent evidence is somewhat ambiguous, if not confusing, Patrick Grim still seems to believe that his Cantorian argument against omniscienceis sound. According to this argument, it follows by Cantor’s power set theorem that there can be no set of all truths. Hence, assuming that omniscience presupposes precisely such a set, there can be no omniscient being. Reconsidering this argument, however, guided in particular by Alvin Plantinga’s critique thereof, I find it far from convincing. Not only does it have an enormously untoward side effect, but it is self-referentially incoherent as well.
5. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 17 > Issue: 2
Anna Zhyrkova The Philosophical Originality of a Theologian: The Case of a Patristic Author Forgotten and Overlooked by History
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This paper explores possible reasons for the comparatively low estimation of the potential philosophical significance of Byzantine theological thought, which, in contemporary studies, is frequently viewed as lacking philosophical depth and originality. The ultimate question here, though, is whether we should grant that theology may, in fact, contain original and valuable philosophy. In order to subject the issues involved to scrutiny, I undertake an analysis of the important case of the legacy of John of Damascus, which, in my opinion, actually furnishes some answers to these questions.
6. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 17 > Issue: 2
Tadeusz Grzesik Faith and Conscience—The Surest of Arguments for the Existence of God
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In the first part of my paper, I shall consider how Anselm of Canterbury’s so-called ontological argument has been misapprehended by those treating it as a proof for the existence of God. In the second part, I shall focus on Chapter One of the Proslogion and on the Epistola de incarnatione Verbi to show what Anselm’s real purpose was regarding the problem of the existence of God. I shall support my view by referring also to the thought of John Henry Newman and Henri de Lubac.
book reviews and summaries
7. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 17 > Issue: 2
Józef Bremer Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False by Thomas Nagel
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8. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 17 > Issue: 2
Anna Zhyrkova Orthodox Readings of Aquinas by Marcus Plested
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9. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 17 > Issue: 2
Andrey Darovskikh Gregory of Nyssa: Ancient and (Post)modern by Morwenna Ludlow
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summaries
10. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 17 > Issue: 2
Roman Darowski Filozofia Jezuitów na ziemiach dawnej Rzeczypospolitej w XIX wieku [The Philosophy of the Jesuits in the Territories ofthe Former Commonwealth: Poland, Lithuania, Belarus and Ukraine in the 19th Century] by Roman Darowski
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11. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 17 > Issue: 2
Reviewers of Articles Published in 2012
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12. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 17 > Issue: 2
Note about Forum Philosophicum
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articles
13. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 17 > Issue: 1
Hans Goller Mortal Body, Immortal Mind: Does the Brain Really Produce Consciousness?
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Neuroscientists keep telling us that the brain produces consciousness and consciousness does not survive brain death because it ceases when brain activityceases. Research findings on near-death-experiences during cardiac arrest contradict this widely held conviction. They raise perplexing questions with regardto our current understanding of the relationship between consciousness and brain functions. Reports on veridical perceptions during out-of-body experiences suggest that consciousness may be experienced independently of a functioning brain and that self-consciousness may continue even after the termination of brain activity. Data on studies of near-death-experiences could be an incentive to develop alternative theories of the body-mind relation as seen in contemporary neuroscience.
14. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 17 > Issue: 1
Leslie Armour Morality and The Three-fold Existence of God
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Arguments about the existence of a being who is infinite and perfect involve claims about a being who must appear in all the orders and dimensions of reality.Anything else implies finitude. Ideas about goodness seem inseparable from arguments about the existence of God and Kant’s claim that such arguments ultimately belong to moral theology seems plausible. The claim that we can rely on the postulates of pure practical reason is stronger than many suppose. But one must show that a being who is infinite and perfect is even possible, and any such being must be present in the physical world as well as in what Pascal called the orders of the intellect and morality (which he called the order of charity). Indeed, locating God in the various orders without creating conflicts is problematic. Such arguments are necessarily difficult and sometimes self-defeating but I argue in this paper that there is a promising path.
15. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 17 > Issue: 1
Yann Schmitt Hume on Miracles: The Issue of Question—Begging
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Hume’s chapter “Of Miracles” has been widely discussed, and one issue is that Hume seems to simply beg the question. Hume has a strong but implicit naturalist bias when he argues against the existence of reliable testimony for miracles. In this article, I explain that Hume begs the question, despite what he says about the possibility of miracles occurring. The main point is that he never describes a violation of the laws of nature that could not be explained by scientific theories.
16. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 17 > Issue: 1
Anna Tomaszewska McDowell and Perceptual Reasons
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John McDowell claims that perception provides reasons for empirical beliefs. Perceptual reasons, according to the author of Mind and World, can be identifiedwith passively “taken in” facts. Concepts figure in the acts of acquiring perceptual reasons, even though the acts themselves do not consist in judgments. Thus,on my reading, McDowell’s account of the acquisition of reasons can be likened to Descartes’ account of the acquisition of ideas, rather than to Kant’s theory ofjudgment as an act by means of which one’s cognition comes to be endowed with objective validity. However, unlike Descartes, McDowell does not acknowledgethe skeptical challenge which his conception of the acquisition of reasons might face. He contends that perception is factive without arguing for the backgroundassumption (about a “perfect match” between mind and world) on which it rests. Hence, as I suggest in my article, the McDowellian claim that perception provides reasons for empirical beliefs is not sufficiently warranted.
17. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 17 > Issue: 1
Mark McLeod-Harrison Relaxed Naturalism and Caring About the Truth
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Can our caring about truth be rooted in “relaxed” naturalism? I argue that it cannot. In order to care about truth we need the universe to be capable of providingnon-adventitious good, which relaxed naturalism cannot do. I use Michael Lynch’s work as a springboard to showing this claim.
reviews and notices
18. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 17 > Issue: 1
Józef Bremer Hans Werhahn., Das Vorschreiten der Säkularisierung [The Progression of Secularization]
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19. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 17 > Issue: 1
Konrad Werner Józef Bremer., Wprowadzenie do filozofii umysłu [Introduction to the Philosophy of Mind]
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20. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 17 > Issue: 1
Tomasz Szubart Marcin Miłkowski and Robert Poczobut., Przewodnik po filozofii umysłu [Companion to the Philosophy of Mind]
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