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articles
1. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
Joshua Seigal Skeptical Theism, Moral Skepticism, and Divine Deception
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Skeptical theism – a strategy for dealing with so-called ‘evidential arguments from evil’ – is often held to lead to moral skepticism. In this paper I look at some of the responses open to the skeptical theist to the contention that her position leads to moral skepticism, and argue that they are ultimately unsuccessful, since they leave the skeptical theist with no grounds for ruling out the possibility of maximal divine deception. I then go on to argue that the situation is particularly bleak for the skeptical theist, since the most prominent ways of dealing with this pervasive type of skepticism are not available to her. Furthermore, since this pervasive type of skepticism entails moral skepticism, it follows that moral skepticism will after all have found a way in ‘through the back door’. In order to solidify my case, I go on to outline and deal with three potential objections.
2. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
Dino Galetti Finding a Systematic Base for Derrida’s Work
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Derrida became increasingly overt in later years in suggesting that his work displays a rigour, and even a ‘logic’. Further, it is becoming accepted thatdeconstruction arose in dialogue with Husserl. In support of these views, this article points out that in 1990 Derrida told us that his first work of 1954 revealsa ‘law’ which guides his career, and that some responses had already arisen there. The work of 1954 is examined, and an interrelated ‘system’ developed by which the responses relate to the law, to help find a common, early and systematic base to apply to Derrida’s oeuvre as it develops. Brief examples will be pointed to in closing to show that this basis subsists, at least in part, in later work.
3. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
David J. Zehnder The Hermeneutical Keys to William James’s Philosophy of Religion: Protestant Impulses, Vital Belief
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This essay argues that the American psychologist and philosopher William James should be viewed in the Lutheran Reformation’s tradition because this viewpoint offers the hermeneutical key to his philosophy of religion. Though James obviously didn’t ascribe to biblical authority, he expressed the followingreligious sensibilities made possible by Martin Luther and his contemporaries: 1) challenge of prevailing systems, 2) anti-rationalism, 3) being pro-religiousexperience and dynamic belief, 4) need for a personal, caring God, and also 5) a gospel of religious comfort. This essay asks, in one specific form, how religiousconcerns can hold steady over time but cause very different expressions of faith.
4. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
Raymond Aaron Younis These Ultimate Springs and Principles: Science, Religion and the Limits of Reason
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The question of the limits of reason, not just within philosophy but also in the modern sciences, is arguably more important than ever given numerousrecent commentaries on “life”, “reality”, meaning, purpose, pointlessness and so on, emanating not from philosophers or metaphysicians, but rather from physicists and biologists such as Steven Weinberg and Richard Dawkins. It will be argued that such commentaries concerning the “pointlessness” of the universe, or the purpose of “life’, and other such things, are flawed and unconvincing, not least because they seem to overlook or forget a number of well known and significant philosophical contributions on the question of limits, particularly by Kant, but also by Hume, Russell and Sir A J Ayer.
5. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
Xunwu Chen God and Toleration
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The enduring debate on the question of whether an omnipotent, omniscient God exists amid the existence of evils in the world is crucial to understandingreligions. Much recent discussion has taken an approach in which the focal question is whether we can cognitively—for example, logically, evidentially, andthe like—and rationally justify that God’s full power and full goodness cannot be doubted amid the existence of evils. In this paper I argue that we can reasonablyassume that God exists in an evil-afflicted world if he chooses to do so and if he tolerates evils. We can reasonably argue that he does exist in an evil-afflictedworld because he chooses to tolerate evils for whatever reasons. I would like to make a stronger claim: he tolerates evils in order to give humankind a chance togrow in knowledge of good and evils by combating evils, which implies that his toleration of evils imposes a task on humankind to combat evils.
6. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
Michael Polyard Philosophical Implications of Naturalizing Religion
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This paper deals with Daniel Dennett’s argument regarding the nature of belief in contrast to belief in belief. The idea that the value of the first orderbelief in the existence of a precept is entirely irrelevant because it is indistinguishable from the second-order belief; that the belief in something is a good thing. That is to say it doesn’t matter if I believe something inasmuch as if I believe that the belief is a good thing (i.e.: beneficial to the individual, etc). Dennett’s approach particularly regards an analysis of religion from this point, and suggests that it is entirely impossible to determine if an individual believes in God, or simply believes that the belief in God is a good thing. More importantly, Dennett argues that the individual themselves cannot make this distinction.
7. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
Janusz Salamon The Universal and Particular Dimensions of the Holocaust Story and the Emergence of Global Ethics
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In this paper I want to look at the Holocaust story as an example of a value-laden story which might become one of the foundation stones of the emergentglobal ethics, indispensable for bridging ideological divides that so often prevent a global society from living in peace and solidarity. My key suggestion willbe that the stories that have the potential of becoming truly ‘global stories’, will in reality become carriers of global values only after undergoing interpretativetransformation which will enable all citizens of the global village to identify with ethically positive aspects of the story, so that they will perceive this story as theirown.
8. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
James Conlon Against Ineffability
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It is a commonplace assumption that there are realities and types of experience words are just not able to handle. I find the recourse to ineffability to bean evasive tactic and argue that there is inherently nothing beyond words and that this fact has ethical implications. I offer three theoretical considerations in support of my claim. The first two deal with the infinite nature of language itself, as understood first in Chomsky and then Derrida. The third deals with the linguistically structured nature of human experience. Expanding on Heidegger, I then draw some ethical implications from language’s inexhaustibility.
9. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
Tereza-Brindusa Palade Why Thinking in Faith? A Reappraisal of Edith Stein’s View of Reason
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This paper intends to question the conventional wisdom that philosophy should limit its endeavours to the horizon of modern transcendentalism, thusrejecting the presuppositions of faith. By reappraising Edith Stein’s views of faith and reason, which are also shared by the magisterial document of John Paul II,Fides et ratio, an argument for the possibility of “thinking in faith” is put forward. But why would it be important nowadays to engage in rational research in philosophy in a quest for truth which also draws its inspiration from faith? First of all, as I shall argue, because the two great modern transcendental projects, namely the Kantian and the Husserlian one, which were both in tune with Spinoza’s project to liberate philosophical reason from theology, have failed. Secondly, because “faith” (fides) is not based on “irrational sentiments”, but is ”intellectual understanding”, as Edith Stein argues. Third, because the natural light of the created intellect is, as was shown by St. Thomas Aquinas, a participated likeness of the supernatural light of the uncreated divine intellect. Therefore, even the natural philosopher gets their own light from the eternal Truth of faith. Finally, by following another Thomistic stance, one may argue that the end of human life is an intelligible one: the contemplation of God. In order to attain this end, the human being should endeavour to attain as much as is possible, in an intelligible way, the thing desired. Even if the philosophical inquiry has its own limits, it may however sustain such progress towards the end of human life.
10. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
Teresa Obolevitch All-Unity according to V. Soloviev and S. Frank. A Comparative Analysis
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In this article I will present and analyze the concept of all-unity of the two most famous Russian philosophers – Vladimir Soloviev (1853-1900) and Semyon Frank (1877-1958). As will be argued, the concept of all-unity is part of an old philosophical tradition. At the same time, it is an original idea of the Russian thought of the Silver Age (the end of the 19th and the first half of the 20th centuries).
11. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
Karol Giedrojc Die Grundlagen des Modernen Fundamentalismus
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The idea of fundamentalism is repeatedly present in mass media and often occupies the center of religious and political discussions. There are somesociological conditions of fundamentalism and different applications of the term in mass media. The psychological research tries to explain the phenomenon aswell. The philosophical analysis put the question of the nature of fundamentalism. The following text tries to give an answer to such a question. The fundamentalism seems to be no traditional, but inherently a modern movement that it´s religious convictions puts absolutely through, mainly in politics.
book reviews and notices
12. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
Justyna Piskorska-Kaczmarek Hannah Arendt. An Intellectual Biography by Michelle-Irène Brudny
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13. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
Fedor Stanzhevskiy Philosophy of Religion. An Almanac. Volumes I & II
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articles
14. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 15 > Issue: 1
Roger Pouivet Moral and Epistemic Virtues: A Thomistic and Analytical Perspective
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15. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 15 > Issue: 1
Lloyd Strickland False Optimism? Leibniz, Evil, and the Best of all Possible Worlds
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Leibniz’s claim that this is the best of all possible worlds has been subject to numerous criticisms, both from his contemporaries and ours. In this paper I investigate a cluster of such criticisms based on the existence, abundance or character of worldly evil. As several Leibniz-inspired versions of optimism havebeen advanced in recent years, the aim of my investigation is to assess not just how Leibniz’s brand of optimism fares against these criticisms, but also whetheroptimism as a philosophy has the resources to meet these challenges. I show that none of the criticisms considered has sufficient force to pose a threat to Leibniz’s version of optimism or to one modelled on it.
16. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 15 > Issue: 1
Eric Wilson The Ontological Argument Revisited: A Reply To Rowe
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Saint Anselm’s Ontological Argument is perhaps the most intriguing of all the traditional speculative proofs for the existence of God. Yet, his argument has been rejected outright by many philosophers. Most challenges stem from the basic conviction that no amount of logical analysis of a concept that is limited to the bounds of the “understanding” will ever be able to “reason” the existence in “reality” of any thing answering such a limited concept. However, it is not theintent of this paper to prove or disprove Anselm’s argument. Rather, in this paper we concern ourselves with arriving at a sound interpretation of Anselm’s leadingcritic – Immanuel Kant. Kant put forth perhaps the most vaunted criticism of Anselm’s argument. However, Kant has been perhaps the most misunderstood objector to Anselm’s argument. This paper confirms that charge, simultaneously offering what I believe to be a sound interpretation of Kant’s criticism.
17. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 15 > Issue: 1
Angus Brook Heidegger’s Notion of Religion: The Limits of Being-Understanding
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In the last two decades, the question of religion has become a central concern of many philosophers belonging to the Continental philosophical tradition.As the interest in religion has grown within Continental philosophy, so also has the question of Martin Heidegger’s relationship with religion. This paper posesthe question of what religion meant to Martin Heidegger in the development of phenomenology as ontology; how he preconceived the notion of religion and whyhe eventually denied any authenticity to religion. In engaging with this question, the paper will also attempt to disclose some delimitations of Heidegger’s approach to religion.
18. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 15 > Issue: 1
James Kraft Conflicting Higher and Lower Order Evidences in the Epistemology of Disagreement about Religion
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This paper concentrates on the issue of what happens to the confidence one has in the justification of one’s belief when one discovers an epistemic peerwith conflicting higher and/or lower order evidences. Certain symmetries surface during epistemic peer disagreement, which tend to make one less confident. The same happens in religious disagreements. Mostly externalist perspectives are considered. The epistemology of ordinary disagreements and that of religious ones behave similarly, such that principles used in the former can be seen to apply also in the latter.
19. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 15 > Issue: 1
Jan Konior Confession Rituals and the Philosophy of Forgiveness in Asian Religions and Christianity
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In this paper I will take into account the historical, religious and philosophical aspects of the examination of conscience, penance and satisfaction, as well as ritual confession and cure, in Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism. I will also take into account the difficulties that baptized Chinese Christians met in sacramental Catholic confession. Human history proves that in every culture and religion, man has always had a need to be cleansed from evil and experiencemutual forgiveness. What ritual models were used by Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism? To what degree did these models prove to be true? What are the connections between a real experience of evil, ritual confession, forgiveness and cure in Chinese religions and philosophies?
20. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 15 > Issue: 1
Majid Amini, Christopher Caldwell Does “One Cannot Know” Entail “Everyone is Right”? The Relationship between Epistemic Scepticism and Relativism
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The objective of the paper is to seek clarification on the relationship between epistemic relativism and scepticism. It is not infrequent to come across contemporary discussions of epistemic relativism that rely upon aspects of scepticism and, vice versa, discussions of scepticism drawing upon aspects of relativism. Our goal is to highlight the difference(s) between them by illustrating (1) that some arguments thought to be against relativism are actually against scepticism, (2) that there are different ways of understanding the relationship between relativism and scepticism, and (3) that a commitment to either relativism or scepticism does not entail commitment to the other. The paper focuses upon the works of Peter Unger and Paul Boghossian to show how this terrain can be variously conceived and to illustrate that Boghossian’s conception of the landscape is incorrect.