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1. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 50 > Issue: 2
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2. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 50 > Issue: 2
Katherine E. Kirby The Hero and Asymmetrical Obligation: Levinas and Ricoeur in Dialogue
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In defending Levinas’s ethical theory against Ricoeur’s objections in Oneself as Another, I make a two-fold argument in regard to heroic action and the ordinary ethical relation. First, I suggest a definition of the hero as she who does what is right—that is, what is ethically necessary or obligatory—even when it requires extreme sacrifice. Second, I argue that the development of virtuous character, out of which such heroic action comes, is dependent upon the asymmetrical relation between an alterior Other and a self who is willing to sacrifice to do what is right. Re-orienting oneself toward the ethical relation is, itself, a sacrifice, requiring that one adopt a non-reciprocal, asymmetrical devotion to the Other. Thus, ethics, including both heroic and ordinary ethical behavior, ought not be founded on notions of friendship, symmetry, or mutuality, but rather on absolute difference, asymmetry, and self-sacrifice.
3. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 50 > Issue: 2
Steven G. Smith Intrinsic Value, Goodness, and the Appeals of Things
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“Intrinsic value” is a perplexing notion in that it purports to establish a relationship with a thing that cannot in fact be established by the valuing subject butcan only be welcomed. An important sense of “good” expresses the non-axiological side of shared flourishing. We do need the concept of intrinsic value to put our different kinds of value in order, but we can also recognize that the positing of intrinsic value is grounded on events of appeal wherein perceived beings promise distinctive forms of benign partnership with their perceivers. The ideal of appeal maximalism can displace the problematic ideal of unrestricted intrinsic value as a basis for expanding the circle of moral consideration.
4. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 50 > Issue: 2
Daniel J. Kirchner Augustine’s Use of Epicureanism: Three Paradigmatic Problems for a Theory of Friendship in the Confessions
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The patristic tradition has long censured or denied debts to Epicurean thought. Thus it is surprising to find that Augustine requires and uses Epicurean arguments at three moments in the Confessions essential his theory of friendship: the pear tree incident, the death of his friend, and the decision not to form a philosophical community. I argue that the classical definition of friendship is inadequate to solve these problems. Furthermore, reworking Augustine’s theory of friendship with the use/enjoyment doctrine developed in The Trinity fails to resolve them. Thus the problems raised in the Confessions cannot be exposed or solved through Augustine’s own theoretical framework. I argue that they are, however, central to the Epicurean theory of friendship, which addresses them specifically, and that the Epicurean insistence on the mortality of the soul produces the central problem for Augustine’s notion of friendship.
5. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 50 > Issue: 2
Michael Wenisch The Epistemological Roots of the Dispute over Time and Freedom in the Leibniz-Clarke Correspondence
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Historians and philosophers of science commonly ignore the epistemological disagreement about the theoretical limits of rationality that underlies the disputes over the absoluteness or relationality of time and the true nature of divine freedom in the Leibniz-Clarke Correspondence. Accordingly, I explore both the logical interconnectedness and the deeper philosophical roots of these disputes, with a view to evaluating the contrast in Leibniz’s and Clarke’s underlying notions of the limits of rationality. In tracing this contrast, I attempt to show first that Clarke’s position can be used to demonstrate successfully that Leibniz’s concept of divine freedom, and his use of the Principle of Sufficient Reason to justify it, involves a contradiction. Second, I attempt to demonstrate that the concept of the limits of rationality underlying Clarke’s conception of divine freedom can be successfully defended against Leibniz’s attacks.
6. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 50 > Issue: 2
Theresa Weynand Tobin Toward an Epistemology of Mysticism: Knowing God as Mystery
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While some philosophers suggest that mystical experience may provide evidence for belief in God, skeptics doubt that there is adequate warrant for even accepting the claim of a mystical experience as evidence for anything, except perhaps for some kind of mental instability. Drawing from the work of Gabriel Marcel, I argue that the pervasive philosophical skepticism about the evidential status of mystical experiences is misguided because it rests on too narrow a view about ways of knowing and about what can count as evidence for belief in the divine. I illustrate the advantages of Marcel’s approach by applying it to the respective spiritual journeys of Augustine of Hippo and Abu Hamid Muhammad al-Ghazali. I then argue that Marcel’s framework improves on contemporary analytic approaches because it captures more accurately the kind of knowledge that mystical experiences convey as reported by the subjects who claim to have them.
7. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 50 > Issue: 2
Phillip Honenberger Ethics, Hermeneutics, and Eudaimonics
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Contemporary ethical theory ought to take both the biological and cultural constitution of human subjects into account. But the coupling of these constraints raises questions about the scope of each. In this paper I defend the view that, rather than predetermining human moral sensibility, or founding a universal ethic on that basis, the biological constitution of human beings actually prefigures their wide variability across cultures and argues for the open-endedness of questions of meaning and value. I defend this conception against Owen Flanagan’s neo-Darwinian “Eudaimonics” as well as against various forms of ethical a priorism and ethical skepticism, making critical use of Charles Taylor’s hermeneutic conception of human moral valuation.
feature book review
8. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 50 > Issue: 2
Barry David Inner Grace: Augustine in the Traditions of Plato and Paul
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book reviews and notices
9. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 50 > Issue: 2
David F. Horkott Machiavelli’s Ethics
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10. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 50 > Issue: 2
David J. Zoller Basic Concepts of Aristotelian Philosophy
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