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articles
1. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 47 > Issue: 4
About Our Contributors
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2. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 47 > Issue: 4
James M. Jacobs The Precepts of the Decalogue and the Problem of Self-Evidence
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There is a dilemma at the heart of the moral life, in that we often appeal to the Decalogue as being the basis of a common morality, yet it is impossible to justify these precepts as self-evident. I resolve this dilemma in light of Aquinas’s analysis of the relation between the self-evident precepts of the natural law and the Decalogue. The self-evident precepts (that man should live in society and should know and love God) follow directly from human nature. The precepts of the Decalogue indicate how those goods are to be pursued in the context of just social relations. It is this contextualization in terms of just relations that prevents them from being self-evident and, correspondingly, requires their revelation. Since the commandments act as invitations to pursue the good without the defects of injustice, they are the most manifest condition for achieving the end of human happiness.
3. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 47 > Issue: 4
Patricia C. Flynn, R.S.M. Honesty and Intimacy in Kant’s Duty of Friendship
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The relationship between intimacy and honesty seems a paradoxical one. While intimate relationships would seem to demand a high level of honesty, this same intimacy might make us more likely to shield the other or protect ourselves through benevolent lying or the withholding of information. It would seem that honesty may not always be the best policy in intimate relationships. The purpose of this article is to examine the tension between honesty and intimacy in Kant’s duty of friendship, and it will highlight the limitations of Kant’s expectations of friendship. At the same time I will use Kant’s own appeal to the autonomy of moral agents to delineate an appropriate role for the obligations of honesty and self disclosure in friendship.
4. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 47 > Issue: 4
Michael D. Barber, S.J. Ethical Experience and the Motives for Practical Rationality: A Kantian/Levinasian Criticism of McDowell’s Ethics
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John McDowell’s ethical writings interpret ethical experience as intentional, socially-conditioned, virtuous responsiveness to situations and develop a modest account of practical rationality. His work converges with investigations of ethical experience by recent Kant scholars (Sherman, Brewer, Herman) and Emmanuel Levinas. The Kantian interpreters and Levinas locate the categorical demands of ethical experience in rational agents’ demands for respect, while McDowell finds it in noble adherence to the demands of virtuous living. For McDowell, moral-practical rational efforts to justify ethics cannot transcend one’s form of life and are motivated by desires to coerce others under a veneer of rationality or an unnecessary modern anxiety to protect community beliefs. He overlooks how such justifications can be motivated by a desire to give an account of one’s beliefs out of responsibility to others different from oneself, a responsibility elicited by others in ethical experience as depicted by the Kantian interpreters and Levinas.
5. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 47 > Issue: 4
James Crippen Dewey’s Conception of Mind in Contemporary Debate
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This paper considers the contemporary relevance of John Dewey’s ideas concerning mind, the mind-body debate, and the mind-world debate. Adequately laid out, a Deweyan conception of mind will reveal features that challenge three of the most persistent implications of current theories of mind, namely, that the mind is disembodied, passive, and disconnected from the world. As an alternative, I identify three features implicit in Dewey’s writing that present the mind as embodied, actively focused, and fluid in relation to the world. I also briefly consider past attempts to outline a Deweyan conception of mind. This consideration shows that none of these accounts adequately addresses all three of the features targeted here and thus that there is a possibility for a better account of the Deweyanconception of mind.
6. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 47 > Issue: 4
Ewing Chinn The Relativist Challenge to Comparative Philosophy
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The claim that there are incommensurable conceptual schemes through which different cultures see the world (or see their worlds) poses a challenge to the viability of comparative philosophy that cannot be easily dismissed. Donald Davidson’s famous attack on the very idea of alternative conceptual schemes through his rejection of the “third dogma of empiricism,” the dogma of the absolute distinction between scheme and content, has never been very well understood. I will argue that the rejection of the dogma enables Davidson to adopt a realist position (as opposed to the anti-realist position of Rorty, who endorses the rejection)and forms the basis for his theory of radical interpretation, supported by his “principle of charity.” And I will use John Dewey’s “postulate of immediate empiricism” to explain Davidson’s views. Together they provide a way to meet the challenge of conceptual relativism.
contemporary currents
7. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 47 > Issue: 4
Heidi M. Giebel Forbidding Intentional Mutilation: Some Unintended Consequences?
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In a recent IPQ article, Christopher Kaczor gave a promising argument in which he strove to reconcile the common belief that obstetric craniotomy (the crushing of nearlyborn fetuses’ heads) is immoral with his clear and intuitively attractive account of intention. One of Kaczor’s crucial assumptions is that intentional mutilation is morally impermissible. In this article I argue that Kaczor’s analysis has three potential problems: (1) the mutilating features of craniotomy do not appear to meet Kaczor’s criteria for being intended, so his account doesn’t show craniotomy to be impermissible; (2) some commonly-accepted acts, including voluntary sterilization, are acts of intentional mutilation according to Kaczor’s definition and are thus forbidden on his account; and (3) some acts that intuitively seem to constitute intentional mutilation do not meet Kaczor’s definition of “mutilation” and are not ruled out by his account. I suggest slight modifications to Kaczor’s account that might address these difficulties.
8. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 47 > Issue: 4
Christopher Kaczor Intention, Foresight, and Mutilation: A Response to Giebel
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According to H. M. Giebel, at least three difficulties arise for my view of intention, foresight, and mutilation. First, I must either give up my account of the intention/foresight distinction or conclude that obstetric craniotomy does not constitute mutilation. Secondly, my account of the intention/foresight distinction leads to counter-intuitive conclusions such as that surgical sterilization is impermissible but removal of non-functioning limbs against the will of the possessor is morally permissible. Thirdly, she suggests that my account of mutilation is incomplete for it rests on an understanding of “health” that is not adequately specified. In this paper, I argue that my original accounts of both the intention/foresight distinction and mutilation can, nevertheless, still be defended.
book reviews and notices
9. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 47 > Issue: 4
Oliver Leaman The Cambridge Companion to Maimonides—edited by Kenneth Seeskin
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10. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 47 > Issue: 4
Stephen Minister Twentieth-Century French Philosophy: Key Themes and Thinkers—Alan D. Schrift
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