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1. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 59 > Issue: 4
About Our Contributors
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2. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 59 > Issue: 4
Stephen Calogero What is Contemplation?
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The argument is developed by drawing on the thought of Søren Kierkegaard, Eric Voegelin, and Bernard Lonergan. Contemplation is possible because the self is constituted by self-presence in its engagement with being. Self-presence does not precede one’s engagement with being and is not an alternative to this engagement, but is the unique mode of human participation in being. Immersed in the frenetic give and take of the world, one is present to oneself. Self-presence also includes the unique quality of human existence in tension between the immanent and transcendent. The contemplative experience is characterized by awe, humility, joy, and mystery. In contemplation, one cedes for a time the practical preoccupations evoked by the pull of immanence and gives way to the questing disposition—what the Greeks called wonder—toward transcendence. Contemplation is the questing disposition of self-presence toward being.
3. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 59 > Issue: 4
Roberto Di Ceglie Divine Hiddenness and the Concept of God
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John Schellenberg’s version of the divine hiddenness argument is based on a concept of God as an omnipotent, morally perfect, and ontologically perfect being. I show that Schellenberg develops his argument in a way that is inconsistent with each of these aspects, from which it follows that the argument in question proves to be unsustainable.
4. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 59 > Issue: 4
James Orr No God, No Powers: Classical Theism and Pandispositionalist Laws
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One common feature of debates about the best metaphysical analysis of putatively lawful phenomena is the suspicion that nomic realists who locate the modal force of such phenomena in quasi-causal necessitation relations between universals are working with a model of law that cannot convincingly erase its theological pedigree. Nancy Cartwright distills this criticism into slogan form: no God, no laws. Some have argued that a more plausible alternative for nomic realists who reject theism is to ground laws of nature in the fundamental dispositional properties or “pure powers” of physical objects. This article argues that for all its advantages over deflationary and rival realist accounts, a pandispositionalist account of law cuts against the commitment to metaphysical naturalism that its supporters almost always presuppose. It then examines and rejects a Platonic version of this account before elaborating and advancing a theistic alternative that is more theoretically powerful and more metatheoretically parsimonious. In slogan form: no God, no powers.
5. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 59 > Issue: 4
Robert J. Spitzer, S.J. A Contemporary Metaphysical Proof for the Existence of God
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This five-step metaphysical proof borrows from the metaphysical thought of Aquinas as well as from Bernard Lonergan’s proof of God in Insight. It makes several advances to proofs of God. Most importantly, by showing that an unconditioned (uncaused) reality must be unrestrictedly intelligible, the second step of the proof is original and lays a stronger foundation than previous proofs for the uniqueness of an unconditioned reality as well as its identification with an unrestricted act of thinking. This point strengthens the argument that this unique reality is a creator of everything else in reality. In so doing, it responds to contemporary criticisms of proofs of God by Richard Dawkins and others. This proof also adapts metaphysical ideas and terms to those arising out of the contemporary scientific world view, so that it is relevant and applicable to quantum and relativity theory, quantum cosmology, and other contemporary cosmological ideas, such as a multiverse and multidimensional physical realities.
6. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 59 > Issue: 4
Marco Stango Can Thomism and Pragmatism Cooperate?
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The paper explores the possibility of philosophical cooperation between Thomism and American Pragmatism by resurrecting a largely forgotten debate between Wilmon Henry Sheldon and Jacques Maritain. The discussion focuses primarily on two topics: the compatibility between a substance ontology and a pragmatist-evolutionary ontology, and the compatibility between the scholastic and the pragmatist theories of truth. The paper claims that, if we bring Peirce’s version of pragmatism into the picture, cooperation is not only possible but likely to be fruitful.
7. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 59 > Issue: 4
John Peterson Holism, Realism, and Error
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Holism in metaphysics can be defended because it can solve a dilemma about error: that the object of one’s wrong judgment is either inside or outside one’s mind and that neither alternative can be the case. Among holists the American philosopher Josiah Royce provides the best account of both the dilemma and its holist answer. The latter consists in steering between the hard and fast difference of being inside and outside the mind that sparks the dilemma. Royce does this by identifying a unity in the difference, which then ceases to be a stark division and becomes instead a unity-in-difference. I then show how a related dilemma is susceptible to this sort of holist solution. Yet the holist answer to these dilemmas invites all the stock objections to holism. These include the obliteration of finite selves and the distinction between such selves and their experiences. Answering these objections calls for an alternative that uses Royce’s ploy of synthesizing the extremes of being inside and being outside the mind. This sort of realism gets between the horns of the dilemmas via the real and intentional modes of forms.
book reviews
8. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 59 > Issue: 4
Joseph W. Koterski, S.J. Philosophical Posthumanism, by Francesca Ferrando; Human Dignity in the Judaeo-Christian Tradition: Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican, and Protestant Perspectives, edited by John Loughlin
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9. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 59 > Issue: 4
Virginia L. Arbery Leo Strauss and His Catholic Readers. Edited by Geoffrey Vaughan
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10. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 59 > Issue: 4
Glenn Statile Why Trust a Theory? Epistemology of Fundamental Physics. By Radin Dardashti, Richard Dawid, Karim Thébault
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11. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 59 > Issue: 4
Víctor Velarde-Mayol The Aristotelian Tradition of Natural Kinds and Its Demise. By Stewart Umphrey
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12. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 59 > Issue: 4
Books Received
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13. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 59 > Issue: 4
Index to Volume 59
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14. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 59 > Issue: 3
About Our Contributors
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15. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 59 > Issue: 3
Douglas Low Merleau-Ponty on Race, Gender, and Anti-Semitism
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It is frequently remarked that Merleau-Ponty did not write about race, gender, or anti-Semitism. Overall, this is true, but the relatively recent re-publication of his Sorbonne lectures, along with some new materials, shows that his lectures did address the issues of racism, sexism, and anti-Semitism. In addition, Emily Lee’s framing of Merleau-Ponty’s theory of the human body provides a useful way to understand its relationship to race and gender. While humans are fundamentally the same biologically, “secondary biological characteristics” such as skin color (and gender), situated in various social contexts, have a significant impact on the formation of one’s personal and social identity. What I seek to do here is find in Merleau-Ponty’s work the philosophical roots of Lee’s claim. I also seek to find the moral recognition of the other in Merleau-Ponty’s treatment of time and how his treatment of time relates to the two-dimensionality of the human body. It is this treatment that allows us to recognize the sameness of the other but that also allows us to recognize and respect differences.
16. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 59 > Issue: 3
Adam D. Bailey The Principle of Double Effect, Permissiveness, and Intention
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While some believe that the principle of double effect provides sound ethical guidance, others believe that it does not and have leveled various types of argument against it. One type of argument leveled against it proceeds by applying it to hypothetical “closeness” cases. This objection seeks to show that in such cases the principle permits what patently should not be permitted, and thus is unacceptable because it is too permissive. In this essay, I critically evaluate an argument of this type developed by Alexander R. Pruss. Central to my strategy is to develop and defend a distinction between two kinds of means. I refer to them as closed-ended and open-ended means. I argue that once what is intended is understood in light of this distinction, the principle does not permit what patently should not be permitted, and thus need not be seen as being too permissive.
17. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 59 > Issue: 3
Silvia Carli Partial Truth in Aristotle’s Metaphysics
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This paper explores the status of partial truths, i.e., statements that are partially true and partially false, in Aristotle’s Metaphysics. Contrary to what some scholars have suggested, it argues that partial truths are not confined to reputable opinions (endoxa) that have not yet been clarified and disambiguated. Rather, they have a more central role in Aristotle’s investigation. First, I propose that the fundamental question of being, namely, “What is substance?” is such that even our best attempts to answer it may never yield a full or complete truth. Second, at least in some instances, Aristotle does not seem interested in disambiguating the assertions of previous thinkers to attain propositions that are fully true or fully false. This is the case because our capacity to gain insights into the nature of things is mediated by our reflections on previous theories and on the problems that they incur. It may thus be desirable to retain some partial truths that, owing to their very ambiguity, force us to interrogate the nature of things more deeply.
18. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 59 > Issue: 3
Jeremy W. Skrzypek Existential Import and the Contingent Necessity of Descartes’s Eternal Truths
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Descartes famously states that God could have made any and all of the “eternal truths” that are now in place (such as 1 + 2 = 3) false. This has led scholars to attribute to Descartes’s God a radical sort of power: the power to do the logically impossible. While Descartes does claim that God could have made any of the eternal truths that are now in place false, I do not think that this commits him to the view that God could have made twice four equal to nine, or anything of that sort. In this paper I show how, by placing Descartes’s doctrine of the eternal truths in its proper historical context, a new and more charitable interpretation of that doctrine becomes available. On this interpretation, Descartes’s God could have made the eternal truths false by choosing not to create the eternal essences to which these truths refer.
19. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 59 > Issue: 3
James L. Taylor Husserl’s Reduction and the Challenge of Otherness
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This paper contends that, even though Husserl demonstrated that consciousness intends objects in the world rather than mental representations, he ultimately failed to provide a convincing account of how the ego constitutes itself and other egos. By reconfiguring consciousness as an operation rather than as a container, Husserl opened consciousness to the world and thereby overcame previous solipsistic frameworks. But despite his attention to the “things themselves,” his fidelity to another maxim—that all sense-bestowing activity be traced back to the operations of the ego—prohibited him from fulfilling his goal of describing otherness accurately. This paper examines the tension between Husserl’s desire to describe phenomena and his mandate to constitute phenomena, to show that both cannot be accomplished simultaneously. If phenomenology is to come to terms with the challenge of otherness and describe self and other adequately, the demand that self and other be constituted within the ego must be relinquished.
20. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 59 > Issue: 3
Patrick T. Smith On Physician-Assisted Death and the Killing of Innocents: Some Temperate Philosophical Reflections
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This essay highlights an argument for the moral impermissibility of physician-assisted death based on the prohibition of killing innocents that unfolds in four phases. First, I identify the operative moral principle and then develop a moral argument based upon it. Second, I raise challenges to such an argument designed to mitigate the force of the conclusion. Third, I sketch out a potential defense of the argument in light of these counter-responses for those who want to maintain moral opposition to physician-assisted death based upon the prohibition of killing innocents. Finally, I conclude with a brief postscript that highlights the limits of the philosophical approach taken in this essay in conversation with the role of moral psychology in moral judgment.