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Res Philosophica

Volume 95, Issue 4, October 2018

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Displaying: 1-10 of 11 documents


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1. Res Philosophica: Volume > 95 > Issue: 4
Wayne J. Hankey Placing the Human: Establishing Reason by Its Participation in Divine Intellect for Boethius and Aquinas
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We begin with the kinds of knowing and ignorance in Plato’s allegory of the Line in the Republic, and go on to the problem of the relation of human reason and divine intellection in Aristotle’s Metaphysics, I and XII, De anima, II and III, and, especially, Nicomachean Ethics X, 7 and 8. Plato and Aristotle do not establish the human firmly vis-à-vis the divine and leave the Platonic tradition with a deep philosophical, theological, and religious ambiguity. Passing to Boethius’ Consolation of Philosophy and Aquinas in his Summa theologiae and Aristotelian commentaries, we consider how they take up the Platonic-Aristotelian problematic and define the human in relation to the divine, partly by way of the notion of participation which Aristotle rejected. Aquinas is the most determined humanist among the thinkers considered. After outlining features of his position, we conclude with reflections on medieval humanism.
2. Res Philosophica: Volume > 95 > Issue: 4
Mark Boespflug Robert Holcot on Doxastic Voluntarism and the Ethics of Belief
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In the Middle Ages, the view that agents are able to exercise direct voluntary control over their beliefs—doxastic voluntarism—was pervasive. It was held by Augustine, Aquinas, Scotus, Ockham, and Buridan, among many others. Herein, I show that the somewhat neglected Oxford Dominican, Robert Holcot (†1349), rejected doxastic voluntarism with a coherence and plausibility that reflects and anticipates much contemporary thought on the issue. I, further, suggest that Holcot’s rejection of the idea that agents can voluntarily control their beliefs is intimately connected to his, likewise, aberrant views regarding the nature of belief, evidence, and faith. Finally, I examine Holcot’s attempt to show how involuntarism and doxastic responsibility are compatible. The issue of faith figures prominently throughout, given that an act of faith was conceived to be a voluntary operation whereby one believes religious propositions, and a paradigm case of belief for which we are responsible.
3. Res Philosophica: Volume > 95 > Issue: 4
Julie Walsh Locke’s Last Word on Freedom: Correspondence with Limborch
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John Locke’s 1700–1702 correspondence with Dutch Arminian Philippus van Limborch has been taken by commentators as the motivation for modifications to the fifth edition of “Of Power,” the chapter in An Essay Concerning Human Understanding that treats freedom. In this paper, I offer the first systematic and chronological study of their correspondence. I argue that the heart of their disagreement is over how they define “freedom of indifference.” Once the importance of the disagreement over indifference is established, it is clear that when Locke altered parts of “Of Power” as a reaction to Limborch’s questioning, he did so in the interest of further clarifying and solidifying his view, not changing it. Seeing how they disagree over indifference also allows us to see the correspondence as showcasing the conflict between intellectualism, the view that cognitive states determine the will, and voluntarism, the view that the will alone determines action.
4. Res Philosophica: Volume > 95 > Issue: 4
Ben Page Fine-Tuned of Necessity?
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This paper seeks to explicate and analyze an alternative response to fine-tuning arguments from those that are typically given—namely, design or brute contingency. The response I explore is based on necessity, the necessitarian response. After showing how necessity blocks the argument, I explicate the reply I claim necessitarians can give and suggest how its three requirements can be met: firstly, that laws are metaphysically necessary; secondly, that constants are metaphysically necessary; and thirdly, that the fundamental properties that determine the laws and constants are necessary. After discussing each in turn, I end the paper by assessing how the response fares when running the fine-tuning argument in two ways, as an inference to best explanation and as a Bayesian argument.
5. Res Philosophica: Volume > 95 > Issue: 4
David Hershenov, Rose Hershenov Health, Moral Status, and a Minimal Speciesism
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The potential for healthy development is the key to determining the moral status of mindless and minimally minded organisms. It even provides the basis for a defense of speciesism. Mindless and minimally minded human beings have interests in the healthy development of sophisticated mental capacities, which explains why they are greatly harmed when death, disease, and other events frustrate those interests. Since the healthy development of members of non-human species doesn’t produce the same sophisticated mental capacities, mindless and minimally minded non-human beings lack the interests of mindless and minimally minded human beings. The absence of such interests in developing valuable mental capabilities means non-humans can’t be benefited and harmed to the same degree as human beings. This results in mindless and minimally minded non-humans having lower moral status than human beings. This doesn’t mean that any member of our species is more valuable than any other member of any other possible species. We instead claim that human beings with undeveloped or impaired minds have greater moral status than any member of any other known species that has manifested equivalent mental capacities.
6. Res Philosophica: Volume > 95 > Issue: 4
Shaun Gallagher The Therapeutic Reconstruction of Affordances
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I argue that a variety of physical disabilities, and neurological and psychiatric disorders can be understood in terms of changes to the subject’s affordance space. Understanding disorders in this way also has some implications for therapy. On the basis of a phenomenological- and pragmatist-inspired enactivism I propose an affordance-based approach to therapy with a focus on changing physical, social, and cultural environments, and I consider the role of virtual and mixed realities in this context.
book symposium
7. Res Philosophica: Volume > 95 > Issue: 4
Susanna Siegel Précis to The Rationality of Perception
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8. Res Philosophica: Volume > 95 > Issue: 4
Andy Clark Priors and Prejudices: Comments on Susanna Siegel’s The Rationality of Perception
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9. Res Philosophica: Volume > 95 > Issue: 4
Christopher Peacocke Are Perceptions Reached by Rational Inference?: Comments on Susanna Siegel, The Rationality of Perception
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10. Res Philosophica: Volume > 95 > Issue: 4
Susanna Siegel Perception as Guessing Versus Perception as Knowing: Replies to Clark and Peacocke
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