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1. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 96 > Issue: 4
Daniel J. Pierson

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This article is a contribution to the field of study that Jacques Maritain once described as “metaphysical Axiomatics.” I discuss Aquinas’s use of the metaphysical principle “omne agens agit sibi simile,” focusing on perhaps the most manifest instance of this principle, namely, univocal generation. It is well known that Aquinas holds what could be called a “static” or “formal” view of likeness between God and creatures: creatures are like God because they share in certain exemplar perfections that preexist in God. My focus instead is on an efficient likeness to God, which reflects a foundational truth about reality for Aquinas: all creatures produce something like themselves through their operations, in imitation of God, who does so on a more fundamental level. My discussion will also clarify Aquinas’s derivation of the principle of similitude from a prior metaphysical principle, “every agent acts insofar as it is in act.”
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2. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 96 > Issue: 4
Rosabel Ansari, Jon McGinnis

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This study provides the historical background to, and analysis and translations of, two seminal texts from the medieval Islamic world concerning the univocity of being/existence and a theory of “ambiguous predication” (tashkīk), which is similar to the Thomistic theory of analogy. The disputants are Fakhr al-Dīn al-Rāzī (1149–1210), who defended a theory of the univocity of being, and Naṣīr al-Dīn al-Ṭūsī (1201–1274), who defended the theory of ambiguous predication. While the purported issue is whether a quiddity can cause its own existence, the debate extends further. Rāzī draws on several arguments that “existence” must be predicated univocally of God and creature and then concludes that, given the univocity of “existence,” God cannot be simple, but is a composite of the divine quiddity and distinct attributes. In contrast, Ṭūsī denies that “existence” is said univocally of God and creature and rather is predicated ambiguously/analogously, and then defends divine simplicity.
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3. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 96 > Issue: 4
Catherine A. Levri

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Robert Grosseteste delivered his inaugural sermon, Dictum 19, in 1229/1230. Like many inaugural sermons, Dictum 19 praises Scripture, its divine author, and the study of the sacred text. Grosseteste’s sermon, however, is unique in that its author had an extensive background in the natural sciences. I propose that his understanding of the nature of light influences his understanding of Scripture in Dictum 19. Specifically, Scripture, like light, gives form to others, creating a hierarchy of bodies which mediate this form. Grosseteste’s thought influenced Saint Bonaventure, who delivered his inaugural sermon Omnium artifex docuit me sapientia at his 1254 inception. Like Grosseteste, Bonaventure’s understanding of the nature of Scripture is based in part on his light metaphysics. I conclude that, for both Grosseteste and Bonaventure, their use of light as an analogy for Scripture is rooted not only in traditional theological metaphors but also in their metaphysics of light.
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4. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 96 > Issue: 4
Brett W. Smith

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This article examines the reception of Robert Grosseteste by John Duns Scotus on two related questions in epistemology. The first concerns the need of phantasms for cognition, and the second concerns divine illumination. The study first examines Scotus’s Questions on the De Anima with comparison to Grosseteste’s Commentary on the Posterior Analytics, a text Scotus cites specifically. It is argued that Grosseteste is the main influence behind Scotus’s opinion that the need for phantasms is not proper to human nature as such. The second part shows how Scotus disagrees with Grosseteste on a related question. Grosseteste retains a version of divine illumination with a qualified need for phantasms, whereas Scotus maintains the strict necessity of phantasms in this life and rejects illumination. The two parts of this study taken together indicate that Scotus saw Grosseteste as an authority but also felt free to ignore him where the two disagreed.
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5. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 96 > Issue: 4
Daniel Heider

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In this paper I deal with the issues in Second Scholasticism of the nature, genesis and creatability of perfect vital acts of cognition and appetition in vital powers. I present the theories of Francisco Suárez (1548–1617), Raffaele Aversa (1589–1657), and Bartolomeo Mastri (1602–1673) together with Bonaventura Belluto (1603–1676). I show that while for Aversa these acts are action-like items merely emanating from the soul and vital powers and as such cannot be produced from the outside, even by God, for Mastri and Belluto they are absolute qualities proceeding from their principles by efficient causation proper, which is a kind of procession that can be replaced by God. I argue that Suárez’s position attempts to steer a middle ground between these two theories.
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book reviews

6. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 96 > Issue: 4
Gary Michael Atkinson

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7. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 96 > Issue: 4
Caleb Estep

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8. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 96 > Issue: 4
Turner C. Nevitt

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9. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 96 > Issue: 4
Mirela Oliva

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10. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 96 > Issue: 4
Patrick Toner

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articles

11. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 96 > Issue: 3
Catherine A. Nolan

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Among those who adopt Aristotle’s definition of the human person as a rational animal, Patrick Lee and Germain Grisez argue that whole brain death is the death of the human person. Even if a living organism remains, it is no longer a human person. They argue this because they define natural kinds by their radical capacities (the capacity to act or the capacity to develop a further capacity). A human person is therefore a being with a capacity for rational acts, and an individual having suffered whole brain death no longer has any such capacity. I present two objections to the radical capacities argument: first, that it fails in defining natural kinds, and second, that it misrepresents Aristotle. Aristotle defines natural kinds not by their capacities but by their functions. A brain-dead individual, I argue, is still a rational animal, but an unhealthy one that is unable to function.
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12. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 96 > Issue: 3
Agustín Echavarría

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Contemporary philosophers of religion usually depict God as a responsible moral agent with virtues and obligations. This picture seems to be incompatible with the metaphysically perfect being of classical theism. In this paper I will defend the claim, based on a reading of Thomas Aquinas’s thought, that there is no such incompatibility. I will present Aquinas’s arguments that show that we can attribute to God not only moral goodness in general, but also some moral virtues in a strict sense, such as justice and mercy. I will show why for Aquinas we can say that God has moral duties toward Himself and toward creatures. I will explain how for Aquinas God’s moral duties are not absolute, but conditionally necessitated. Finally, I will show how on Aquinas’s view there is no contradiction in saying that every act of God is, simultaneously, an act of justice and a supererogatory act of mercy.
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13. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 96 > Issue: 3
Tucker Sigourney

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In this paper, I argue that the dominant contemporary accounts of forgiving do not capture what forgiving most centrally is. I spend the first parts of the paper trying to elucidate what it is that these accounts miss about forgiving, and to explain why I think they miss it. I spend the latter parts of the paper suggesting an alternative, which I call “the charity account.” This account draws much of its theoretical framing from the work of Thomas Aquinas, presenting forgiving as something importantly volitional and essentially loving.
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14. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 96 > Issue: 3
R. James Lisowski

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This article will examine the religious phenomenology of Max Scheler as it is found in his essay on repentance. In outlining Scheler’s understanding of repentance, I shall note his attempt at defining the phenomenon, as well as the presuppositions to and outcomes of this religious act. With this foundation laid, I shall then offer two critiques. First, Scheler’s rendering of repentance limps in not accounting for the cyclical and repeatable nature of repentance, to which human experience and Scheler’s own broader philosophy attest. Second, Scheler’s essay does not consider the role of other persons both in leading one to repentance and in completing the process. As with the first critique, both human experience and Scheler’s own personalist philosophy testify to the necessary role of other persons. These lacunae detract from the otherwise rich phenomenological account.
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15. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 96 > Issue: 3
Nathaniel B. Taylor

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In an effort to refute Avicenna’s real distinction between essence and existence, Averroes argues for an Instantiation Analysis of existence which thinks of existence not as an accidental addition to an essence, but rather as the recognition that there is an instance in extramental reality which matches a concept in the mind of a knower. In this study, I argue that Averroes’s Instantiation Analysis fails to refute Avicenna’s real distinction by showing that Avicenna himself endorses the Instantiation Analysis and, in fact, makes use of it to motivate his real distinction. To show this, I review several texts where Avicenna makes the puzzling claim that substances are found to be in subjects. These texts reveal how Avicenna discovers the real distinction with Aristotle’s help—not, as Averroes relates, against the view of Aristotle.
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disputed questions

16. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 96 > Issue: 3
Paul A. Macdonald Jr.

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17. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 96 > Issue: 3
William Matthew Diem

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18. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 96 > Issue: 3
Paul A. Macdonald Jr.

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19. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 96 > Issue: 3
William Matthew Diem

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book reviews

20. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 96 > Issue: 3
John Macias

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