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1. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 57 > Issue: 4
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2. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 57 > Issue: 4
Christopher Buckman A Kantian Analytic of the Ugly
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Kant’s theory of taste, as expounded in the Critique of Judgment, deals exhaustively with judgments of beauty. Rarely does Kant mention ugliness. This omission has led to a debate among commentators about how judgments of ugliness should be explained in a Kantian framework. I argue that the judgment of ugliness originates in the disharmonious play between the faculties of imagination and understanding. Such disharmony occurs when the understanding finds that it cannot in principle form any concept suitable to a representation as it is presented by the imagination.
3. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 57 > Issue: 4
David Scott Descartes’s “Considerable List”: A Small but Important Passage in His Philosophy
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Over the past forty years or so a critique has emerged of a long-standing interpretation of Descartes on the nature of thought. The view being rejected is that Descartes departs from his Aristotelian forbears by “mentalizing” the faculties of sensation and imagination when he includes them under the general category of “thought” and thus completely excludes them from the material domain. I focus on what is arguably the central piece of textual evidence cited in this revisionist case, the eighth paragraph of Descartes’s second Meditation. This passage contains an extensive list of acts that Descartes designates as “thought”: doubting, understanding, affirming, denying, willing or assenting, withholding will or assent, imaging and sensing. I trace the history of this revisionist reading of this list through six modern interpreters of Descartes, and for both textual and philosophical reasons I conclude that this passage provides no support for their interpretation.
4. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 57 > Issue: 4
Duane Armitage Anti-Reductionism and Self-Reference: From Plato to Gödel
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This essay examines the peritrope (literally, “turning around [of the tables]”) argument within the history of philosophy and discusses its various permutations, beginning with Plato and eventually mathematized with Gödel, each of which presents a philosophical system that either stands or collapses with this “peritropic” insight. I argue that the peritrope or self-reference argument itself presupposes a certain anti-reductionism, in terms of both anthropology and metaphysics, and is ultimately grounded in Aristotle’s anthropological insight that the human being is the “rational animal” (zoon logon echon). Thus the root of the anti-reductionist, peritropic argument belongs to the self-transcendent nature of rationality itself. After discussing Aristotle’s anthropology in terms of this rational transcendence, I trace the history of the self-reference argument from Plato to Gödel and discuss its various implications as applied to any and every form of reductionism. My hope is that engagement with this most basic and often overlooked philosophic insight can counter certain anti-reductionist trends in modernity.
5. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 57 > Issue: 4
Paul M. Gould, Richard Brian Davis Where the Bootstrapping Really Lies: A Neo-Aristotelian Reply to Panchuk
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Modified Theistic Activism is the view that abstract objects not essentially possessed by God fall under God’s creative activity in one way or another. Michelle Panchuk has argued that this position succumbs to the bootstrapping problem such that God is and is not logically prior to his properties—an incoherent and necessarily false state of affairs. In this essay we respond to Panchuk by arguing that our neo-Aristotelian account of substance and property possession successfully avoids the bootstrapping problem. Moreover, her own neo-Augustinian account of universals contains many conceptual deficiencies and ultimately succumbs to an epistemic iteration of the bootstrapping problem. Finally, we argue that the reasons provided for thinking only created beings need universals to ground character is unmotivated. In clarifying and defending our position, our hope is to bury once and for all the familiar claim that traditional theists cannot be realists with respect to abstract objects because of divine bootstrapping.
6. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 57 > Issue: 4
Andy Mullins Can Neuroscientific Studies Be of Personal Value?
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This essay reflects on the ability of neuroscientific data to be of personal value and to enrich our lives by offering insight into our capacities for self management and choice. The theory of cognitive dualism proposed by Roger Scruton seeks to preserve rationality and allow for freedom of will, but he appears reluctant to engage with the data accruing in neural studies. I contrast this approach with a Thomistic hylomorphic approach to the philosophy of mind that is founded on participation in being. It offers the potential to draw on neurobiological knowledge for insights into rationality, motivation, and eudaimonia. The role of neural development in eudaimonia is considered and the benefits of a Thomistic hylomorphism founded on participation in esse are summarized.
7. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 57 > Issue: 4
Eric Pommier Hans Jonas’s Biological Philosophy: Metaphysics or Phenomenology?
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Should we understand the biological philosophy of Hans Jonas as a phenomenology for unveiling the phenomenon of life or as a kind of Hegelian metaphysics that presents life as a substantial principle? To answer that question, we need to deal first with the question of our access to other living beings and then with the problem of the spiritualization of the concept of evolution. This article will use an essay called “Organism and Freedom: An Essay in Philosophical Biology.”
book reviews
8. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 57 > Issue: 4
Margaret I. Hughes Questions on Love and Charity: Summa Theologiae, Secunda Secundae, Questions 23–46. By Thomas Aquinas. Edited and translated by Robert Miner
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9. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 57 > Issue: 4
James M. Jacobs Aquinas and Modern Science: A New Synthesis of Faith and Reason. By Gerard M. Verschuuren
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10. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 57 > Issue: 4
Brian E. Johnson Subverting Aristotle: Religion, History and Philosophy in Early Modern Science. By Craig Martin
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11. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 57 > Issue: 4
Joseph W. Koterski, S.J. The Principle of Non-Contradiction in Plato’s Republic: An Argument for Form. By Laurence Bloom
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12. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 57 > Issue: 4
Books Received
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13. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 57 > Issue: 4
Index for Volume 57
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14. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 57 > Issue: 3
About Our Contributors
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15. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 57 > Issue: 3
Brian Bajzek Alterity, Similarity, and Dialectic: Methodological Reflections on the Turn to the Other
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This paper builds upon John Dadosky’s recent writings advocating a “turn to the Other” in Lonergan studies. Using a Levinas/Lonergan dialogue on intersubjectivity as a test case, I address potential difficulties accompanying an exchange between Lonergan and philosophers who emphasize alterity. It is my contention that despite various differences regarding relationality, their projects are surprisingly complementary. Lonergan accentuates interconnectedness while Levinas emphasizes the encounter with radical otherness. In order to arrive at this conclusion, I argue for a re-assessment of the relationship between alterity and similarity by dialectically reframing them as linked but opposed principles held in creative tension. Lastly, I suggest ways in which this approach might offer a foundation for further forays into the fourth stage of meaning.
16. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 57 > Issue: 3
Michiel Meijer Human-Related, Not Human-Controlled: Charles Taylor on Ethics and Ontology
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This essay critically discusses Charles Taylor’s distinctive mode of argumentation regarding ethics, phenomenology, and ontology. It also examines the meaning of Taylor’s ontological claims by putting a spotlight on the underappreciated significance of Heidegger and Murdoch for Taylor’s ontology. I argue that Taylor’s hybrid position is best understood as a phenomenological attempt to connect Heideggerian ontology and Murdochean ethics. The paper is divided in five sections: (1) Taylor’s engagement with Murdoch and his tendency towards non-anthropocentrism in ethics; (2) his unusual interwoven mode of thought; (3) his debt to Heidegger; (4) his hesitant interpretations of Heidegger and Murdoch; and (5) how these hesitations affect Taylor’s ethical view in general and its underlying ontology in particular.
17. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 57 > Issue: 3
Vladimir Dukić Individuation of Finite Modes in Spinoza’s Ethics
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Spinoza’s rejection of Aristotelian final causation seems to create a difficulty for his account of individuation. If causation is indeed blind, how do finite modes come to assume complex, differentiated forms? And why do we find in nature a great regularity of such forms? Several recent commentators have proposed that Spinoza maintains something of the Aristotelian conception of causation where the formal essences of individuals guide the process of individuation toward certain desirable outcomes. But this sort of approach introduces other difficulties that threaten to undermine Spinoza’s naturalistic framework and his ontology of immanence. This paper outlines a mechanistic and probabilistic account of individuation whereby modes are individuated by entering into relations that increase their mutual power of enduring. Together with conatus as the principle of individuation, this mechanistic account suffices to explain the individuation of finite bodies without introducing additional kinds of causation into Spinoza’s philosophy.
18. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 57 > Issue: 3
Steven Barbone Not Just “An Unmitigated and Seemingly Unmotivated Disaster”: What Could Spinoza Mean by “Sentimus Experimurque, Nos Æternos Esse”?
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Much ink has been spilled over the so-called problem of the “eternity of the mind” in Spinoza’s Ethics, where he writes: “Nevertheless, we feel and experience that we are eternal.” The line is striking by what it seems to assert, namely, that we are eternal, but it is yet more striking if we are attentive to Spinoza’s word choices. If Spinoza had written instead that we know or understand (even if by experience) that we are eternal, the issue might be more easily resolved. But what can it mean to feel and to experience that we are eternal? After reviewing several commentators’ interpretations, this study suggests that we simply take Spinoza at his word. The best interpretation of this troubling passage is actually not to interpret it but to take it literally.
19. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 57 > Issue: 3
John J. Tilley Francis Hutcheson and John Clarke: Self-Interest, Desire, and Divine Impassibility
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In this article I address a puzzle about one of Francis Hutcheson’s objections to psychological egoism. The puzzle concerns his premise that God receives no benefit from rewarding the virtuous. Why, in the early editions of his Inquiry Concerning Virtue (1725, 1726), does Hutcheson leave this premise undefended? And why, in the later editions (1729, 1738), does he continue to do so, knowing that in 1726 John Clarke of Hull had subjected the premise to plausible criticism, geared to the very audience (mainly Christian) for whom Hutcheson’s objection to egoism was written? This puzzle is not negligible. Some might claim that Hutcheson ruins his objection by ignoring Clarke’s criticism. To answer the puzzle we must consider not only Hutcheson’s philosophy but also some theological assumptions of Hutcheson’s time.
20. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 57 > Issue: 3
Hasse Hämäläinen Aristotle and the Dilemma of Kantian Autonomy
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Autonomy was an important political concept in ancient Greece. Kant made it the ground of morality: only acting motivated by autonomous reason is moral. But he admits that reason does not have a power to motivate us: desires can always override it. Thus it seems that human reason is not autonomous. The principle of autonomy, however, is an intrinsic part of Kant’s “Copernican Revolution” and his rationalism about the grounding of morality. Questioning the former would lead to fideism or to skepticism while rejecting the latter to reductionism. Neither course is less problematic for grounding morality than the principle of autonomy is. I suggest that Aristotle can help us to see how this dilemma can be avoided. Unlike Kant and many others, he does not seek to ground morality beyond our experience. The Aristotelian understanding of human beings as capable of evaluating one another’s actions with the language of purposefulness can explain which actions are moral without falling into the dilemma implied by the Kantian principle of autonomy.