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book reviews
1. 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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2. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 59 > Issue: 4
Books Received
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3. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 59 > Issue: 4
Index to Volume 59
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4. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 59 > Issue: 3
About Our Contributors
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articles
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. 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.
10. 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.
book reviews
11. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 59 > Issue: 3
Gary M. Gurtler, S.J. Plotinus on the Soul. By Damian Caluori
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12. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 59 > Issue: 3
John D. Gilroy, Jr. Experiencing William James: Belief in a Pluralistic World. By James Campbell
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13. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 59 > Issue: 3
Samuel A. Stoner Kant and His German Contemporaries. Edited by Daniel O. Dahlstrom
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14. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 59 > Issue: 3
Joseph W. Koterski, S.J. The Naturalistic Fallacy. Edited by Neil Sinclair
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15. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 59 > Issue: 3
Books Received
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16. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 59 > Issue: 2
About Our Contributors
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articles
17. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 59 > Issue: 2
Roberto Mordacci A Short History and Theory of Respect
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It has become common, following Stephen Darwall’s “Two Kinds of Respect” (1977), to distinguish between “appraisal respect” and “recognition respect.” I propose, rather, to distinguish between hierarchical and egalitarian respect. The way the two meanings interact and the way they either support or contrast with each other have yet to be made clear. The meanings gathered under the broad rubric of respect can be highlighted by a genealogy that convincingly shows that the hierarchical notion is fundamental and that the definition of an egalitarian meaning is a decisive shift made mainly by the Enlightenment movement, particularly by Kant. Furthermore, the notion of respect is currently being extended beyond persons—to animals, other living beings, and the environment. I argue that we can justifiably do so on the basis of the interaction between the hierarchical and egalitarian notions of respect.
18. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 59 > Issue: 2
Anthony Rudd On Painting and its Philosophical Significance: Merleau-Ponty and Maritain
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Merleau-Ponty’s writings on the philosophy of painting, though widely influential and much discussed, remain enigmatic. In this paper I compare his views on painting with those of his older contemporary, Jacques Maritain, who also holds that painting can give us a non-conceptual insight into deep truths about things that are inaccessible to discursive thought. I argue that some ideas that are obscure and undeveloped in Merleau-Ponty are developed more clearly and fully in Maritain. Even where there are significant differences between them, these are not as great as it might at first seem. This comparison can help us to see the ways in which both philosophers’ theories of art are important for understanding their philosophies as a whole. Furthermore, the views they hold in common can continue to suggest a plausible and fruitful way to think about art today.
19. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 59 > Issue: 2
Daniel Adsett Milbank and Heidegger on the Possibility of a Secular Analogy of Being
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Traditionally, analogical ontologies—ontologies that are hierarchically structured with beings participating in a primary being—have been defended by those who criticize secularism. Secularism, it is said, depends on the leveling out of being, the elimination of hierarchies in favor of ontologies in which beings differ only according to intensity. John Milbank, for example, argues that secularism became a possibility only once medieval analogical ontologies were supplanted by univocal accounts of being. In this paper, however, I argue that an endorsement of an analogical ontology is not restricted to pre-moderns and those critical of secularism. It is possible, I argue, to conceive of a secular version of analogical ontology. Martin Heidegger’s mid-career account of being offers us an example of such an ontology. In what follows, I attempt to reconstruct Heidegger’s mid-career ontology as analogically and secularly organized. In doing so, I challenge Milbank’s claim that secular ontologies are necessarily non-analogical.
20. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 59 > Issue: 2
Yong Li Virtues and Human Dignity: Confucianism and the Foundation of Human Rights
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In this paper I argue that Confucianism provides a foundation for human rights. First, I will survey the current debates on the issue of whether Confucianism can embrace the idea of human rights. Second, I will focus on a “thin concept” of human rights and point out some historical developments pertinent to this idea and various aspects of the concept. Third, I will explain the type of interpretation of Confucianism on which I want to focus. Fourth, I will argue that Confucianism is not only compatible with human rights but also provides a foundation for human dignity, which is a basis for human rights. I argue that the Confucian virtue-based approach can overcome certain challenges that thwart an autonomy-based approach to human dignity and human rights. Finally, I will address some objections to this view.