Already a subscriber? - Login here
Not yet a subscriber? - Subscribe here

Displaying: 21-30 of 5662 documents


articles
21. The Modern Schoolman: Volume > 88 > Issue: 3/4
Rico Vitz Thomas More and the Christian ‘Superstition’: A Puzzle for Hume’s Psychology of Religious Belief
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
In this paper, I examine one particular element of Hume’s psychology of religious belief. More specifically, I attempt to elucidate his account of what I call the sustaining causes of religious belief—that is, those causes that keep religious beliefs alive in modern human societies. In attempting to make some progress at clarifying this element of Hume’s psychology, I examine one particular ‘experiment’— namely, the case of Thomas More, a man who is, by Hume’s own admission, a person of remarkable virtue. I contend that the most salient Humean explanations of More’s religious convictions are implausible but that Humehas at his disposal three more plausible hypotheses to account for More’s faith. I conclude, however, by suggesting that these hypotheses alone are insufficient to solve the puzzle More poses for this particular element of Hume’s psychology of religious belief.
22. The Modern Schoolman: Volume > 88 > Issue: 3/4
Marcy P. Lascano Damaris Masham and “The Law of Reason or Nature”
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
Emphasis on reason is pervasive in Damaris Masham’s writings. However, her various assertions regarding the use and importance of reason sometimes seem in tension with her emphasis on its limitations and weaknesses. In this paper, I examine Masham’s views concerning the role of reason in knowledge of the existence and nature of God, moral duty, and human happiness. First, I show one way in which Masham uses reason in her works—in her argument for the existence of God. Here, we see that Masham’s proof makes use of the notion of the “law of reason or nature.” After discussing Masham’s general account of reason, I turn to the role that reason plays in our knowledge more generally, in morality, and in providing for human happiness. Finally, I address Masham’s contention that human reason is weak by looking at the ways our reason is limited and perverted.
23. The Modern Schoolman: Volume > 88 > Issue: 3/4
Julia von Bodelschwingh Leibniz on Concurrence, Spontaneity, and Authorship
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
Leibniz holds that creatures require divine concurrence for all their actions, and that this concurrence is ‘special,’ that is, directed at the particular qualities of each action. This gives rise to two potential problems. The first is the problem of explaining why special concurrence does not make God a co-author of creaturelyactions. Second, divine concurrence may seem incompatible with the central Leibnizian doctrine that substances must act spontaneously, or independently of other substances. Concurrence, in other words, may appear to jeopardize creaturely substancehood. I argue that Leibniz can solve both of these problems by invoking final and formal causation. The creature is the sole author of its actions because it alone contributes the formal and final cause to these actions. Similarly, because it contributes the formal and final cause, the creature possesses what I call explanatory spontaneity. Leibniz, I contend, considers this type of spontaneity sufficient for substancehood.
24. The Modern Schoolman: Volume > 88 > Issue: 3/4
Liz Goodnick Cleanthes’s Propensity and Intelligent Design
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
A persuasive argument that theism is a Humean “natural belief” relies on the assertion that belief in intelligent design is caused by “Cleanthes’s propensity,” introduced in Hume’s Dialogues—a universal propensity to believe in a designer triggered by the observation of apparent telos in nature. But Hume neverclaims in his own voice that religious belief is founded on anything like Cleanthes’s propensity. Instead, in the Natural History, he argues that the belief in invisible intelligent power is caused by the psychological propensity to anthropomorphize triggered by the observation of disorder. I argue that religious belief is among theHumean natural beliefs only if this propensity is relevantly similar to the propensity responsible for inductive beliefs—the paradigmatic case of natural belief. Evidence from the Natural History and Treatise confirm that this is not the case. I conclude that belief in intelligent design is not, for Hume, a natural belief.
25. The Modern Schoolman: Volume > 88 > Issue: 3/4
Ryan Nichols, Robert Callergård Thomas Reid on Reidian Religious Belief Forming Faculties
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
The role of epistemology in philosophy of religion has transformed the discipline by diverting questions away from traditional metaphysical issues and toward concerns about justification and warrant. Leaders responsible for these changes, including Plantinga, Alston and Draper, use methods and arguments fromScottish Enlightenment figures. In general theists use and cite techniques pioneered by Reid and non-theists use and cite techniques pioneered by Hume, a split reduplicated among cognitive scientists of religion, with Justin Barrett and Scott Atran respectively framing their results in Reid’s and in Hume’s language and argument. This state of affairs sets our agenda. First we identify Reid’s use in the epistemology of religion and in the cognitive science of religion. Then we turn to Reid’s texts in an effort to assess the interpretations and extrapolations of Reid given by participants in these debates. The answers to our research questions shed light on what Reid would believe today, were he apprised of the latest research in epistemology of and cognitive science of religion.
26. The Modern Schoolman: Volume > 88 > Issue: 1/2
William C. Charron An Editor’s Farewell
view |  rights & permissions | cited by
articles
27. The Modern Schoolman: Volume > 88 > Issue: 1/2
Kevin Timpe Tracing and the Epistemic Condition on Moral Responsibility
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
In “The Trouble with Tracing,” Manuel Vargas argues that tracing-based approaches to moral responsibility are considerably more problematic than previously acknowledged. Vargas argues that many initially plausible tracing-based cases of moral responsibility turn out to be ones in which the epistemic condition for moral responsibility is not satisfied, thus suggesting that contrary to initial appearances the agent isn’t morally responsible for the action in question. In the present paper, I outline two different strategies for responding to Vargas’s trouble with tracing. I then show how further consideration of the epistemic condition for moral responsibility renders tracing significantly less problematic than Vargas claims.
28. The Modern Schoolman: Volume > 88 > Issue: 1/2
Daniel Speak Libertarianism, Luck, and Gift
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
According to libertarianism, free will requires indeterminism. Many opponents of libertarianism have suggested that indeterminism would inject luck or chance into human action in a problematic way. Alfred Mele’s recent “contrast argument” is an especially clear effort to make this kind of objection to libertarianism precise. This paper is response to the contrast argument on behalf of libertarianism. I argue that worries about luck and chance, enshrined in the contrast argument, arise largely from confusion and lack of imagination. I address the confusion by disambiguating various conclusions the contrast argument is supposed to support. In each case, I claim the libertarian turns out to be on solid ground. I address the lack of imagination by developing (rather tentatively) a hint from William James regarding the relationship between chance and gift.
29. The Modern Schoolman: Volume > 88 > Issue: 1/2
C. P. Ragland Softening Fischer’s Hard Compatibilism
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
According to “hard” compatibilists, we can be responsible for our actions not only when they are determined by mindless natural causes, but also when some agent other than ourselves intentionally determines us to act as we do. “Soft” compatibilists consider freedom compatible with merely natural determinism, but not with intentional determinism (e.g., theological determinism). Because he believes there is no relevant difference (NRD) between a naturally determined agent and a relevantly similar intentionally determined agent, John Martin Fischer is a hard compatibilist. However, he argues for “historical” compatibilism by appealing to the intuition that certain manipulated agents are not responsible. By considering a new type of manipulation case, I show that Fischer’s appeal to ordinary intuitions about manipulation conflicts with NRD, so that he must choose between the two. The closing section explains why I think going “soft” is Fischer’s better option.
30. The Modern Schoolman: Volume > 88 > Issue: 1/2
Neal A. Tognazzini Understanding Source Incompatibilism
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
Source incompatibilism is an increasingly popular version of incompatibilism about determinism and moral responsibility. However, many self-described source incompatibilists formulate the thesis differently, resulting in conceptual confusion that can obscure the relationship between source incompatibilism and other views in the neighborhood. In this paper I canvas various formulations of the thesis in the literature and argue in favor of one as the least likely to lead to conceptual confusion. It turns out that accepting my formulation has some surprising (but helpful) taxonomical consequences.