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41. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 93 > Issue: 4
Contents of Volume 93 (2019)
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42. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 93 > Issue: 3
Thomas M. Ward A Most Mitigated Friar: Scotus on Natural Law and Divine Freedom
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In his ethical writings, Duns Scotus emphasized both divine freedom and natural goodness, and these seem to conflict with each other in various ways. I offer an interpretation of Scotus which takes seriously these twin emphases and shows how they cohere. I argue that, for Scotus, all natural laws obtain just by the natures of actual things. Divine commands, such as the Ten Commandments, contingently track natural laws but do not make natural laws to be natural laws. I present textual evidence for this claim. I also show how this view of Scotus on the natural law is consistent with a number of troubling passages. Scotus’s ethical theory implies that there are genuinely moral reasons for acting which are not absolutely binding (because subject to a divine command or permission otherwise) and also some moral reasons for acting which are absolutely binding (because not thus subject).
43. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 93 > Issue: 3
Matthew K. Minerd Thomism and the Formal Object of Logic
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The scientific status of logic is ambiguous within a broadly Aristotelian framework. As is well known, the Stoic position is frequently contrasted with that of the the classic Peripatetic outlook on these matters. For the former, logic is a unique division of philosophy (i.e., rational philosophy), whereas for the latter, logic plays a merely instrumental role. This article explores how several Dominican thinkers articulated an outlook concerning logic that granted it a robust scientific status while maintatining a generally Peripatietic philosophical outlook. Clarity in these matters required the passing of several centuries. This article presents a set of historical vignettes showing the development of an increasingly clearer definition of the nature of the subject of logic, tracing the topic in Aristotle, Avicenna, Aquinas, Hervaeus Natalis, and Antoine Goudin.
44. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 93 > Issue: 3
Mariusz Tabaczek, OP What Do God and Creatures Really Do in an Evolutionary Change? Divine Concurrence and Transformism from the Thomistic Perspective
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Many enthusiasts of theistic evolution willingly accept Aquinas’s distinction between primary and secondary causes, to describe theologically “the mechanics” of evolutionary transformism. However, their description of the character of secondary causes in relation to God’s creative action oftentimes lacks precision. To some extent, the situation within the Thomistic camp is similar when it comes to specifying the exact nature of secondary and instrumental causes at work in evolution. Is it right to ascribe all causation in evolution to creatures—acting as secondary and instrumental causes? Is there any space for a more direct divine action in evolutionary transitions? This article offers a new model of explaining the complexity of the causal nexus in the origin of new biological species, including the human species, analyzed in reference to both the immanent and transcendent orders of causation.
45. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 93 > Issue: 3
Juan M. Burgos Anglo-American and European Personalism: A Dialogue on Idealism and Realism
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The aim of this paper is to explore the differences between the Idealist personalism present in Britain and America, and the Realist personalism, proper to all the different branches of European or Continental Personalism: dialogic, communitarian, phenomenological, classical ontological, and modern ontological. After making clear that not all the British personalists are idealists, but mainly those linked to personal idealism, we will discuss whether we can speak of personalism in a similar sense as idealistic and realistic personalism. Secondly, we will analyze four points in order to compare the peculiar traits of personalism in these philosophies: the phenomenality of matter; the problem of experience; metaphysics and person; and corporeality, personality, and person. Special attention is paid to A. S. Pringle-Pattison and Borden Parker Bowne, as the leaders of idealistic personalism in Britain and the United States.
46. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 93 > Issue: 3
Julie Walsh, Eric Stencil The Protestant and the Pelagian: Arnauld and Malebranche on Grace and Power
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One of the longest and most acrimonious polemics in the history of philosophy is between Antoine Arnauld and Nicolas Malebranche. Their central disagreements are over the nature of ideas, theodicy, and—the topic of this paper—grace. We offer the most in-depth English-language treatment of their discussion of grace to date. Our focus is one particular aspect of the polemic: the power of finite agents to assent to grace. We defend two theses. First, we show that as the debate progresses, the differences between Arnauld and Malebranche become, surprisingly, less pronounced—despite mutual accusations of Pelagianism and Calvinism. Our second thesis is developed to explain the outcome of the first. We argue that the employment of different methodologies to interrogate the relationship between efficacious grace and human power prohibits any possibility of reconciliation between Arnauld and Malebranche.
47. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 93 > Issue: 3
Joseph Gamache Friendship versus the Normativity of Truth: A Catholic Response to a False Dilemma
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According to some contemporary epistemologists, truth is a norm of belief: for any proposition p, one ought to believe that p only if p is true. It is sometimes also held that the evaluation of beliefs in terms of their truth-value is universal: truth is a norm of all, and not merely some, of one’s beliefs. Taken together, these claims have inspired the “friendship objection” to the truth-norm. According to this objection, friendship sometimes requires that friends violate the truth-norm when it comes to their beliefs about each other. I begin by discussing how the friendship objection poses a potential problem for the Catholic philosophical tradition. Then, I attempt to resolve the objection by arguing that it is committed to a false dilemma about friendship. Drawing on insights of Gabriel Marcel and Dietrich von Hildebrand, I sketch a virtue by which friends negotiate the demands of both friendship and truth.
48. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 93 > Issue: 3
Guy Guldentops Francesco Piccolomini’s Christian-Neoplatonic Reading of Aristotle’s Theory of Friendship
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Francesco Piccolomini (1523–1607) interprets Aristotle’s theory of friendship from a Christian-Neoplatonic perspective. This paper focuses on the various (ancient, medieval, and Renaissance) sources of Piccolomini’s interpretation and shows that he succeeds in expounding a coherent doctrine in which the Aristotelian ideal of civic friendship is integrated into a theocentric ethics of spiritual love.
book reviews
49. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 93 > Issue: 3
Gene Fendt Augustine and Kierkegaard. Edited by John Doody, Kim Paffenroth, and Helene Tallon Russell
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50. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 93 > Issue: 3
Dimitrios A. Vasilakis Maximus the Confessor as a European Philosopher. Edited by Sotiris Mitralexis, Georgios Steiris, Marcin Podbielski, and Sebastian Lalla
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51. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 93 > Issue: 3
Michael J. Degnan Desiring the Good: Ancient Proposals and Contemporary Theory. By Katja Maria Vogt
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52. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 93 > Issue: 2
Petr Dvořák, Jacob Schmutz Introduction: Special Issue on Baroque Scholasticism
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53. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 93 > Issue: 2
Igor Agostini The Knowledge of God’s Quid Sit in Dominican Theology: From Saint Thomas to Ferrariensis
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In this article I argue that although the prevailing interpretation within the Thomistic contemporary critical literature, claiming the inaccessibility of God’s quid sit, is faithful both to Saint Thomas and to John Capreolus’s account of Aquinas’s doctrine, it is far from being uncontroversial in the first steps of the history of Thomism. A central step in this history is marked by the Parisian Condemnation of 1277, which is at the origin of relevant debate within the Dominican Order on the question of the knowledge of God’s quid sit. Aquinas’s contemporaries, indeed, interpreted the condemnation of Proposition 214 as a measure taken against Saint Thomas’s negative theology, as confirmed by John Capreolus’s testimony. Capreolus defends Aquinas, claiming that Saint Thomas’s doctrine is not a radical negative theology; in spite of this, he maintains that we cannot know God’s quiddity. In the following history of the debate, however, two influential representatives of the Dominican Order, Tommaso de Vio (Cajetanus) and Francesco Silvestri (Ferrariensis) will affirm the accessibility of God’s quid sit, restoring an old doctrine by Durand of Saint Pourçain and Hervé of Nédellec.
54. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 93 > Issue: 2
Tomáš Machula Theology as Wisdom: Renaissance and Modern Scholastic Commentaries on Aquinas
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One of the frequently commented-upon texts of Aquinas was and still is the first question of Summa theologiae. It is usually the question of whether theology is scientific knowledge that attracts the attention of readers or commentators. This study, however, deals with the question from the sixth article, regarding whether theology is wisdom. It investigates the commentaries of famous authors of Second Scholasticism (especially Bañez and Gonet), who comment on and explain this text of Aquinas. Although this question does not appear to be very controversial, some interesting developments and commentaries can be found even in this topic. The most interesting theme is the question of how theology can be both wisdom and science, i.e., two intellectual virtues. Moreover, there is a need for the interpretation of the texts of Aristotle and Aquinas holding that wisdom is a compound of scientific knowledge and intellectual intuition.
55. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 93 > Issue: 2
Sydney Penner Early Modern Scotists and Eudaimonism: The Affection for Advantage and the Affection for Justice
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Scotus’s account of the two affections of the will (the affection for advantage and the affection for justice) has received extensive attention from recent scholars, in part because this is often seen as one of Scotus’s key departures from Aquinas and from the eudaimonist tradition more generally. Curiously, however, the early modern followers of Scotus seem largely to ignore the two affections doctrine. This paper surveys the reception of the doctrine in Francisco Lychetus, Francisco Macedo, Juan de Rada, Sebastian Dupasquier, and Claude Frassen.
56. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 93 > Issue: 2
Petr Dvořák Vásquez’s Anselmian Response to Wycliffian Deterministic Arguments
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Gabriel Vásquez (1549–1604) discusses two deterministic arguments ascribed to John Wyclif. He appeals to the Anselmian solution based on the distinction between two types of necessity: antecedent and subsequent necessity. Unlike the former, the latter necessity does not destroy future event’s contingency, which is required if it is to result from a free choice. The paper discusses the Aristotelian objection according to which a statement describing some contingent future event is either without truth-value, and thus antecedently contingent but not (broadly) subsequently necessary at present, or it has a truth-value, but then it is not merely (broadly) subsequently necessary but also antecedently necessary. The Anselmian temporal ontology is such that no absolute present parameter is to be included in the evaluation of modal tensed statements. This recognition disposes of modal notions tied to the absolute temporal qualification of statements and thus undercuts the objection.
57. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 93 > Issue: 2
Lukáš Novák How Pure a Potency?: Prime Matter in Post-Mediæval Thomism
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In their Philosophiae ad mentem Scoti cursus integer Bartolomeo Mastri and Bonaventura Belluto describe the great variety of Thomist views on the nature of the “pure potentiality” of matter. This paper confronts Mastri and Belluto’s report with actual Thomist texts, to find that the variety is much greater than the Scotists’ report suggests and their classification of many authors unreliable. The detailed survey of the various versions of Thomism is set against an attempt to analyse the general nature of the Thomist-Scotist dispute over the pure potentiality of prime matter.
58. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 93 > Issue: 2
Jean-Pascal Anfray A Jesuit Debate about the Modes of Union: Francisco Suárez vs. Pedro Hurtado de Mendoza
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In this paper, I examine a neglected debate between Francisco Suárez and Pedro Hurtado de Mendoza about the unity of composite substances (i.e., hylomorphic compounds of matter and form). There was a consensus among the Jesuits on the fact that the per se unity of composite substances requires something in addition to matter and form. Like most Jesuits, Suárez and Hurtado further agree on the fact that this additional ingredient is not a full-blown thing, but a “mode of union.” However, while Suárez claims that the union is achieved through a single mode, Hurtado maintains that it is necessary to postulate two distinct modes of union, one modifying form and another modifying matter. I argue that this disagreement actually reflects an important ontological debate about the nature of the items that serve as the cement of things and that it eventually leads later Jesuits like Rodrigo de Arriaga to conceive of union as a polyadic or “straddling” mode.
59. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 93 > Issue: 2
Rudolf Schuessler Scholastic Social Epistemology in the Baroque Era
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Social epistemology existed in the scholastic tradition in the shape of doctrines on the legitimate use of probable opinions. Medieval scholasticism had developed sophisticated approaches in this respect, but the apogee of scholastic theoretical reflection on social epistemology occurred in the Baroque era and its Catholic moral theology (late sixteenth to eighteenth centuries). The huge debate on probable opinions at that time produced the most far-reaching and deepest investigations into the moral and epistemological foundations and limitations of opinion-based, reasonable discourse prior to the late twentieth century. It is time to recover the arguments and claims of Baroque scholastic social epistemology, not only to fill a lacuna in intellectual history but also to see whether some of its challenges are still with us today.
60. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 93 > Issue: 2
Tomáš Nejeschleba Metaphysica Valeriani Magni: The Doctrine on God and the World for Those Who Love God
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The paper deals with the metaphysics of Valerian Magni, a seventeenth-century Capuchin thinker and Church politician. It follows Stanislav Sousedik’s and Paul Richard Blum’s interpretations of Magni’s thought and aims to systematize Magni’s metaphysical notions and present their gradual development. The paper first focuses on Magni’s critique of Aristotelianism, which the Capuchin regards as an atheistic philosophy due to incorrect conceptions of God and the world. Then, Magni’s attempt to create a metaphysical system in his late work Opus philosophicum in particular is presented. The influence of the Augustinian-Bonaventurian tradition and the subjectivist tendencies in Magni’s thought are taken into account.