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1. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 76 > Issue: 3
Lewis S. Ford Can Thomas and Whitehead Complement Each Other?
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Two essays relating Thomas and Whitehead have recently appeared. Coming To Be by James W. Felt, S.J., modifies Thomas by replacing his substantial form with Whitehead’s notion of subjective aim, the essencein-the-making introduced by God to guide the occasion’s act of coming into being. Felt also substitutes subjective aim for matter as the means of individuation. This is one of Whitehead’s individuating principles, although a case can be made that matter (the multiplicity of past actualities as proximate matter) is another. “God and Creativity” by Stephen T. Franklin develops a reconciliation of these two ultimates by conceiving of God as the source of creativity, and seeing creativity in terms of the Thomistic esse. In my reflections on this project I explore four alternativeswith respect to the source of creativity: (a) creativity as derived from the past; (b) creativity as inherent in the present; (c) God as the source of transitional creativity (Franklin); (d) God as the source of concrescent creativity (Ford). The last two differ with respect to being’s relation to becoming. Does being undergird becoming, or does becoming bring about being, such that apart from it there would be no being? Our theory of creation depends upon this question.
2. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 80 > Issue: 4
Dennis L. Sepper After Fascism, After the War: Thresholds of Thinking in Contemporary Italian Philosophy
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This article offers a detailed review of Filosofi italiani contemporanei, a book that presents overviews of seven contemporary Italian philosophers and philosopher/theologians—Luigi Pareyson, Emanuele Severino, Italo Mancini, Gianni Vattimo, Vincenzo Vitiello, Massimo Cacciari, and theologian Bruno Forte. Not intended as a comprehensive survey of the contemporary Italian philosophical scene, the book presents thinkers influential during the last three decades who have focused on tradition, post-metaphysical conceptions of being, origin, and principle, and the openness of philosophy to religion. Although eccentric by Anglo-American standards, the selection does not misrepresent recent Italian philosophizing, which has been more thoroughgoingly shaped by neo-scholasticism, idealism, Nietzsche, Heidegger, and nihilism than most English-language work. Open to international philosophy as well as to its own traditions, Italian thinkers work within a complex ethos that has produced significant recent philosophizing and holds great promise for the future.
3. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 81 > Issue: 4
Anthony J. Lisska On the Revival of Natural Law: Several Books from the Last Half-Decade
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The last third of the twentieth century witnessed a burst of energy by philosophers sorting out the many-faceted claims of natural law theory. Natural law theory, rooted in the Nicomachean Ethics with some modifications by the Stoics, was studied in the twentieth century mainly through the writings of Thomas Aquinas, followed by those of the Salamanca school, which was central to the Second Scholasticism. The horrors of the Second World War and the trials following it, with their charges of “crimes against humanity,” prompted a renewed interested by English-speaking philosophers in natural law jurisprudence. Analytic philosophers followed Elizabeth Anscombe’s urging to venture beyond the limits of early twentieth-century moral philosophy; Alasdair MacIntyre’s writings buttressed the return to ethical naturalism; John Finnis’s “new natural law” theory also contributed to this renaissance. These many avenues form the conceptual backdrop to the eight books reviewed in this essay.
4. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 82 > Issue: 2
Sean J. McGrath Alternative Confessions, Conflicting Faiths: A Review of The Influence of Augustine on Heidegger
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The extent of the influence of Augustine on Heidegger, long only indicated in a few notes in Being and Time, has come into focus with the publicationof Heidegger’s earliest lectures. Far from one among many sources upon which Heidegger draws, we now know that Augustine’s Confessions is a central source of concepts for the early Heidegger. While this is further evidence of the ongoing relevance of Augustine to contemporary philosophy, it does not necessarily makeHeidegger an Augustinian thinker. The question of the degree to which Heidegger’s philosophy is compatible with Augustine’s theology is the subject of a recentlypublished volume of papers, The Influence of Augustine on Heidegger. While the editor, Craig de Paulo, proclaims the advent of an “Augustinian phenomenology”founded upon Heidegger, several contributors exhibit more caution, pointing out important divergences between Heidegger—whom no one would call a Christian—and Augustine. The author sides with the skeptics, reading Heidegger as in fact a subversion of Augustine. Heidegger reverses Augustine’s central insight, that the restless heart is intentionally structured, directed toward union with God. Heidegger’s anxiety in the face of death has no intentional term; it is self-reflective,Augustinian agitation without that which agitates it.
5. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 82 > Issue: 2
John Deely How To Go Nowhere with Language: Remarks on John O’Callaghan, Thomist Realism and the Linguistic Turn
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Jacques Maritain tells us that, apart from St. Thomas himself, his “principal teacher” in Thomism was John Poinsot. Poinsot, like Maritain and Thomas, expressly teaches that the basis of “Thomist realism” lies in the distinction between sentire, which makes no use of concepts, and phantasiari and intelligere, which together depend essentially on concepts. O’Callaghan makes no discussion of this point, resting his notion of realism rather on the widespread quo/quod fallacy, that is, the misinterpretation of concepts as the id quo of knowing. Poinsot demonstrates that this view conflates the distinct notions of species expressae and species impressae, demonstrating further that concepts as such cannot provide the cognitive basis of realism. O’Callaghan in effect suppresses the distinction betweenobjects and things in his effort to achieve the impossible. In this review, I show that it is a question of semantics vs. semiotics over which O’Callaghan stumblesin misrepresenting “Thomist realism.”
6. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 83 > Issue: 1
Peter M. Candler, Jr. The Alleged Thomism of Mark Jordan: A Review of Rewritten Theology
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Mark Jordan’s recent book, Rewritten Theology, challenges the way in which the achievement of Thomas Aquinas has been both received and reformulated,often in order to serve particular theological and philosophical ends. It helps to unmask the often hidden presuppositions behind efforts to “police” Thomism, efforts which frequently require a revision and a rewriting of the texts of Aquinas themselves. At a time when it appears that there is a repristinization of the Thomistic “synthesis” reminiscent of Garrigou-Lagrange, this book is an auspicious reminder that such “synthesis” often comes at the cost of fidelity to theMaster in whose name it is fashioned.
7. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 83 > Issue: 2
Charles G. Nauert Humanist and Critic: A Review of Collected Works of Erasmus, Volumes 35 and 36 (ed. John N. Grant) and Volume 45 (ed. Robert Sider)
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Erasmus’s Adages were among his most influential works in his own time, particularly later editions, which included both Greek and Latin. In the adages included in volumes 35 and 36, Erasmus criticizes secular and ecclesiastical life, commenting on topics such as war, reform of the church and spiritual life, and the corrupting effects of the relentless pursuit of wealth and power. Erasmus aims his narrative and commentary in Paraphrase on the Gospel of Matthew (volume 45) at a general educated audience (rather than professional theologians). Together, these volumes provide readable and accurate edition of Erasmus’s work and helpful special indexes.
8. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 83 > Issue: 2
John N. Deely In the Twilight of Neothomism, a Call for a New Beginning—A Return in Philosophy to the Idea of Progress by Deepening Insight Rather than by Substitution: A Review of The Way toward Wisdom
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With a few exceptions, the relation of modern science to medieval natural philosophy is a question that has been largely shunned in the Neothomistic era, in favor of a preoccupation with establishing a “realist metaphysics” that has no need for science in the modern sense nor, for that matter, any need for natural philosophy either. Fr. Ashley’s work confronts this narrow preoccupation head-on, arguing that, in the view of St. Thomas himself, there can be no human wisdom which leaves aside scientific development. Ashley even goes so far as to point the way tothe possible development of philosophy beyond the terms of the realist / idealist framework in which Neothomism had its say.
9. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 83 > Issue: 4
Charles Bambach Situating Heidegger: A Review of Several Recent Works
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Dwelling in the homeland would become a signature theme for the later Heidegger, pervading his work on technology, poetry, language, art, and the meaning of thinking. This question concerning the home would come to serve as a way of posing the question about continuity within his work and its relation to the decisive shifts that helped to shape his philosophical path of thinking. This article attempts to situate Heidegger both within his own work and within the history of philosophy by looking at the topic of “homecoming.”After offering a brief sketch of how North American philosophers have read Heidegger over the last twenty years, this article offers a review of four recent books that take up the question of continuity over Heidegger’s thought path. By focusing on Heidegger’s relation to medieval philosophy, the Greeks, the problem of will, and Gelassenheit, it shows how we can find a sense of unity in Heideggerian thinking by considering it against the discourse of a “first” and an “other” beginning.
10. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 86 > Issue: 1
Steven J. Jensen Thomistic Perspectives?: Martin Rhonheimer’s Version of Virtue Ethics
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Martin Rhonheimer’s The Perspective of Morality: Philosophical Foundations of Thomistic Virtue Ethics offers a bold summary of Thomistic virtue ethics, laid upon some not-so-Thomistic foundations, culminating in questionable, perhaps even dangerous, conclusions concerning actions evil in themselves. As anintroduction to ethical thought, the book covers a wide range of topics, including happiness, freedom, the nature of human actions, the moral virtues, conscience, the principles of practical reason, consequentialism, Kantian ethics, and much more. For some of these topics Rhonheimer provides a helpful summary of the ethics of Aquinas, sprinkled with thoughtful reflections for the modern age. For other topics Rhonheimer introduces questionable interpretations and developments of Aquinas, written with obscurity and lack of precision. This article provides some suggested alternatives to Rhonheimer’s account, especially with regard to the origin of the first practical principles.