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161. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
Michael Polyard Philosophical Implications of Naturalizing Religion
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This paper deals with Daniel Dennett’s argument regarding the nature of belief in contrast to belief in belief. The idea that the value of the first orderbelief in the existence of a precept is entirely irrelevant because it is indistinguishable from the second-order belief; that the belief in something is a good thing. That is to say it doesn’t matter if I believe something inasmuch as if I believe that the belief is a good thing (i.e.: beneficial to the individual, etc). Dennett’s approach particularly regards an analysis of religion from this point, and suggests that it is entirely impossible to determine if an individual believes in God, or simply believes that the belief in God is a good thing. More importantly, Dennett argues that the individual themselves cannot make this distinction.
162. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
Janusz Salamon The Universal and Particular Dimensions of the Holocaust Story and the Emergence of Global Ethics
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In this paper I want to look at the Holocaust story as an example of a value-laden story which might become one of the foundation stones of the emergentglobal ethics, indispensable for bridging ideological divides that so often prevent a global society from living in peace and solidarity. My key suggestion willbe that the stories that have the potential of becoming truly ‘global stories’, will in reality become carriers of global values only after undergoing interpretativetransformation which will enable all citizens of the global village to identify with ethically positive aspects of the story, so that they will perceive this story as theirown.
163. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
Xunwu Chen God and Toleration
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The enduring debate on the question of whether an omnipotent, omniscient God exists amid the existence of evils in the world is crucial to understandingreligions. Much recent discussion has taken an approach in which the focal question is whether we can cognitively—for example, logically, evidentially, andthe like—and rationally justify that God’s full power and full goodness cannot be doubted amid the existence of evils. In this paper I argue that we can reasonablyassume that God exists in an evil-afflicted world if he chooses to do so and if he tolerates evils. We can reasonably argue that he does exist in an evil-afflictedworld because he chooses to tolerate evils for whatever reasons. I would like to make a stronger claim: he tolerates evils in order to give humankind a chance togrow in knowledge of good and evils by combating evils, which implies that his toleration of evils imposes a task on humankind to combat evils.
164. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
Teresa Obolevitch All-Unity according to V. Soloviev and S. Frank. A Comparative Analysis
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In this article I will present and analyze the concept of all-unity of the two most famous Russian philosophers – Vladimir Soloviev (1853-1900) and Semyon Frank (1877-1958). As will be argued, the concept of all-unity is part of an old philosophical tradition. At the same time, it is an original idea of the Russian thought of the Silver Age (the end of the 19th and the first half of the 20th centuries).
165. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 16 > Issue: 1
George Karuvelil, S.J. Religious experience: reframing the question
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It is thought that Schleiermacher used religious experience as a new kind of argument to safeguard Christian faith when he was faced with the failure oftraditional arguments for the existence of God. This paper argues that such a view does not do justice to the newness of his approach in constructing a propaedeutic to Christian theology. It is further argued that, irrespective of whether one agrees with what Schleiermacher was trying to do, if religious experience is to become a contemporary preambula fidei to Christian theology, the focus should be on communicating a positive experience rather than on arguing for God’s existence.
166. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 16 > Issue: 1
Paul Favraux, S.J. La pertinence de l’ontologie pour la théologie
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Ontology is still relevant for the reception of Christian revelation. Transcendental subjectivity, whose main role is to constitute, calls out for a deeper foundation. It is this deeper foundation that supplies an ontology of participation of all beings in Being and in God, as found in St Thomas and in some interpretations of his work (those of E. Gilson, A. Chapelle, A. Léonard). God’s immanence in humanity and in creation, and human participation in Being and ultimately in God, enable us to conceive of a causal action upon the whole of humanity and upon the whole of creation, a causal action issuing from the death-resurrection of Christ. In the context of contemporary philosophy, marked too unilaterally by finitude and historicity, this ontology needs to be supplemented by an anthropological reflection on liberty – liberty donated to itself (C. Bruaire) rather than liberty uniquely devoted to an indefinite search of itself. This is the main point behind A. Chapelle’s anthropology. Moreover, it is this sense of liberty that underlies at the same time a genuine pathway to ethics.
167. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 16 > Issue: 1
Józef Bremer, S.J. Aristotle on touch
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According Aristotle’s On the Soul, the first and most important form of sensation which we human beings share with other animals is a sense of touch.Without touch animals cannot exist. The first part of my article presents Aristotle’s teaching about the internal connection between the soul and the sensory powers, especially as regards the sense of touch. The second part consists of a collection of the classical considerations about this subject. The third part then deals with the actuality of some Aristotle’s thesis about touch with reference to current research in neurophysiology on kinesthesia and haptic perception.
168. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 16 > Issue: 1
Paul Gilbert, S.J. Voilà pourquoi je ne suis pas ‘ontologue’
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The word ‘ontology’ has no meaning outside the context in which it was created. When it was invented, at the beginning of the seventeenth century, theword ‘metaphysics’ already existed. So the creation of ‘ontology’ had to express a distance with respect to tradition. ‘Metaphysics’ had its roots in Aristotle and his search, his impossible search, for a first principle. This project is taken up again by ‘ontology’ but this time by limiting the Aristotelian intention to the area of univocal formality, while Aristotle had situated himself within the order of dialectical investigation. Current phenomenology tries to re-actualize the Aristotelian intention by emphasizing ontological difference and analogy, while analytic philosophy remains firmly within the tradition of modern ontology.
169. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 16 > Issue: 1
Heinrich Watzka, S.J. A new realistic spirit: the analytical and the existential approaches to ontology
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I shall distinguish between two periods of analytic ontology, one semi-idealistic, the other post-idealistic. The former fostered the very idea of a conceptual scheme within which questions of ontology could be formulated and answered in the first place; the latter rejected this idea in favour of the view that ontological inquiry neither presupposes a framework, nor provides the framework for science or everyday speech. Since then, ontology is what it always have been, the systematic study of the most fundamental categories of being, not of thought. Unfortunately, such a category theory becomes aporetic in its search for a solutionof the problem of the ‘temporary intrinsics’ (D. Lewis). Experience cannot tell us, whether entities persist by ‘perduring’ or by ‘enduring.’ One can take an alternative route and seek to broaden the conceptual basis of ontology by focussing on ‘Being’ (Sein) in contrast to entities, or being (Seiendes). The controversy on perdurantism and endurantism emerges as a dispute over two conflicting ways of being in time, not of Being itself.
170. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 16 > Issue: 1
Louis Caruana, S.J. Introduction
171. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 16 > Issue: 1
Louis Caruana, S.J. Universal claims
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Claims are universal when they are not dependent on when and where they are made. Mathematics and the natural sciences are the typical disciplinesthat allow such claims to be made. Is the striving for universal claims in other disciplines justified? Those who attempt to answer this question in the affirmativeoften argue that it is justified when mathematics and the natural sciences are taken as the model for other disciplines. In this paper I challenge this position andanalyze the issue by looking at it from a new angle, a perspective that involves two key concepts: violence and loyalty. The result of this analysis throws light on thebroader question concerning what the search for truth might mean in a pluralistic world.
172. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 16 > Issue: 1
Anthony J. Carroll Disenchantment, rationality and the modernity of Max Weber
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Following Aristotle’s distinction between theoretical and practical rationality, Max Weber holds that beliefs about the world and actions within the world must follow procedures consistently and be appropriately formed if they are to count as rational. Here, I argue that Weber’s account of theoretical and practicalrationality, as disclosed through his conception of the disenchantment of the world, displays a confessional architecture consistently structured by a nineteenthcentury German Protestant outlook. I develop this thesis through a review of the concepts of rationality and disenchantment in Weber’s major works and concludethat this conceptual framework depicts a Protestant account of modernity.
173. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 16 > Issue: 1
Eric Charmetant, S.J. Contemporary Naturalism and Human Ontology: Towards a Different Essentialism
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Contemporary naturalism, especially through ethology, neuroscience and cognitive science, challenges the traditional ontological points of referencefor determining the specificity of human beings. After illustrating the full measure of this upheaval, I will show the inadequacy of a return to traditional essentialismand will then defend the relevance of a different type of essentialism: an approach to human specificity in terms of a homeostatic property cluster.
174. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 16 > Issue: 1
Terrance Walsh, S.J. Bonum est causa mali: a problem and an opportunity for metaphysics in the thought of Thomas Aquinas and Hegel
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How to explain the existence of evil if being by its very nature is good? My paper examines an interesting and perhaps significant parallel between twoexponents of the metaphysical tradition usually thought to stand widely apart, Thomas Aquinas and Hegel. I argue that Hegel’s system shares certain features ofAquinas’ convertibility thesis (S.T. I, 5, 1), that upon closer inspection will yield a set of interesting reflections not only about the problem of evil, but also aboutthe limits and possibilities of metaphysical method. I discuss Aquinas’ thesis of the convertibility of being and good and how it determines his treatment of evil.I then construct a Hegelian version of convertibility and argue that Hegel’s system fails for similar reasons to provide a satisfactory account of the problem of evil.This leads to my central question: should the inadequacy of traditional approaches to evil call for a reversal or abandonment of metaphysics, or invite a deeperreflection about reality that would not subsume the world’s darkness under what Hans Blumenberg once called “metaphysics of light”?
175. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 16 > Issue: 2
Eric Baldwin On Buddhist and Taoist Morality
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Arthur Danto argues that all Eastern philosophies – except Confucianism – fail to accept necessary conditions on genuine morality: a robust notionof agency and that actions are praiseworthy only if performed voluntarily, in accordance with rules, and from motives based on the moral worth and well-beingof others. But Danto’s arguments fail: Neo-Taoism and Mohism satisfy these allegedly necessary constraints and Taoism and Buddhism both posit moral reasons that fall outside the scope of Danto’s allegedly necessary conditions on genuine morality. Thus, our initial reaction, that these Eastern philosophies offer genuine moral reasons for action, is sustained rather than overturned.
176. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 16 > Issue: 2
Kazimierz Rynkiewicz The virtuous Person’s Lucky Path to Success [Der Glückliche Weg zum Erfolg Eines Tugendhaften]
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In this paper I seek to analyse the following question: How is it that I am able, today, to succeed in fulfilling my goals? My analysis will, I hope, demonstratethat virtues are important because they facilitate this sort of fulfilment. An examination of the classical notion of virtue is thus called for, and this in turn suggests that, at least in certain cases, virtue is connected with luck – that these two belong together. This points towards a new form of contemporary virtue ethics,whose distinctive character will be reflected in the particular significance it invests in the concepts of “qualification” and “competence”. Finally, we are ledto Wittgenstein’s assertion that “The world of the happy person is other than the world of the hapless person”.
177. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 16 > Issue: 2
Jarosław Jagiełło Logos and faith in a “secular age” [Logos und Glaube im „secular age“. Zur Religionsphilosophischen Aktualität des Ebner´schen Denkens]
178. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 16 > Issue: 2
Rob Lovering Does Ordinary Morality Imply Atheism? A Reply to Maitzen
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Stephen Maitzen has recently argued that ordinary morality implies atheism. In the following, I argue that the soundness of Maitzen’s argument depends ona principle that is implausible, what I call the Recipient’s Benefit Principle: All else being equal, if an act A produces a net benefit for the individual on the receiving end of A, then one cannot have a moral obligation to prevent A. Specifically, the Recipient’s Benefit Principle (RBP) must be true if premise (2) of Maitzen’s argument is to be true. But, RBP is likely false, as it generates counterintuitive implications as well as conflicts with another principle both plausible and seemingly adopted by most of us, what I call the Preventing Immorality Principle: All else being equal, if an act A is seriously immoral, then one has a moral obligation to prevent A.
179. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 16 > Issue: 2
Maria Kłańska The Significance of Spinoza and His Philosophy for the Life and Poetry of the German-Jewish Poetess Rose Ausländer [Spinoza und Seine Philosophie im Schaffen der Deutschsprachigen Dichterin Rose Ausländer]
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The German-Jewish writer and poetess, Rose Ausländer (1901-1988), who came from Chernivtsi (Czernowitz), capital of Bukovina, one of the formerprovinces of the Hapsburg Empire, is one of the most+ highly acclaimed lyric poets to have written in German in the 20th century. Throughout her whole life shewas an adherent of the philosophy of Spinoza, first becoming acquainted with it in the so-called “ethics seminar” of the secondary-school teacher Friedrich Kettner. In the wake of the First World War the youth of Chernivtsi were in need of new sources of intellectual stimulation, so he set out to introduce them to the philosophy of Spinoza, as well as to that of Constantin Brunner, a contemporary German philosopher influenced by him.Rose Ausländer remained a follower of Spinoza right up to the end of her life. This is confirmed by her two very different poems of the same name, “Spinoza”– the first composed before 1939, the second in 1979 – as well as by her many explorations of topics drawn from his ethics, ranging from her very first printedpoem, “Amor Dei”, up to her lyrics written in old age, in the 1970s and 1980s. In this short paper I will attempt to chart the course of, and analyze, her interest inSpinoza´s philosophical system and life.
180. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 16 > Issue: 2
Mark Manolopoulos Today’s Truly Philosophical Philosopher of Religion
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What does it mean to be a truly philosophical philosopher of religion today? The paper proposes that the thinker of faith should pursue the following passions: (1) a passion for wonder and epistemic openness; (2) the desire for a rationality that exceeds narrow-minded hyper-rationalism; (3) an ecological pathosi.e. loving the Earth; (4) a passion for self-development; and (5) thinking and participating in ethical political-economic transformation, a revolutionary passion.And so, today’s truly philosophical philosopher of religion would pursue a cognitively rigorous, engaged, and experientially adventurous venture in thinking.