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21. Res Philosophica: Volume > 90 > Issue: 4
Ryan West Faith as a Passion and Virtue
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The Christian tradition affirms that faith is a virtue. Faith is a multifaceted reality, though, encompassing such diverse aspects as belief, trust, obedience, and more. Given this complexity, it is no surprise that various thinkers emphasize different aspects of faith in accounting for faith’s status as a virtue. In this paper I join Søren Kierkegaard in arguing that faith is (in part) a passion, and that faith is a virtue (in part) because it disposes the person of faith to proper emotional responses. The paper has three sections. First, I lay the groundwork for understanding faith as a passion by explaining the relationship between passions and emotions. Drawing on the works of Kierkegaard, Merold Westphal, and Robert C. Roberts, I distinguish two senses of passion, and show how these senses are related to each other and to faith. The second section uses the account of faith developed in Concluding Unscientific Postscript to develop the idea that passional faith is a deep, identity-forming attachment to God. Finally, I explicate the idea that passional faith, so understood, functions as an emotion disposition. I do so by expounding part one of Kierkegaard’s Christian Discourses, which explores some of the ways in which faith disposes one away from certain emotions (what Kierkegaard calls “the cares of the pagans”) and toward other emotions.
22. Res Philosophica: Volume > 90 > Issue: 4
Anna Strelis The Intimacy between Reason and Emotion: Kierkegaard's "Simultaneity of Factors"
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This paper elucidates Kierkegaard’s notion of the “simultaneity of factors” in order to reveal the intimate connection between reason and emotion. I begin with the romantic vision of aesthetic education as embodied in Friedrich Schiller, which Kierkegaard himself inherited, though in a critical and nuanced manner. Next, I explore Kierkegaard’s pointed critique of the romantics, namely through his conviction that they had misrepresented the role of imagination to the detriment of harmony in the individual. Finally, I present Kierkegaard’s positive view of the simultaneity of factors, emphasizing his improvement on the romantics through the central category of “inwardness.” Throughout, I underline that Kierkegaard gave higher status neither to emotion nor reason, taking them as complimentary aspects of human existence and thereby inviting their reunion in the history of philosophy.
23. Res Philosophica: Volume > 90 > Issue: 4
Eleanor Helms The Objectivity of Faith: Kierkegaard's Critique of Fideism
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Perhaps Kierkegaard’s most notorious—though pseudonymous—claim is that truth is subjectivity. This claim is commonly elaborated to mean that faith is a “how” (an attitude or practice of believing) and not a “what” (a certain objective content). I show through a discussion of examples taken from throughout Kierkegaard’s writings that Kierkegaard accepts a basic insight of Kant’s philosophy: each experience implicitly includes an underlying unity—the object—that does not itself appear. Both Kant and Kierkegaard emphasize the importance of a “continuity of impressions,” which gives experience its unified structure beyond changing superficial appearances. I show that Kierkegaardian faith requires an object in just this Kantian sense: the object of faith (the Incarnation) does not directly appear but is implicitly present in all experience. For Kant, this type of object is not “beyond” experience but is posited by reason as the unity of experience as a whole. In this respect at least, Kierkegaard’s account of faith shows similarities not just with Kant’s practical philosophy (as suggested by C. Stephen Evans) but with his metaphysics as well.
24. Res Philosophica: Volume > 90 > Issue: 4
Jennifer Ryan Lockhart Kierkegaard's Indirect Communication of Kant's Existential Moment
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This paper distinguishes between two rationalist readings of Either/Or: (1) the Rational Argument Interpretation, according to which the aim of the book is ultimately to offer a rational argument in favor of living ethically, and (2) the Rational Presupposition Interpretation, according to which the pseudonymous authors presuppose that it is rational to live ethically. The paper argues in favor of (2). In particular, it argues that the fundamental presuppositions of Either/Or are those of Kant’s moral philosophy and rational religion. At the heart of Kant’s arguments for the practical postulates lies an “existential moment”: Kant’s practical arguments are subjectively valid in virtue of the personal decision of the individual to do his duty. According to the Rational Presupposition Interpretation advanced here, Either/Or is best understood as an attempt to communicate indirectly and to confront the reader with the significance of personal choice for inhabiting a hopeful moral life-view.
25. Res Philosophica: Volume > 91 > Issue: 1
Andrew Chignell Can Kantian Laws Be Broken?
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In this paper I explore Kant’s critical discussions of the topic of miracles (including the important but neglected fragment from the 1780s called “On Miracles”) in an effort to answer the question in the title. Along the way I discuss some of the different kinds of “laws” in Kant’s system, and also the argument for his claim that, even if empirical miracles do occur, we will never be in a good position to identify instances of them. I conclude with some tentative remarks about the notorious suggestion that intelligible finite agents, too, might have some sort of influence over the laws of nature. The goal throughout is to show that exploring Kant’s answer to a traditional question in philosophical theology can deepen our understanding of his metaphysics and epistemology of nature generally.
26. Res Philosophica: Volume > 91 > Issue: 1
Dan Kaufman Cartesian Substances, Individual Bodies, and Corruptibility
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According to the Monist Interpretation of Descartes, there is really only one corporeal substance—the entire extended plenum. Evidence for this interpretation seems to be provided by Descartes in the Synopsis of the Meditations, where he claims that all substances are incorruptible. Finite bodies, being corruptible, would then fail to be substances. On the other hand, ‘body, taken in the general sense,’ being incorruptible, would be a corporeal substance. In this paper, I defend a Pluralist Interpretation of Descartes, according to which there are many corporeal substances. In particular, I show that none of the claims in the Synopsis about incorruptibility and substance entail either that finite bodies are not substances, or that the only corporeal substance is the entire plenum.
27. Res Philosophica: Volume > 91 > Issue: 1
Marleen Rozemond Mills Can't Think: Leibniz's Approach to the Mind-Body Problem
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In the Monadology Leibniz has us imagine a thinking machine the size of a mill in order to show that matter can’t think. The argument is often thought to rely on the unity of consciousness and the notion of simplicity. Leibniz himself did not see matters this way. For him the argument relies on the view that the qualities of a substance must be intimately connected to its nature by being modifications, limitations of its nature. Leibniz thinks perception is not a modification of matter because it is active and matter is passive. At the same time, there are traces in Leibniz of a different argument that relies on the notion of internal action, which may involve the notion of simplicity. Critics have sometimes charged that the Mill Argument is an argument from ignorance, but Leibniz was aware of this problem and made clear that he did not make that mistake.
28. Res Philosophica: Volume > 91 > Issue: 1
Desmond Hogan Kant on Foreknowledge of Contingent Truths
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The paper examines Kant’s views on divine foreknowledge of contingent truths, in particular truths concerning free actions of creatures. It first considers the shape this traditional philosophical problem takes in the transcendental idealist context. It then situates Kant’s views relative to three competing theories of foreknowledge discussed by Leibniz. These are Molina’s theory of middle knowledge, the Thomist theory of foreknowledge through divine predeterminations, and Leibniz’s own ‘possible worlds’ theory. The paper concludes that no consistent theory of divine foreknowledge emerges in Kant’s philosophy. His discussions alternate between two inadequate and incompatible models. One is a post-volitional model suggested by his conception of the intuitive intellect’s relation to creation. Extended to creaturely free action, it is incompatible with his commitment to the relative autonomy of free action. The other is a version of Leibniz’s possible worlds solution; it cannot underwrite certain foreknowledge of determinate outcomes in a libertarian setting.
29. Res Philosophica: Volume > 91 > Issue: 1
Rebecca Copenhaver Berkeley on the Laguage of Nature and the Objects of Vision
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Berkeley holds that vision, in isolation, presents only color and light. He also claims that typical perceivers experience distance, figure, magnitude, and situation visually. The question posed in New Theory is how we perceive by sight spatial features that are not, strictly speaking, visible. Berkeley’s answer is “that the proper objects of vision constitute an universal language of the Author of nature.” For typical humans, this language of vision comes naturally. Berkeley identifies two sorts of objects of vision: primary (light and colors) and secondary (distance, figure, magnitude, and situation). Berkeley also appeals to a third class of a different sort: visible figure, magnitude, and situation, constituting the vocabulary of the language of vision. By considering two perceivers who lack this vocabulary we may better understand this third category and the difference between those who must learn the language of vision and those for whom it is a natural endowment.
30. Res Philosophica: Volume > 91 > Issue: 1
Sukjae Lee Toward a New Reading of Leibnizian Appetites: Appetites as Uneasiness
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If we consider their fundamental role in the makeup of simple substances, our understanding of Leibnizian appetites or ‘appetitions’ seems far from satisfactory. To promote a better understanding of Leibniz’s mature view of appetites, I present a new reading of the appetitive nature of simple substances, focusing on key texts where Leibniz stresses how appetites fail to reach what they strive for. Against the “standard reading,” according to which appetites are the direct causes of subsequent perceptual states, I propose an alternative, more complex picture of appetitive activity within simple substances. On my account, what Leibniz typically refers to as ‘appetites’ do not directly cause subsequent states, but are strivings or desires to be in states of less unease or greater happiness, states that the creature might actually fail to enjoy. This reading of appetites, I argue, is consistent with there being an additional, distinct strand of appetitive activity, one that corresponds to the primitive forces of simple substances. In contrast to the first strand of appetitive activity, this second strand is directly causal in that its final causality is operative in the exceptionless occurrence of the series of perceptual states prescribed in the “law of the series.” The resulting picture is one in which simple substances are appetitive through and through, with teleological activity permeating the substance at the levels of both primitive and derivative forces.
31. Res Philosophica: Volume > 91 > Issue: 2
Robert Koons Staunch vs. Faint-hearted Hylomorphism: Toward an Aristotelian Account of Composition
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A staunch hylomorphism involves a commitment to a sparse theory of universals and a sparse theory of composite material objects, as well as to an ontology of fundamental causal powers. Faint-hearted hylomorphism, in contrast, lacks one or more of these elements. On the staunch version of HM, a substantial form is not merely some structural property of a set of elements—it is rather a power conferred on those elements by that structure, a power that is the cause of the generation (by fusion) and persistence of a composite whole through time. Bernard Williams discussed (and rejected) a faint-hearted version of HM in 1986, and faint-hearted HM has been defended more recently by Mark Johnston (2006) and Kathrin Koslicki (2008). I defend the superiority of the staunch version, in spite of its heavier ontological commitments, as a way of accounting for a real distinction between living organisms and heaps of matter, without recourse to dualism or vitalism, and as a way of combining a powers ontology with the possibility of gunk.
32. Res Philosophica: Volume > 91 > Issue: 2
Louise Richardson Non Sense-Specific Perception and the Distinction Between the Senses
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How should interaction between the senses affect thought about them? I try to capture some ways in which non sense-specific perception might be thought to make it impossible or pointless or explanatorily idle to distinguish between senses. This task is complicated by there being more than one view of the nature of the senses, and more than one kind of non sense-specific perception. I argue, in particular, that provided we are willing to forgo certain assumptions about, for instance, the relationship between modes or kinds of experience, and about how one should count perceptual experiences at a time, at least one way of thinking about the senses survives the occurrence of various kinds of non sense-specific perception relatively unscathed.
33. Res Philosophica: Volume > 91 > Issue: 2
Jérôme Dokic Common Sense and Metaperception: A Practical Model
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Aristotle famously claimed that we perceive that we see or hear, and that this metaperception necessarily accompanies all conscious sensory experiences. In this essay I compare Aristotle’s account of metaperception with three main models of self-awareness to be found in the contemporary literature. The first model countenances introspection or inner sense as higher-order perception. The second model rejects introspection altogether, and maintains that judgments that we see or hear can be directly extracted from the first-order experience, using a procedure sometimes called “an ascent routine.” The third model insists that the first-order experience has a twofold intentional structure: it is directed both at the perceived external object and at itself, i.e., reflexively. Although Aristotle’s own account is certainly closer to the third model (as Brentano rightly observed), the latter does not exhaust Aristotle’s insights on metaperception. One function of the common sense in Aristotle’s theory of perception is apparently to monitor the activity of our sensory modalities, and to make us aware that we see or hear independently of the sensory contents of our experience. I shall suggest that the monitoring function of perception is best understood in relation with contemporary cognitive science research on metacognition. Common sense is or involves a metaperceptual practical ability distinct from both object level sensory perception and metarepresentational knowledge about our senses.
34. Res Philosophica: Volume > 91 > Issue: 2
Howard Robinson Modern Hylomorphism and the Reality and Causal Power of Structure: A Skeptical Investigation
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In recent years, a significant number of philosophers from an orthodox analytic background have begun to advocate theories of composite objects, which they say are strikingly similar to Aristotle’s hylomorphism. These theories emphasize the importance of structure, or organization—which they say is closely connected to Aristotle’s notion of form—in defining what it is for a composite to be a genuine object. The reality of these structures is closely connected with the fact that they are held to possess powers, again in what is held to be a broadly Aristotelian sense, and so to be genuinely efficacious. Naturally enough, they want to do all this without espousing the discredited aspects of Aristotelian science. It is the purpose of this essay to cast a skeptical eye on whether this objective can be achieved.
35. Res Philosophica: Volume > 91 > Issue: 2
William Jaworski Hylomorphism and the Metaphysics of Structure
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Hylomorphism claims that structure is a basic ontological and explanatory principle; it accounts for what things are and what they can do. My goal is to articulate a metaphysic of hylomorphic structure different from those currently on offer. It is based on a substance-attribute ontology that takes properties to be powers and tropes. Hylomorphic structures emerge, on this account, as powers to configure the materials that compose individuals.
36. Res Philosophica: Volume > 91 > Issue: 3
J. C. Berendzen Disjunctivism and Perceptual Knowledge in Merleau-Ponty and McDowell
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On the face of it, Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s views bear a strong resemblance to contemporary disjunctivist theories of perception, especially John McDowell’s epistemological disjunctivism. Like McDowell (and other disjunctivists), Merleau-Ponty seems to be a direct realist about perception and holds that veridical and illusory perceptions are distinct. This paper furthers this comparison. Furthermore, it is argued that elements of Merleau-Ponty’s thought provide a stronger case for McDowell’s kind of epistemological view than McDowell himself provides. Merleau-Ponty’s early thought can be used to develop a unique version of epistemological disjunctivism that is worth consideration alongside contemporary views on perceptual knowledge.
37. Res Philosophica: Volume > 91 > Issue: 3
Miroslav Hanke Semantic Paradox: A Comparative Analysis of Scholastic and Analytic Views
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Scholastic and analytic definitions of semantic paradoxes, in terms of groundlessness, circularity, and semantic pathology, are introduced and compared with each other. The fundamental intuitions used in these definitions are the concepts of being true about extralinguistic reality, of making statements about one’s self, and of compatibility with an underlying semantic theory. The three approaches—the groundlessness view, the circularity view, and the semantic pathology view—are shown to differ not only conceptually, but also in their applications. As both a means for showing these differences and as an adequacytest, the so-called two-line puzzles are used, which allows one to address the possibility of making non-paradoxical statements about paradoxical sentences within the same language.
38. Res Philosophica: Volume > 91 > Issue: 3
Helen Steward Replies to Randolph Clarke, John Bishop, and Helen Beebee
39. Res Philosophica: Volume > 91 > Issue: 3
Rebecca Konyndyk DeYoung Practicing Hope
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In this essay, I consider how the theological virtue of hope might be practiced. I will first explain Thomas Aquinas’s account of this virtue, including its structural relation to the passion of hope, its opposing vices, and its relationship to the friendship of charity. Then, using narrative and character analysis from the film The Shawshank Redemption, I examine a range of hopeful and proto-hopeful practices concerning both the goods one hopes for and the power one relies on to attain those goods. In particular, I show how the film’s picture of the role friends and friendship play in catalyzing hope is a compelling metaphor for Christian hope’s reliance on God.
40. Res Philosophica: Volume > 91 > Issue: 3
Daniel Lim, Wang Hao Can Mary's Qualia Be Epiphenomenal?
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Frank Jackson (1982) famously argued, with his so-called Knowledge Argument (KA), that qualia are non-physical. Moreover, he argued that qualia are epiphenomenal. Some have objected that epiphenomenalism is inconsistent with the soundness of KA. One way of developing this objection, following Neil Campbell (2003; 2012), is to argue that epiphenomenalism is at odds with the kind of behavioral evidence that makes the soundness of KA plausible. We argue that Campbell’s claim that epiphenomenalism is inconsistent with the soundness of KA is false.