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1. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 87 > Issue: 2
Thomas M. Alexander John Dewey’s Uncommon Faith: Understanding “Religious Experience”
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Dewey’s A Common Faith has been variously interpreted, both in terms of its relation to Dewey’s corpus and internally in terms of its leading ideas. I argue for its crucial relevance in understanding Dewey and undertake an analysis of the key idea of “religious experience” as an “attitude of existence.” This distinguishes religious experience from other types of qualitative experience and shows the unique place this concept has for Dewey.
2. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 87 > Issue: 2
Jason L. Hills Pragmatism and Phenomenology: A Reconciliation
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Scott Aikin recently claimed that pragmatism and phenomenology are incompatible. Pragmatic naturalism is incompatible with phenomenology’s anti-naturalism. Therefore, pragmatists trying to appropriate insights from phenomenology encounter a dilemma: either reject naturalism and thereby pragmatism, or reject anti-naturalism and thereby phenomenology. I will argue that Aikin’s dilemma is unmerited, especially in the case of John Dewey, because he has misidentified its horns. Given his definition of pragmatic naturalism, the classical pragmatists are neither naturalists nor pragmatists. His discussion of “phenomenology” misconstrues phenomenological method as subjective self-reporting, which hamstrings his assessment of phenomenology and its prospects of reconciliation with pragmatism. I hope to engage and dispel not only Aikin’s dilemma, but also common preconceptions about the intersection of pragmatism and phenomenology. They may be reconciled, although there are antipathies, of which I will discuss Dewey’s principle of continuity.
3. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 87 > Issue: 3
William Hasker Orcid-ID Response to John Haldane’s “Is the Soul the Form of the Body?”
4. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 87 > Issue: 3
Robert Greenleaf Brice “Aesthetic Scaffolding”: Hagberg and Wittgensteinian Certitude
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In the penultimate chapter of his book, Art as Language, G. L. Hagberg presents an argument against Arthur Danto, George Dickie, and other advocates of the Institutional Theory (IT), arguing that a tension exists within the theory. Through conferral, a spokesperson declares what artifacts are accepted into the artworld. Hagberg finds this problematic because, while the criterion one uses is something that the later Wittgenstein would endorse, it points back to an essentialism that he clearly rejected. But Hagberg believes he can avoid this problem by applying Wittgenstein’s notion of certainty to specific artifacts in aesthetics. By relying on Wittgenstein’s notion of certitude, however, he exposes himself to a tension that exists in On Certainty: is certainty natural, or is it social? Although the propositions Hagberg uses have the potential to become certain, he treats them as if they begin that way. In this paper I present two ways in which Wittgenstein classifies or understands certainty: a bottom-up approach, where certainty is part of our natural and instinctual predisposition, and a top-down approach, where certainty is acquired through positive reinforcement. I believe Hagberg fails to appreciate this distinction as well as the consequences for his claim.
5. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 87 > Issue: 3
Mathew Lu Explaining the Wrongness of Cannibalism
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In this paper I take up the claims of a number of recent commentators who have argued that there is no rational basis for a moral judgment against cannibalism because no successful argument against it can be articulated within the dominant consequentialist or neo-Kantian deontological approaches in normative ethics. While I think cannibalism is clearly morally repugnant, it is surprisingly difficult to explain why. I argue not only that a rational justification of the moral wrongness of cannibalism can be given in terms of a broadly Aristotelian virtue ethics, but also that this requires a broader conception of moral value, and corresponding moral obligations, than is typical within the dominant approaches.
6. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 87 > Issue: 3
Travis Dumsday A Thomistic Response to the Problem of Divine Hiddenness
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The problem of divine hiddenness has in the recent literature joined the problem of evil as one of the principal positive arguments for atheism. My chief goal here is to mine Aquinas’s metaphysics and natural theology for a distinctively Thomistic response, making particular use of a neglected text in which he considers a similar issue. Towards the end of the paper I also consider some resources provided by Aquinas’s interpretation of revealed theology.
7. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 87 > Issue: 3
Dennis Vanden Auweele The Poverty of Philosophy: Desmond’s Hyperbolic Gifts and Caputo’s Events
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Recently, William Desmond’s metaxological philosophy has been gaining popularity since it proposes a powerful counterweight to the dominance of deconstruction in certain areas of contemporary philosophy of religion. This paper serves to introduce Desmond’s philosophy and confront it with one specific form of Postmodern theology, namely John Caputo’s “weak theology.” Since Desmond’s philosophy is—while thought-provoking and refreshing—not well known, a substantial part of this paper is devoted to fleshing out its central concepts: perplexity, metaxology, and hyperbolic indirection. Afterwards, I argue for the advantages of a metaphysical (Desmond) over a deconstructive (Caputo) approach to philosophy of religion/God.
8. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 87 > Issue: 3
John Haldane Response to William Hasker’s “The Dialectic of Soul and Body”
9. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 87 > Issue: 3
John Haldane Is the Soul the Form of the Body?
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The idea of the soul, though once common in discussions of human nature, is rarely considered in contemporary philosophy. This reflects a general physicalist turn; but besides commitment to various forms of materialism there is the objection that the very idea of the soul is incoherent. The notion of soul considered here is a broadly Aristotelian-Thomistic one according to which it is both the form of a living human being and something subsistent on its own account. Having discussed the conceptual issues of how the soul may be conceived of, and set aside certain neo-Cartesian lines of response to materialism, an argument to the existence of a non-material principle is presented. Certain implications are then explored leading to the conclusion that it is possible for the intellectual soul to survive the death of the body.
10. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 87 > Issue: 3
William E. Tullius Haecceitas as Value and as Moral Horizon: A Scotist Contribution to the Project of a Phenomenological Ethics
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This paper seeks to provide a phenomenological articulation of the Scotist notion of haecceitas, interpreting Scotus’s principle of individuation at once as an ontological as well as a moral principle. Growing out of certain suggestions made by James Hart in his Who One Is, this interpretation is meant to provide the phenomenological ethics of both Edmund Husserl and Max Scheler with a useful theoretical tool in the Scotist notion of haecceitas interpreted as a horizon of value in order more fully to develop the phenomenological idea of the ethical life as a task that specifically seeks to realize as its highest goal the vocation of the person to his or her ideal, true self. The main implication of Scotus’s thought, here, for phenomenology will be the ability to further delimit haecceitas as an objective moral principle that refutes the frequent charge of relativistic subjectivism in the phenomenological theory of ethics.
11. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 87 > Issue: 3
Michael R. Slater Pragmatism, Theism, and the Viability of Metaphysical Realism
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In this essay I present two cases for what I term an “unobjectionable” or weak version of metaphysical realism, the first based on a commitment to a version of pragmatism, and the second based on a commitment to theism. I argue that it can be reasonable to accept such a version of realism even if there are no arguments that definitively prove its truth, and that both pragmatists and theists have good reasons to accept it. Although I conceive of these grounds as independent lines of justification, I see no reason in principle why one could not hold both simultaneously. This is not to suggest that there are not versions of pragmatism or theism that are incompatible with each other, but rather only that pragmatism and theism as such are not mutually exclusive views.
12. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 87 > Issue: 3
William Hasker Orcid-ID The Dialectic of Soul and Body
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Thomistic dualism, based on the Aristotelian view of the soul as the form of the body, presents us with a conception of the person as part of the natural world in a way that deserves our attention. The view is outlined, following Eleonore Stump’s exposition, and some objections to it are noted. Consideration is then given to a modified version of Thomistic dualism developed by J. P. Moreland. Finally, attention is directed at the theory of “emergent dualism,” which obtains many of the benefits aimed at by the Thomistic view without its drawbacks.
13. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 87 > Issue: 4
Francisco J. Romero Carrasquillo, Hilaire K. Troyer de Romero Aquinas on the Inferiority of Woman
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Aquinas has been accused of being a sexist for making the following four claims about woman: (1) woman is a deficient male; (2) woman was created only for the purpose of procreation; (3) woman is inferior to man; (4) woman must submit to man. Some scholars, notably Michael Nolan, have attempted to defend Thomas, and a few have even gone so far as calling him a feminist. The aim of this paper is to show that Aquinas did hold these four claims throughout his career, and to show in what sense he held them, thus revealing how well-founded the accusations remain, given the assumptions of feminism. Finally, the authors propose that any future attempt to exonerate Aquinas from the charge of sexism must grapple with the question of how these claims are compatible with a gender-equality view.
14. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 87 > Issue: 4
Micah Lott Does Human Nature Conflict with Itself?: Human Form and the Harmony of the Virtues
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Does possessing some human virtues make it impossible for a person to possess other human virtues? Isaiah Berlin and Bernard Williams both answered “yes” to this question, and they argued that to hold otherwise—to accept the harmony of the virtues—required a blinkered and unrealistic view of “what it is to be human.” In this essay, I have two goals: (1) to show how the harmony of the virtues is best interpreted, and what is at stake in affirming or denying it; and (2) to provide a partial defense of the harmony of the virtues. More specifically, I show how the harmony of the virtues can be interpreted and defended within the kind of Aristotelian naturalism developed by philosophers such as Philippa Foot, Rosalind Hursthouse, and Michael Thompson. I argue that far from being an embarrassing liability for Aristotelianism—based in an “archaic metaphysical biology”—the harmony thesis is an interesting and plausible claim about human excellences, supported by a sophisticated account of the representation of life, and fully compatible with a realistic view of our human situation.
15. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 87 > Issue: 4
Victor M. Salas, Jr. Albert the Great and “Univocal Analogy”
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In this paper I discuss Albert the Great’s notion of univocal analogy, which he raised in his Commentary on Pseudo-Dionysius’s De divinis nominibus. While other scholars such as Francis Ruello and Alain de Libera have addressed “analogy” as it pertains to Albert, I intend to treat the “univocal” aspect of “univocal analogy” so as to explain (1) how it informs Albert’s teaching on analogy, and (2) how it remains opposed to any pantheistic reduction of God to creature. While my own account remains close to that of Ruello and De Libera, I hope to show how primacy is to be accorded to univocity in such a manner that, in actual reality, for Albert, it is analogy that qualifies univocity rather than vice versa.
16. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 87 > Issue: 4
Andrew T. LaZella As Light Belongs to Air: Thomas Aquinas and Meister Eckhart on the Existential Rootlessness of Creatures
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Both Thomas Aquinas and Meister Eckhart draw on the image of illuminated air to explain how being belongs to creatures. While for Aquinas the image reveals how an actus essendi can be a creature’s own, and yet not belong to it by means of its essential nature, Eckhart employs the image to show that being merely flows through creatures without taking up root as a real quality. Eckhart’s parsing of the image, I argue, invokes his claim that nothing is formally in both the cause and effect if the cause is a true cause. Thus, whereas creatures attain an analogical similitude of being according to Aquinas, Eckhart disputes the emergence of finite being distinct from God. He instead advocates detachment (Abgescheidenheit [MHG]) from such an apparent perfection, but not because God retains all existential wealth, granting nothing to impoverished creatures. Through detachment, both creatures and God return to their uncreated ground.
17. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 87 > Issue: 4
John Haldane The Future of the University: Philosophy, Education, and the Catholic Tradition
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Higher education is in flux, and one of the challenges it faces is to relate education, research, and training. So far as Catholic institutions are concerned, there is also the fundamental issue of what it means to be Catholic. Leaving aside matters of history and religious observance, this bears in large part on issues of educational philosophy. This essay sets these matters within a historical context, considering Confucius, Augustine, and Aquinas, while focusing on nineteenth-century British discussions of education by Herbert Spencer, Mathew Arnold, J. S. Mill, and J. H. Newman, and then engaging challenges posed in recent times by Richard Rorty and others to the very idea of humanistic knowledge and understanding. This returns the discussion to what might be the distinctive contribution of Catholic colleges and universities, and to the suggestion that they should promote a sense of the Godly, the sacred, and the gracious. 
18. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 87 > Issue: 4
Anselm Ramelow, O.P. The Person in the Abrahamic Tradition: Is the Judeo-Christian Concept of Personhood Consistent?
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The concept of personhood in the Abrahamic tradition opens up new dimensions in contrast with the ancient world, especially the relationality and incommunicability of the person as a source of his or her dignity. However, these notions also originate their own set of contemporary challenges and problems. A proposal will be made as to how to overcome these problems by way of an integration of older insights on substance, act, and potency.
19. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 87 > Issue: 4
Nicholas Kahm Divine Providence in Aquinas’s Commentaries on Aristotle’s Physics and Metaphysics, and Its Relevance to the Question of Evolution and Creation
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This paper presents a philosophical argument for divine providence by Aquinas. I suggest that upon returning to Aristotle’s Physics and Metaphysics to prepare his commentaries on these texts, Aquinas recognized that his stock argument from natural teleology to divine providence (the fifth way and its versions) needed to be filled out. Arguments from natural teleology can prove that God’s providence extends to what happens for the most part, but they cannot show that God’s providence also includes what happens for the least part. In order to prove the latter, Aquinas claims that one must argue from a higher science, which he then does with all characteristic clarity. This paper presents this argument, discusses what this means for his previous arguments from teleology, and discusses the argument’s relevance to the contemporary discussion about creation and evolution.
20. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 87 > Issue: 4
Christopher Tollefsen Response to Robert Koons and Matthew O’Brien’s “Objects of Intention: A Hylomorphic Critique of the New Natural Law Theory”
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Robert Koons and Matthew O’Brien have leveled a number of objections against the New Natural Law account of human action and intention. In this paper, I discuss five areas in which I believe that the Koons-O’Brien criticism of the New Natural Law theory is mistaken, or in which their own view is problematic. I hope to show, inter alia, that the New Natural Law approach is not committed to a number of theses attributed to it by Koons and O’Brien; that their own view suffers from many ambiguities and difficulties; that passages from St. Thomas on which they draw to support their own view are in fact fully compatible with the New Natural Law account; and that neither the New Natural Law account of the controversial Phoenix abortion case, nor their account of the casuistry surrounding the acceptance of side-effects, is deficient in the ways asserted by Koons and O’Brien.