In this paper I offer an account of the normative dimension implicit in D. Bernoulli’s expected utility functions by means of an analysis of the juridical metaphors upon which the concept of mathematical expectation was moulded. Following a suggestion by the late E. Coumet, I show how this concept incorporated a certain standard of justice which was put in question by the St. Petersburg paradox. I contend that Bernoulli would have solved it by introducing an alternative normative criterion rather than (...) a positive model of decision-making processes. (shrink)
Harris and Brokmeyer met in 1858 at the St. Louis Mercantile Library, where Harris was offering a public lecture. Brokmeyer convinced Harris of the significance of Hegel’s system, and its relevance to the historical trends of American society. They immediately joined forces, attracting a number of other youthful followers with intellectual ambitions, many of whom were, like Harris, teachers in the public schools. The nascent Hegelian movement was temporarily stalled when Brokmeyer went off to serve as a Colonel in the (...) Union Army during the Civil War, but it rebounded in full force upon his return with the formation of the St. Louis Philosophical Society in 1866, and the launching of the Journal of Speculative Philosophy, the official organ of the Society, in 1867. (shrink)
Since St. Thomas Aquinas holds that death is a substantial change, a popular current interpretation of his anthropology must be mistaken. According to that interpretation – the ‘survivalist’ view – St. Thomas holds that we human beings survive our deaths, constituted solely by our souls in the interim between death and resurrection. This paper argues that St. Thomas must have held the ‘corruptionist’ view: the view that human beings cease to exist at their deaths. Certain objections to the corruptionist view (...) are also met. (shrink)
By recourse to the fundamentals of preference orderings and their numerical representations through linear utility, we address certain questions raised in Nover and Hájek 2004, Hájek and Nover 2006, and Colyvan 2006. In brief, the Pasadena and Altadena games are well-defined and can be assigned any finite utility values while remaining consistent with preferences between those games having well-defined finite expected value. This is also true for the St Petersburg game. Furthermore, the dominance claimed for the Altadena game over the (...) Pasadena game, and that would have been claimed for the St Petersburg game over the Altadena, can be contradicted without fear of inconsistency with the axioms of utility theory. However, insistence upon dominance can be made to yield a contradiction of the Archimedean axiom of utility theory. CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this? (shrink)
The details of St. Thomas Aquinas’s anthropological view are subject to debate. Some philosophers believe he held that human persons survive their deaths. Other philosophers think he held that human persons cease to exist at their death, but come back into being at the general resurrection. In this paper, I defend the latter view against one of the most significant objections it faces, namely, that it entails that God punishes and rewards separated souls for the sins or merits of something (...) else: the (non-existent) persons to whom those souls once belonged. The objector takes this entailment to be problematic. I argue that it fits in well with St. Thomas’s views about punishment and about persons. (shrink)
It is commonly believed that when a finite value is received in a game that has an infinite expected value, it is in one’s interest to redo the game. We have argued against this belief, at least in the repeated St Petersburg two-envelope case. We also show a case where repeatedly opting for a higher expected value leads to a worse outcome.
Abstract Throughout his works, St. Augustine offers at least nine distinct views on the nature of time, at least three of which have remained almost unnoticed in the secondary literature. I first examine each these nine descriptions of time and attempt to diffuse common misinterpretations, especially of the views which seek to identify Augustinian time as consisting of an un-extended point or a distentio animi . Second, I argue that Augustine's primary understanding of time, like that of later medieval scholastics, (...) is that of an accident connected to the changes of created substances. Finally, I show how this interpretation has the benefit of rendering intelligible Augustine's contention that, at the resurrection, motion will still be able to occur, but not time. (shrink)
Recently, the Intelligent Design (ID) movement has challenged the claim of many in the scientific establishment that nature gives no empirical signs of having been deliberately designed. In particular, ID arguments in biology dispute the notion that neo-Darwinian evolution is the only viable scientific explanation of the origin of biological novelty, arguing that there are telltale signs of the activity of intelligence which can be recognized and studied empirically. In recent years, a number of Catholic philosophers, theologians, and scientists have (...) expressed opposition to ID. Some of these critics claim that there is a conflict between the philosophy of St. Thomas Aquinas and that of the ID movement, and even an affinity between Aquinas’s ideas and theistic Darwinism. We consider six such criticisms and find each wanting. (shrink)
Caitlin Smith Gilson, The metaphysical presuppositions of being-in-the-World: a confrontation between St. Thomas Aquinas and Martin Heidegger Content Type Journal Article Pages 157-161 DOI 10.1007/s11153-010-9263-4 Authors Christine Sorrell Dinkins, Department of Philosophy, Wofford College, 429 N. Church St., Spartanburg, SC 29303, USA Journal International Journal for Philosophy of Religion Online ISSN 1572-8684 Print ISSN 0020-7047 Journal Volume Volume 71 Journal Issue Volume 71, Number 2.
This paper intends to append the frame of dialectic upon St. John of the Cross’ delineation of mysticism. Its underlying hypothesis is that the dialectical structuring of St. John’s mystical theology promises to unravel the web of relational concepts embedded within his immense writings on this unique phenomenon. It is hoped that as a consequence of this undertaking, relevant pairs of correlative opposites that figure prominently in mysticism can be elucidated and perhaps come to some form of resolution.
One way of viewing the organizing structure of the Confessions is to see it as an engagement with various texts at different phases of St. Augustine’s life. In the early books of the Confessions, Augustine describes the disordered state that made him unable to read any text (sacred or profane) properly. Yet following his conversion his entire orientation— not only to texts but also to reality as a whole—changes. This essay attempts to trace the winding paths that lead up to (...) Augustine’s conversion through his various encounters with texts (and individuals) and to examine his struggles both intellectual and spiritual along the way. In the final section, I bring Augustine into conversation with Hans-Georg Gadamer in order to highlight a number of hermeneutical continuities shared by premoderns and postmoderns. After comparing premodern and modern hermeneutical orientations, I conclude that Augustine’s approach to Scripture contrasts sharply with a (strict) modern grammatico-historical biblical methodology, whereas premodern hermeneutics share a number of continuities with Gadamerian and postmodern emphases. Lastly, in light of Gadamer’s famous statement, ‘all of life is hermeneutics’, I suggest that perhaps we could read Augustine’s life as affirming this claim. By taking a close look at Augustine’s story, I will attempt to show how pre-judgments, interpretative traditions and a dynamic/analogical rather than a static/univocal understanding of text (and reality) decisively affected his spiritual and intellectual vision—observations Gadamer would no doubt heartily affirm. (shrink)
(2013). Heidegger, Wittgenstein and St Paul on the Last Judgement: On the Roots and Significance of ‘The Theoretical Attitude’. British Journal for the History of Philosophy: Vol. 21, No. 1, pp. 143-164. doi: 10.1080/09608788.2012.686980.
We examine the Spiritual Exercises developed by St. Ignatius Loyola for the purpose of informing the structure of reflection as a tool in business ethics. At present, reflection in business is used to clarify moods, expectations, theories of use, and defining moments. We suggest here that Ignatius' Exercises, which focus on ends, engage the emotions and imagination, use role modeling, and require a response, might be useful as a model for reflection in business.
The objective of this study is to analyze the writing of three neo-scholastic writers of the twentieth century -- Marcel Chossat, Pedro Descoqs, and Francis Cunningham -- who happen to dispute the prevailing view of Thomists that St. Thomas Aquinas does indeed hold a doctrine of thereal distinction of essence and existence in created being. The approach utilized will be basically historical: we start with the year 1910, the year in which Marcel Chossat rekindled the ever-smoldering embers of the essence-existence (...) controversy with his claim that Aquinas never held such a doctrine. In order to justify another treatment of what has been called “the endlessly rehashed question”, we try to show that the arguments put forth by the three thinkers in question an are based on considerable and weighty linguistic grounds which others in the debate have tended to dismiss. We conclude by saying that any discussion of the real distinction controversy must take a “linguistic turn” if it is to have any hope of being fruitful. (shrink)
The writings of Ancius Manlius Severinus Boethius exercised a powerful influence on the nature and development of mediaeval philosophy. The extent of his influence was such that I think it fair to say that anyone seeking more than a superficial grasp of mediaeval philosophy must acquire some first-hand knowledge of his work. The trouble is, however, that while The Consolation of Philosophy is well-known and much commented upon, Boethius’s other works are relatively neglected.1 Included in this latter group are the (...) five theological tractates, one of which has this imposing title: Quomodo Substantiae In Eo Quod Sint Bonae Sint Cum Non Sint Substantialia Bona. This tractate also has the more manageable title De Hebdomadibus and it is as such that I shall refer to it throughout this article.2 I have chosen to give an explication of the De Hebdomadibus for three reasons. First the problem with which it deals (the nature of the relation between goodness and substance) is intrinsically interesting and Boethius’s solution to the problem is a model of philosophical analysis. Second, in addition to the fact that the philosophical status of the nine axioms listed in the tractate is a matter of some scholarly controversy, the answer to the obvious question of how these axioms function in the tractate as a whole is not at all clear. And third, this tractate is philosophically significant to those philosophers who take St. Thomas as their inspiration since it appears that St. Thomas’s existence/essence distinction is adumbrated here. I shall begin my explication by giving a brief overview of the main lines of the tractate. Then I shall lay out the arguments contained in the statement and resolution of the dilemma which Boethius constructs, indicating (by means of Roman numerals in parentheses) where I think particular axioms are meant to apply. Finally, I shall display the axioms as perspicuously as possible and comment on them.. (shrink)
Language and Ontology: Linguistic Relativism (Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis) vs. Universal Grammar Universal Ontology vs. Ontological Relativity Semiotics and Ontology: The Rediscovery of John Poinsot (John of St. Thomas) Annotated Bibliography of John Deely. First part: 1965-1998 Annotated Bibliography of John Deely. Second part: 1999-2010..
Cumulative Prospect Theory (CPT) does not explain the St. Petersburg Paradox. We show that the solutions related to probability weighting proposed to solve this paradox, (Blavatskyy, Management Science 51:677–678, 2005; Rieger and Wang, Economic Theory 28:665–679, 2006) have to cope with limitations. In that framework, CPT fails to accommodate both gambling and insurance behavior. We suggest replacing the weighting functions generally proposed in the literature by another specification which respects the following properties: (1) to solve the paradox, the slope at (...) zero has to be finite. (2) to account for the fourfold pattern of risk attitudes, the probability weighting has to be strong enough. (shrink)
Several writers have argued for the implausibility of there being naturalistic explanations of mystical experience. These writers recognize that the evidential significance of mystical experiences for theism depends upon whether explanations that exclude supernatural agency can be discounted; but they seem unaware of some of the best scientific work done in this area. Part I of the present paper introduces the theory of I. M. Lewis, an anthropologist, and tests it against the case of St Teresa. I use (...) class='Hi'>Teresa because of her prominence, and because we have considerable biographical data for her. I conclude that Lewis's approach, suitably supplemented, is strikingly successful in explaining this case. (shrink)
In the Chinese stock market, special treatment (ST) firms are the firms listed as facing imminent danger of delisting, unless they return to profitability after reporting two consecutive annual losses. Some ST firms voluntarily pay substantial fees to their external auditors to conduct interim audits, which are not required by regulations. In this study, we investigate and find that ST firms that pay for voluntary interim audits report greater discretionary accrued earnings, higher non-operating earnings, and higher returns on assets in (...) ensuing annual reports. As a result, these firms are more likely to return to profitability and reduce their delisting risk. Our results, which contribute to the current debate on auditor independence, appear to be consistent with the possibility that ST firms “buy” external auditors’ cooperation to manipulate earnings when faced with the threat of delisting. (shrink)
The biocentric outlook on nature affirms our fellowship with other living creatures and portrays human beings as members of the Earth’s community who have equal moral standing with other living members of the community. A comparison of Paul Taylor’s biocentric theory of environmental ethics and the life and writings of St. Francis of Assisi reveals that Francis maintained a biocentric environmental ethic. This individualistc environmental ethic is grounded in biology and is unaffected by the paradigm shift in ecology in which (...) nature is regarded as in flux rather than tending toward equilibrium. A holistic environmental ethic that accords moral standing to holistic entities (species, ecosytems, biotic communities) is more vulnerable to these changes in ecology than an environmental ethic that accords moral standing to individuals. Another strength of biocentrism is its potential to provide a unified front across religious and scientific lines. (shrink)
The problem of doctrinal development, first formulated by John Henry Newman, is usually assumed to be a distinctly modern theological issue, since itoriginates in modern scholarly history and its application to problems of doctrine. My thesis, in contrast, is that St. Bonaventure’s theology of history as presentedin his Hexaemeron is also a theory of doctrinal development—though it appears some six hundred years prior to Newman’s Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine. I begin by discussing the relationship between theology of (...) history and doctrinal development, from which I conclude Bonaventure’s theology of history is a theory of doctrinal development. Secondly, I discuss Bonaventure’s theory and how he uses it to justify the mendicant and Franciscan ways of life. Finally, I develop elements of Cardinal Newman’s theory as points for comparison and evaluation of Bonaventure’s theory. (shrink)
This article argues that William James's thinking in The Varieties and elsewhere contains the view that social institutions, such as religious congregations and schools, are mediators between the private and public spheres of life, and are necessary for transforming personal feelings, ideals and beliefs into moral action. The Exercises of St Ignatius and the Just Community moral education approach serve as examples. Criticisms of the more commonly held view that James recognised only individual personal experiences as valid religious expressions are (...) marshalled. Furthermore, we argue that moral action or saintliness, the ultimate expression of religious faith according to James, is fundamentally social. The commonalities that the phenomenologies of moral action of St Ignatius and Lawrence Kohlberg have with William James's view are used to support the argument. (shrink)
An important issue raised and resolved in St. Anselm’s Proslogion is the compatibility between justice and mercy as divine attributes. In this paper I argue (1) that Anselm’s discussion of divine justice and mercy is an exploration of God’s nature as quo maius cogitari non potest, and (2) that his discussion contributes to a better understanding of the complicated relationship between God and creatures—including the creatures attempting to know or argue about God. It seems at first that God’s mercy must (...) be in contradiction with God’s justice. On the basis of a more adequate way of framing the issue, however—one that requires reference to other parts of the Proslogion and is supported by the Monologion—we can grasp, though not fully comprehend, the harmony between divine justice and divine mercy. (shrink)
St. Vincent de Paul (1581–1660) is well known for his contribution to charitable and social works. Even though he left no detailed examination of his business practices, by examining his life and his commitment to the poor, it is possible to frame a Vincentian theology of business ethics. Such an understanding would include educating students in the social teaching of the Catholic Church, a preferential option for the poor, good organization, sound business theory, economizing, and a foundation in the liberal (...) arts. (shrink)
In his many and varied writings, St Thomas presents us with both a sophisticated account of human action and a complicated moral theory. In this article, I shall be considering the question of whether St Thomas’s theory of action and his moral theory are mutually consistent. My claim shall be that St Thomas can preserve the ontological unity of human action—but only at the cost of rendering it extremely difficult to evaluate in a manner consistent with his moral theory, or, (...) alternatively, that he can provide a viable ethical analysis of human action—but only at the cost of compromising its ontological unity. In the first section of this article I shall examine St Thomas’s account of a particular kind of moral action, namely lying. Two basic questions concerning the specificity of unicity of human action will emerge from this examination: 1) what makes an act to be a specific moral act?, and 2) what makes a specific moral act to be one act? In the second section of the article I shall attempt to show, by means of a textual examination, that St Thomas does not appear to be able to provide an account of human action that will satisfactorily answer both these basic questions at the same time. (shrink)
The article presents results of an ongoing study of centers of intellectual innovations in post-Soviet Russia. Using the European University at St. Petersburg as the main object of their analysis, the authors demonstrate how new models of academic careers, which became available in the 1980s and 1990s, were eventually institutionalized as new models of knowledge production and educational practices. Supported by American foundations, this private university had to invent a new institutional structure and to position itself within the field of (...) higher education, still mostly dominated by the state. (shrink)
This book constitutes the refereed proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Theory and Applications of Satisfiability Testing, SAT 2005, held in St Andrews, Scotland in June 2005. The 26 revised full papers presented together with 16 revised short papers presented as posters during the technical programme were carefully selected from 73 submissions. The whole spectrum of research in propositional and quantified Boolean formula satisfiability testing is covered including proof systems, search techniques, probabilistic analysis of algorithms and their properties, problem (...) encodings, industrial applications, specific tools, case studies, and empirical results. (shrink)
St. Maximus the Confessor (580-662), was a major Byzantine thinker, a theologian and philosopher. He developed a philosophical theology in which the doctrine of God, creation, the cosmic order, and salvation is integrated in a unified conception of reality. Christ, the divine Logos, is the centre of the principles (the logoi ) according to which the cosmos is created, and in accordance with which it shall convert to its divine source. -/- Torstein Tollefsen treats Maximus' thought from a philosophical point (...) of view, and discusses similar thought patterns in pagan Neoplatonism. The study focuses on Maximus' doctrine of creation, in which he denies the possibility of eternal coexistence of uncreated divinity and created and limited being. Tollefsen shows that by the logoi God institutes an ordered cosmos in which separate entities of different species are ontologically interrelated, with man as the centre of the created world. The book also investigates Maximus' teaching of God's activities or energies, and shows how participation in these energies is conceived according to the divine principles of the logoi. An extensive discussion of the complex topic of participation is provided. (shrink)
In 1994, Joyce Trebilcot retired from teaching at Washington University in St. Louis, where she had founded the Women's Studies Program and had been a member of the Philosophy Department since 1970. In the Fall of 1994 I participated on a SWIP conference panel on her book Dyke Ideas (Trebilcot 1994) conference; I used that occasion also to reminisce and place her work in the context of her life as a SWIP activist. What follows is adapted from that presentation.
The following paper discusses John of St. Thomas’ study of the way in which a habit (moral or epistemic virtue or vice) is a cause of an action it prompts. I begin with contrasting the question of causality of habits with the general question of the causal relevance of dispositions (2). I argue that habits constitute a very peculiar kind of dispositions marked by the connection with the properties of being difficult and being easy, and there are some special reasons (...) to admit the irreducibility of dispositions of this kind. I argue also that there is a special sort of causal connection between a habit and an action it actually prompts. Then I present an analysis of four theses of John of St. Thomas on the causality of habits, which, I think, constitute the most mature and reliable study of the causality of habits in the scholastic tradition: (i) Habits are efficient causes of actions they prompt (3.1). (ii) Virtues do determine the very natures of actions they prompt (3.2); (iii) Virtues do not have a proper counterpart among the characteristics of actions they prompt (3.3); (iv) The formal object of causality of virtue is a masterpiece performance of an action (3.4). In my analyses of John’s arguments for these theses I make three claims: not all powers are “in state of readiness for action”; habits are powers of powers or dispositions of powers; the general concept of a strategy is the key to grasp the properties of being difficult and being easy, and habits should be analysed as a kind of strategies. (shrink)
During a brief encounter with a Livonian sailor on the Copehagen waterfront, Vilhelm Thomsen noticed in his speech a prosodic feature, found in no other Balto-Finnic language, which he instantly identified with the stød of his own native Danish.1 In the few hours that he was able to spend with the seaman, Thomsen accurately identified the essentials of the Livonian stød’s distribution, noting that it occurs in heavy syllables that end in what he called a “sonant coefficient” and that it (...) interacts with quantitative gradation in morphological paradigms. His observations, which appeared as a last-minute addendum to his famous Ber¨oringer (Thomsen 1890:58-63), were con- firmed and extended through extensive work on Livonian by Finnish linguists in the interwar decades. They produced a magnificent Livonian dictionary, from which most of the data in my paper is drawn (Kettunen 1938), a series of instrumental phonetic studies (Kettunen 1925, Posti 1936, Posti 1937, Penttil¨a & Posti 1941), and two historical grammars (Posti 1942, Kettunen 1947). Vihman (1971) and Suhonen (1982) contributed additional observations on the phonetics of stød. Wiik (1989) summarizes all this previous research, and discusses the stød’s phonological interpretation and origin. Unfortunately all further inquiry into Livonian prosody will have to make do with the existing data because the language is now on the brink of extinction. (shrink)
According to St. Thomas, animals (both rational and non-rational) perceive objects in terms of goal-directed interactions. Repeated interactions give riseto consuetudo (translated custom or practice), a habit of sense memory that enables one to act skillfully. The interactive component of perception enables animals and humans to communicate. In humans, these perceptions are instrumental to the formation of concepts pertaining to life in society (such as law and liturgy) as well as to the understanding of human nature. But perception is able (...) to perform this role only because it has been elevated by rational appetite. This elevation occurs in the context of practical reasoning, through which a kind of sortal awareness called “experience” (experientia or experimentum) is generated. Experience serves as the basis not only for our formation of concepts of things pertaining to life in society and human nature, but of other entities as well. In this way, the perceptual awareness of objects in terms of goal-directed interactions serves as the basis for the formation of all concepts. (shrink)
This paper endeavours to unravel the dialectical structure embedded within St. John of the Cross’ delineation of the phase of purgation in the economy of mysticism. Two correlative opposites that figure prominently in some systems of theistic mysticism are infinite-finite and grace-effort. The premise of this paper is that those pairings are not dichotomous contraries but are opposites that are amenable to some form of reconciliation. With the aid of a triadic dialectical scheme it is possible to map out the (...) dialectical relations between relevant concepts within mystical purgation, characterized as ‘night’ by St. John, and perhaps achieve some advance in the elucidation of the pairings’ constitutive elements. (shrink)
This paper examines interpretations of the doctrine that "exists" is not a predicate (existence is not a property). None, it is concluded, is both true and a refutation of St. Anselm's "ontological" argument for the existence of God.
This essay explores a relatively unknown and previously unstudied Newman work, The Life of St. Philip: Arranged for the Days of the Year, that he prepared for the use of his nascent English Oratorian community.
Both Ambrose St. John (1815–1875) and John Henry Newman (1801–1890), who were received into the Roman Catholic Church in 1845, became members of the Birmingham Oratory. Newman’s closest companion for over three decades, St. John’s death was extremely painful for Newman, not only because it was unexpected, but because of his devotion to Newman as well as his dedication to his spiritual duties. Along with presenting Newman’s narrative of the last few weeks of St. John’s life, this essay raises the (...) question: why did Newman write this “account.”. (shrink)
Idealisierungen sind ein Mittel zur Begriffsbildung, etwa um ungenaue und vage Begriffe zu präzisieren. Idealisierungen sind auch ein Mittel zur Vereinfachung der Darstellung komplexer und komplizierter Sachverhalte. Sind wissenschaftliche Theorien desgleichen bloße Idealisierungen? Und, wenn dies zutreffen sollte, Idealisierungen wessen? Diese Fragen führen sogleich zu den Problemen fiktiver Begriffe und an den Rand metaphysisch belasteter Probleme. Die Untersuchung dieser Fragen erfolgt in einer Auseinandersetzung mit St.Körners Auffassung von der Natur der Idealisierungen.
Alfred Loisy (1857-1940), the excommunicated French modernist priest and historian of religions, and Franz Cumont (1868-1947), the Belgian historian of religions and expert in pagan mystery cults, conducted a lively correspondence in which they intensively exchanged ideas. One of their favorite subjects for discussion was the dependence of St Paul on the pagan mysteries. Loisy dealt with this early 20 th century moot point for Protestant, Catholic and non-religious scholars in his publications, while Cumont always remained silent. This study of (...) their unpublished letters sheds new light on the strategies lying behind their publications. It reveals what they chose not to say, and what they meant by what they did say. (shrink)
It has been argued that St. Thomas Aquinas’s anthropological views fall prey to the problem of “Too Many Thinkers.” The worry, roughly, is that his views entail that I—a human person—am able to think, but that my soul—which is not a human person—is also able to think. Hence, too many thinkers: there are too many ofus having my thoughts. In this paper, I show why this is not a problem for St. Thomas. Along the way, I also address Peter Unger’s (...) argument for substance dualism. (shrink)
In this paper I examine the sixth century ’Rule of St. Benedict’, and argue that the authority structure of Benedictine communities as described in that document satisfies well-known principles of authority defended by Joseph Raz. This should lead us to doubt the common assumption that premodern models of authority violate the modern ideal of the autonomy of the self. I suggest that what distinguishes modern liberal authority from Benedictine authority is not the principles that justify it, but rather the first-order (...) beliefs for the sake of which authority is sought by the individual, and the degree of trust between the authority and the subject. (shrink)
The vast amount of suffering in the world is often held as a particularly powerful reason to deny that God exists. Now, one of the world's most distinguished philosophers of religion presents his own position on the problem of evil. Highly accessible and sensitively argued, Peter van Inwagen's book argues that such reasoning does not hold: his conclusion is not that God exists, but that suffering cannot be shown to prove that He does not.
Abstract: Contrary to received opinion, Descartes' view on the merits of the ontological proof may actually agree with that of Thomas Aquinas, whose rejection of the a priori existence proof has stocked the armories of anti-Anselmians ever since. In a rarely noted passage of the First Replies, Descartes claims not to differ in any respect from Thomas on the proof, a claim that gains sense in light of recent work on the Fifth Meditation. That work in turn reveals a well-founded, (...) if surprising, understanding of the Cartesian proof and of Cartesianism's true relation to Thomism. (shrink)
I reason: (1) For any x, if I knew that A contained x, then the odds are even that B contains either 2x or x/2, so the expected amount in B would be 5x/4. So (2) for all x, if I knew that A contained x, I would have an expected gain in switching to B. So (3) I should switch to B. But this seems clearly wrong, as my information about A and B is symmetrical.
This paper examines the multiple semantic functions Aquinas attributes to the verb ‘est’, ranging from signifying the essence of God to acting as a copula of categorical propositions to expressing identity. A case will be made that all these apparently radically diverse functions are unified under Aquinas’s conception of the analogy of being, treating all predications as predications of being with or without some qualification (secundum quid or simpliciter). This understanding of the multiplicity of the semantic functions of this verb (...) as conceived by Aquinas will enable us to have a better understanding of the meaning of his metaphysical claims and arguments. In particular, with this understanding of Aquinas’ conception of being, we will be able to see how Aquinas’s famous “intellectus essentiae” argument for the thesis of the real distinction between essence and existence in creatures can work, despite Anthony Kenny’s arguments to the contrary in his recent book Aquinas on Being. (shrink)
In The Life of the Mind, Hannah Arendt explores the relationship between thinking, willing and judging. She poses the question of whether these may be among those conditions that prevent a person from doing evil. While many consider her account of thinking and willing (she died before writing the third volume on judging) insufficient for treating this question, I argue that in order fully to understand Arendt's notion of the will, particularly as it relates to our ability to avoid doing (...) evil, one must consider the way in which she attempts to overcome the Augustinian dilemma of how one can love both God and one's neighbor at the same time. Drawing on her Love and Saint Augustine, I seek to show that her 'Augustinian' notion of the will is extremely fruitful for helping us understand what she meant by the two movements of withdrawal from, and activity within, the world. Key Words: Arendt Augustine ethics evil love will. (shrink)
This paper considers the questions that Badiou's theory poses to the culture of economic managerialism within education. His argument that radical change is possible, for people and the situations they inhabit, provides a stark challenge to the stifling nature of much current educational debate. In Saint Paul: The Foundation of Universalism , Badiou describes the current universalism of capitalism, monetary homogeneity and the rule of the count. Badiou argues that the politics of identity are all too easily subsumed by the (...) prerogatives of the marketplace and unable to present, therefore, a critique of the status quo. These processes are, he argues, without the potential for truth. What are the implications of Badiou's claim that education is the arranging of 'the forms of knowledge in such a way that truth may come to pierce a hole in them' ( Badiou, 2005 , p. 9)? I will argue that Badiou's theory opens up space for a kind of thinking about education that resists its colonisation by the cultures of management and marketisation and leads educationalists to consider the emancipatory potential of education in a refreshing new light. (shrink)
ex opposito, any methodological doctrine that separates theological dogma from philosophical inquiry increases the autonomy of philosophical inquiry. But the Latin Averroist methodological doctrine of veritas duplex (rather improperly, but not entirely unreasonably called so) separated theological dogma from philosophical inquiry. Therefore, the Latin Averroist methodological doctrine of veritas duplex increased the autonomy of philosophical inquiry.
Thomas Aquinas believed that human actions have species, such as theft or almsgiving. A problem arises, however, concerning his teaching on how such moral kinds are determined. Aquinas uses five different terms - end, object, matter, circumstance, and motive - to identify what gives species to human actions. Although similarities in meaning can be discerned between certain of these terms, apparent differences between others make it difficult to grasp how all five could refer to what specifies human actions. Joseph Pilsner (...) examines and compares Aquinas's understanding of these five terms to see if a consistent account of his teaching on specification can be proposed. (shrink)