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  1. On the Need for a Philosophy of Nature and on Aquinas’s Help in Sketching One.Rémi Brague - 2015 - Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 89:35-43.
    A philosophy of nature is an urgent need if we want to avoid falling back into the Gnostic view of the world and of man’s place in it that modern science can’t help fostering. The medieval idea of the world as the creation of stable natures by a rational and benevolent God should provide us with useful guidelines. In particular, Aquinas gives us valuable hints about how our scientific knowledge of nature might help us to get a correct appreciation of (...)
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  2.  8
    A New Argument for the Incompatibility of Hylomorphism and Metaphysical Naturalism.Travis Dumsday - 2015 - Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 89:119-130.
    Within the substance ontology literature in recent analytic metaphysics, four principal theories are in competition: substratum theory, bundle theory, primitive substance theory, and hylomorphism. This paper is part of a larger project attempting to show that each of these four theories is incompatible with metaphysical naturalism. To that end, I explicate and defend the following argument: Premise 1: Prime matter either can exist on its own or it cannot. Premise 2: If prime matter can exist on its own then metaphysical (...)
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  3.  90
    How Must We Be for the Resurrection to Be Good News?Chad Engelland - 2015 - Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 89:245-261.
    While the promise of the resurrection appears wonderful, it is also perplexing: How can the person raised be one and the same person as the one that dies? And if the raised person is not the same, why should any of us mortals regard the promise of the resurrection as good news? In this paper, I articulate the part-whole structure of human nature that supports belief in the sameness of the resurrected person’s identity and the desirability of the resurrection: the (...)
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  4.  5
    Created Persons Are Subsistent Relations.Mark K. Spencer - 2015 - Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 89:225-243.
    The recent Catholic philosophical tradition on the human person has tried to articulate the irreducibility of the human person to anything non-personal, and to synthesize all of the best of what has been said on the human person. Recently, a debate has arisen regarding the concrete existence and relationality of persons. I analyze these debates, and show how both sides of these debates can be synthesized into a view on which human persons are both subsistent beings and identical to certain (...)
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  5. Descartes as Catholic Philosopher and Natural Philosopher.Steven Baldner - 2015 - Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 89:287-298.
    A Catholic philosophy requires an account of God as the first cause of all being. Descartes provides this, but he does so at a high price, for his Creator of ontologically and causally independent moments of creaturely existence precludes all secondary causes. Descartes’s philosophy thus results in occasionalism, which I try to show is the unhappy result of errors in natural philosophy concerning material forms and duration. Suarez provides a contrasting scholastic account of creation, showing how novel, and problematic, Descartes’s (...)
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  6. Introduction of Rémi Brague, 2015 Aquinas Medal Recipient.Druart Thérèse-Anne - 2015 - Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 89:33-34.
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  7. A Thomist Re-Consideration of the Subject Matter of Metaphysics.Domenic D’Ettore - 2015 - Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 89:209-223.
    Catholic Philosophy has long acknowledged the primary place of Metaphysics, and a primary question of metaphysicians is “what is Metaphysics about?” This paper engages this primary metaphysical question through the lens of Scholastic dispute over the adequate subject matter of Metaphysics. Chrysostom Iavelli defended the position that the subject of Metaphysics is real being common to God and creatures against the position of his predecessor Dominic Flandrensis who had argued that it is categorical being to the exclusion of uncreated being. (...)
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  8. Molinist Divine Complicity.A. Elisher Robert - 2015 - Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 89:85-95.
    I argue here that God, as Molinism conceives Him, is complicit in moral evil. This is of course a problem because complicity in evil undermines divine perfection. I argue, however, that it is a problem that Open Theism, as a theory of “general” providence, avoids. This claim opposes that of Neal Judisch, who has recently argued that theories of general providence are in no better position to answer the problem of gratuitous evil than theories of meticulous providence. Here, Judisch draws (...)
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  9. Violence and the Obligations of Charity.Shawn Floyd - 2015 - Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 89:263-275.
    According to one interpretive strand of the Christian moral tradition, charity requires complete renunciation of violence in all its forms. One should not summarily dismiss this view as extreme or unrepresentative of Christian teaching. After all, sacred Scripture urges us to love our neighbors and repudiate wanton aggression, hatred, and personal reprisals. Yet while charity would have us disavow all varieties of malicious acts and urges, it is not obvious that it forbids using potentially lethal force. Relying on insights from (...)
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  10. From Neighbor-Love to Utilitarianism, and Back.J. L. A. Garcia - 2015 - Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 89:1-32.
    Contrasting loving our neighbors with utilitarians’ demand to maximize good reveals important metatheoretic structures and dynamics that I call virtues- basing, input drive, role centering, and patient focus. First, love is a virtue; such virtues are foundational to both moral obligations and the impersonally valuable. Second, part of loving is acting lovingly. Whether and how I act lovingly, and how loving it is, is a matter of motivation; this input-driven account contrasts with highlighting actions’ outcome. Third, in regarding someone as (...)
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  11. The Limits of Double Effect.Heidi M. Giebel - 2015 - Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 89:143-157.
    In the decades since Anscombe re-introduced the distinction between intention and foresight into philosophical ethics, supporters and critics of the related principle of double effect have displayed disagreement and confusion about its application and scope. The key to correct interpretation and application of PDE, I argue, is recognition of its limits: the principle does not include an account of the goodness or badness of effects; it does not include an account of intention; PDE does not specify a particular action as (...)
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  12. Transcendental Multitude in Thomas Aquinas.Joshua Lee Harris - 2015 - Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 89:109-118.
    In this study, I consider the viability of what is perhaps one of the more “obscure” transcendentals in Aquinas’s work—that is, the concept of multitudo transcendens. This strange notion is mentioned explicitly on four occasions in Aquinas’s oeuvre. Despite its apparent difficulties, i.e., the clear difficulties associated with claiming that ens is really convertible with both unum and multitudo, I suggest that Aquinas’s affirmation of multitudo as a transcendental is a conceptually coherent way of providing a compelling answer to a (...)
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  13. Existential Thomist Reflections on Kenny.John F. X. Knasas - 2015 - Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 89:195-208.
    My target is Kenny’s claim that if God can be thought not to be in the same manner as men or phoenixes, then God too is an essence/existence composite. I argue that our ignorance about the existence of the phoenix and our ignorance about God do not have the same bases and so they do not lead to the same conclusion, namely, a distinction between thing and existence in both cases. The notion of the phoenix is existence neutral because it (...)
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  14. A Thomistic Analysis of the Hart-Fuller Debate.Peter Karl Koritansky - 2015 - Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 89:277-286.
    In 1958, the Harvard Law Review published a now-famous debate between H. L. A. Hart and Lon Fuller regarding the proposed connection between law and morality. Whereas Hart defended a broadly positivist conception of law, Fuller advanced a kind of natural law theory that has greatly influenced judicial interpretation in the United States. This paper examines the debate and provides a commentary in light of the natural law theory of Thomas Aquinas. Whereas it is not surprising that Aquinas would reject (...)
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  15.  3
    Divine Simplicity and Divine Freedom.Brian Leftow - 2015 - Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 89:45-56.
    I explain the doctrine of divine simplicity, and reject what is now the standard way to explicate it in analytic philosophy. I show that divine simplicity imperils the claim that God is free, and argue against a popular proposal for dealing with the problem.
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  16. Is Mandatory Autonomy Education in the Best Interests of Children?Moschella Melissa - 2015 - Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 89:299-310.
    In this paper I argue that liberal proponents of mandatory autonomy education tend to overlook or underestimate the potential threats that such an education poses to the overall well-being of children. They do so by paying insufficient attention to the importance of moral virtue as a constitutive element of and precondition for genuine autonomy, and by failing to recognize how the development and consolidation of moral virtue may be undermined by the sort of autonomy education they recommend. I develop my (...)
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  17. Minutes of the 2015 Executive Council Meeting.Mirela Oliva - 2015 - Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 89:311-312.
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  18. Secretary’s Report.Mirela Oliva - 2015 - Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 89:313-317.
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  19. Truthmaking and Christian Theology.Timothy Pawl - 2015 - Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 89:181-194.
    This paper analyzes Catholic philosophy by investigating the parameters that Catholic dogmatic claims set for theories of truthmaking. First I argue that two well-known truthmaker views—the view that properties alone are the truthmakers for contingent predications, and the view that all truths need truthmakers—are precluded by Catholic dogma. In particular, the doctrine of transubstantiation precludes the first, and the doctrines of divine causality and divine freedom together preclude the second. Next, I argue that the doctrine of the Incarnation, together with (...)
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  20. Robert Spaemann’s Approach to Ethical Analysis.Schimpf Alexander - 2015 - Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 89:131-142.
    The essay identifies and explains four prominent features of Robert Spaemann’s approach to applied ethical analysis: recollection of the origins of ethical dilemmas, assignment of the burden of proof, appeals to shared ethical intuitions, and references to the reality of the human person. The article concludes with a brief assessment of the potential merits and demerits of Spaemann’s approach.
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  21. Aquinas on Believing God.Matthew Kent Siebert - 2015 - Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 89:97-107.
    Aquinas says that faith is belief about things one does not “see” for oneself. But if you do not see it for yourself, what makes your belief reasonable? Recent interpreters have missed a key part of Aquinas’s answer, namely, that faith is believing God. In other words, they have not given sufficient attention to the formal object of faith. As a result, they overemphasize other parts of his answer. Drawing partly on recent epistemology of testimony, I explain how the formal (...)
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  22. Catholics and Hugo Grotius’s Definition of Lying.Skalko John - 2015 - Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 89:159-179.
    Among Catholic philosophers, Saint Augustine was the first boldly to propose and defend the absolute view that all lies are wrong. Under no circumstances can a lie be licit. This absolute view held sway among Catholics until the sixteenth century with the introduction of the doctrine of mental reservation. In the seventeenth century, Hugo Grotius introduced another way to uphold the absolute view by changing the definition of lying: If the right of another is not violated, then there is no (...)
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  23. World-Maker, Mind-Maker, Revealer.D. Sullivan Thomas - 2015 - Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 89:57-83.
    Is religion “noxious rubbish to be buried as deeply, as thoroughly, and as quickly as possible”? Philip Kitcher tells us that’s the dominant idea among atheists. In this paper I take a step back from the minutiae of standard journal articles to dispute the broad atheistic claim, and in the process suggest there is in fact a great deal to be said for religious belief. I argue that: It’s not highly implausible that there is a cause of the universe distinct (...)
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