The purpose of this dissertation is to show how it is that three interpreters of Aristotle's texts on deliberation and the practical syllogism come to views which differ considerably from each other. I argue that the differences are largely due to which set of texts the interpreter takes as most important in relation to Aristotle's theory of the practical syllogism. Neither G. E. M. Anscombe, John M. Cooper, nor Martha Craven Nussbaum has expressed adequately Aristotle's use of the practical syllogism (...) in his writings. I argue that the practical syllogism is one phenomenon for which Aristotle has different purposes in the different places that it appears in his texts. Due to its different appearances, it is sometimes given different interpretations because of the context in which it appears. ;In the first chapter I list several texts which are relevant to Aristotle's theory of deliberation and of the practical syllogism. I then state briefly the kinds of views that are held on the relationship between deliberation and the practical syllogism, which leads me to formulate the questions to which this dissertation is to offer answers. In order to respond to these questions, I develop a separate set of questions which guide my examination of the interpretations by Anscombe, Cooper, and Nussbaum on deliberation and the practical syllogism in Aristotle's texts. My elucidation of these three interpreters' views is shown in chapters two through four. In the fifth and final chapter, I return to the former questions and answer them according to my elucidations of the interpreters' views. I then take four passages from Aristotle--DA 434a16-21, MA 701a17-25, EN 1112b11-12, 15-20, and EN 1147a24-28--which passages are important to his theory of the practical syllogism, and show the differences among the interpretations of these passages by Anscombe, Cooper, and Nussbaum. This, in conjunction with what I have shown up to this point, enables me to offer a conclusion concerning the entire controversy. My conclusion is compatible with the view that the practical syllogism and deliberation are one phenomenon for Aristotle, which phenomenon he puts to several uses. (shrink)
In this paper I argue that there need be nothing circular in a Christian theist’s defending herself against the potential defeater presented by Paul Draper’s  formulation of the problem of evil, nothing circular in defending herself by appeal to the fact that she believes as a result of the promptings of the Sensus Divinitatis (SD) or the Internal Instigation of the Holy Spirit (IIHS). David Silver  has argued that there is an illegitimate circularity proposed for such a theist (...) by Alvin Plantinga in Warranted Christian Belief . The way out of the circle, thinks Silver, would be by adopting a kind of evidentialism: making an appeal to evidence that is independent of the reasons she has for holding theistic belief in the first place. (shrink)
David Silver has argued that there is an illegitimate circularity in Plantinga's account of how a Christian theist can defend herself against the potential defeater presented by Paul Draper's formulation of the problem of evil. The way out of the circle for the theist, thinks Silver, would be by adopting a kind of evidentialism: she needs to make an appeal to evidence that is independent of the reasons she has for holding theistic belief in the first place. I shall argue (...) that Silver's argument is unsuccessful, mainly because he does not get Plantinga's thought right. Silver's confusion is in taking causes of belief as reasons for belief, and in failing to account for the impact of belief holism and our web of beliefs on the very hope for independent reasons. (shrink)
Peter: “Master, we have worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the net” Luke 5.5) Thomas: “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it” John 20.25).