In this engaging study, the authors put casuistry into its historical context, tracing the origin of moral reasoning in antiquity, its peak during the sixteenth and early seventeenth century, and its subsequent fall into disrepute from the mid-seventeenth century.
Catholic evolutionists have proposed to reconcile evolutionary anthropogenesis with Catholic doctrine by suggesting that a created soul could be infused into a body produced by evolution from an animal body. Could such an infusion yield not just a Platonic composite but a being with the unity of substance required by a Thomistic philosophy of nature? How could such a soul be the form of the body into which it was infused? This paper suggests that animals seem to have sense-powers with (...) a level of complexity, if not sufficient to underlie the abstraction of concepts in a being that also has a rational soul, then at least nearly so. The burden of proof lies rather on those who think that evolutionary development of such powers is not possible. In its final section, the paper argues that the existence of Eve as a second, and the only additional, initial rational being does not create special problems for the view here articulated. (shrink)
Francisco Ayala and others have argued that recent genetic evidence shows that the origins of the human race cannot be monogenetic, as the Church hastraditionally taught. This paper replies to that objection, developing a distinction between biological and theological species first proposed by Andrew Alexanderin 1964.
Between 1924 and 1937, the Jesuit Curia in Rome repeatedly placed restrictions on what Jesuit priest‐paleontologist Pierre Teilhard de Chardin was allowed to write on those aspects of human origins that, in the view of the Curia, had theological as well as scientific aspects. In 2018, David Grumett and Paul Bentley published an account of the first of those restrictions, together with a previously undiscovered document associated with that restriction. This article corrects a relatively important error in their historical narrative, (...) offers an alternative to their comments about the case, and concludes by embedding the events of 1924–1925 in a slightly larger history of Teilhard's relations with the Jesuit Curia and with the Holy Office. That larger narrative shows that, while Grumett and Bentley's account was mistaken about the involvement of the Holy Office in the case they discuss, it was not wrong about the concerns of that Congregation in questions of human origins. (shrink)
The opening of the archives for the pontificate of Pius XII makes it possible to see the history of the drafting of the encyclical _Humani generis_, the first document in which the universal magisterium of the Catholic Church addressed the question of evolution. Although its acknowledgment that the question of the evolutionary origin of the human body was, provisionally, theologically open generated no controversy at the drafting commission, the definitiveness of its reservations about monophyletic polygenism generated a disagreement resolved only (...) by Pope Pius. An incident in 1955 reinforces these conclusions about the proper interpretation of the encyclical. (shrink)
Nuclear deterrence has recently come under attack from many quarters. And philosophers, no less than others, have participated in the attack. The philosophical attacks have come both from consequentialists and deontologists. Deterrence has also, of course, found its defenders, but the latter have tended to be consequentialist or contractarian. I have not yet seen what I take to be a wholly adequate deontological defense of nuclear deterrence. In this essay, I attempt to make such a defense.
This essay responds to the argument that US interest in Kuwaiti oil made its war against Iraq fail the just-war criterion of right intention. That argument is based on a misunderstanding of the criterion, namely, that right intention requires not merely the presence of a concern for justice but the absence of any other (especially self-interested) motives. Correction of this misunderstanding is important to application of the just-war theory to the general question of intervention in foreign wars.
In this paper, I attempt to develop the account of intellectual virtues offered by Aristotle and St. Thomas in a way which recognizes faith as a good intellectual habit. I go on to argue that, as a practical matter, this virtue is needed not only in theology, where it provides the basis of further intellectual work, but also in the natural sciences, where it is required given the complexity of the subject matter and the cooperative nature of the enterprise.