This paper attacks an account of Kant's controversial distinction between "free" and "dependent" beauty. I present three problems—The Lorland problem, The Crawford Problem, and the problem of intrinsic relation—that are shown to be a consequence of various interpretations of Kant's distinction. Next, I reconstruct Robert Wicks' well-known account of dependent beauty as "the appreciation of teleological style" and point out a key equivocation in the statement of Wicks' account: the judgment of dependent beauty can be thought to consist in comparing (...) any two objects' teleological styles either in respect of how or in respect of how well each realizes a common purpose. I argue that this equivocation forces Wicks into a dilemma: either he must assert the impossibility of ugliness or he must assert that the judgment of dependent beauty is reducible to the judgment of perfection. Either way, he denies important theoretic desiderata. (shrink)
Conditional perfection is the phenomenon in which conditionals are strengthened to biconditionals. In some contexts, “If A, B” is understood as if it meant “A if and only if B.” We present and discuss a series of experiments designed to test one of the most promising pragmatic accounts of conditional perfection. This is the idea that conditional perfection is a form of exhaustification—that is a strengthening to an exhaustive reading, triggered by a question that the conditional answers. (...) If a speaker is asked how B comes about, then the answer “If A, B” is interpreted exhaustively to meaning that A is the only way to bring about B. Hence, “A if and only if B.” We uncover evidence that conditional perfection is a form of exhaustification, but not that it is triggered by a relationship to a salient question. (shrink)
Introduction -- Feminism and partial values -- The impossibility of perfection -- Alternative views -- Perfection, moral dilemmas, and moral cost -- Connections with care ethics and romanticism -- Relational profiles of goods and virtues -- Conclusion -- Appendix. Men's philosophy, women's philosophy.
Two models of human perfection proposed by Nietzsche and the Buddha are investigated. Both the overman and the arahant need practice and individual effort as key to their realization, and they share roughly the same conception of the self as a construction. However, there are also a number of salient differences. Though realizing it to be constructed, the overman does proclaim himself through his assertion of the will to power. The realization of the true nature of the self does (...) not lead the overman to seek the way to be released from sa?sara as does the arahant. On the contrary, he rejoices in the eternally recurring situation. The arahant, however, has totally relinquished any attachment to the self, constructed or otherwise. The arahant does not care about the Eternal Recurrence, as he only focuses on the present moment. Finally, they are both beyond good and evil, but in a substantively different way. (shrink)
In “On Oppy’s Objections to the Modal Perfection Argument,” Philo 8, 2, 2005, 123–30, Robert Maydole argues that his modal perfection argument—set out in his “The Modal Perfection Argument for a Supreme Being,” Philo 6, 2, 2003, 299–313—“remains arguably sound” in the face of the criticisms that I made of this argument in my “Maydole’s 2QS5 Argument,” Philo 7, 2, 2004, 203–11. I reply that Maydole is wrong: his argument is fatally flawed, and his attempts to avoid (...) the criticisms that I have made of his argument are to no avail. (shrink)
Advertisers often use computers to create fantastic images. Generally, these are perfectly harmless images that are used for comic or dramatic effect. Sometimes, however, they are problematic human images that I call computer-generated images of perfection. Advertisers create these images by using computer technology to remove unwanted traits from models or to generate entire human bodies. They are images that portray ideal human beauty, bodies, or looks. In this paper, I argue that the use of such images is unethical. (...) I begin by explaining the common objections against advertising and by demonstrating how critics might argue that those objections apply to computer-generated images of perfection. Along the way, I demonstrate an ethically significant difference between computer-generated images of perfection and the images in ordinary ads. I argue that although critics might use this fact to apply the common objections to the use of computer-generated images of perfection, the objections fail. Finally, I argue that despite surviving the common objections, the use of computer-generated images of perfection is subject to an ethical objection that is based on aesthetic considerations. Advertisers are ethically obligated to avoid certain aesthetic results that are produced by computer-generated images of perfection. (shrink)
In Perfection and Disharmony in the Thought of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Jonathan Marks offers an interpretation of the philosopher's thought and its place in the contemporary debate between liberals and communitarians. Against prevailing views, he argues that Rousseau's thought revolves around the natural perfection of a naturally disharmonious being. At the foundation of Rousseau's thought he finds a natural teleology that takes account of and seeks to harmonize conflicting ends. The Rousseau who emerges from this interpretation is a radical (...) critic of liberalism who is nonetheless more cautious about protecting individual freedom than his milder communitarian successors. Marks elaborates on the challenge that Rousseau poses to liberals and communitarians alike by setting up a dialogue between him and Charles Taylor, one of the most distinguished ethical and political theorists at work today. (shrink)
A number of scholars have claimed that, on the assumption of incompati- bilism, there is a con ict between God's freedom and God's essential moral perfection. Jesse Couenhoven is one such example; Couenhoven, a com- patibilist, thinks that libertarian views of divine freedom are problematic given God's essential moral perfection. He writes, \libertarian accounts of God's freedom quickly run into a conceptual problem: their focus on con- tingent choices undermines their ability to celebrate divine freedom with regard to (...) the essential divine nature. For an Augustinian [i.e., a compat- ibilist], by contrast, God's freedom is not at odds with the necessities of perfect love but ful lled by it."1 Others who argue for similar conclusions include William Rowe and Wes Morriston. Michael Bergmann and Jan Cover have recently argued that divine responsibility and moral perfection are compatible with the absence of divine freedom. In this paper, I argue that the arguments which hold that divine freedom con icts with essen- tial divine moral perfection fail. I develop an account of divine freedom which not only doesn't con ict with God's essential moral goodness but shows that such goodness is a necessary part of perfected freedom. I then show how this understanding of free will takes away a major motivation for Bergmann and Cover's apparent willingness to reject divine freedom. (shrink)
The ‘perfection account’ of atonement is discussed,under which Christ, on the cross,completed the perfection of human nature,establishing the full perfection of loving filial obedience, offering to the Father a perfected humanity, where these features were fundamental to the atonement. A basic perfection account is first set out. Two additional elements of the perfection account are then discussed: first, that Christ established a perfect victory over evil in our humanity; second, that on the cross Christ put (...) to death the pull to the self-life in our humanity. Reparation is then discussed. Finally,some critical questions are addressed. (shrink)
One of the most important concepts Baumgarten introduces in his Reflections on Poetry is the concept of sensible perfection. It is surprising that Baumgarten does not elaborate upon this concept in his Metaphysics, since it plays such an important role in the new science of aesthetics that he proposes at the end of the Reflections on Poetry and then further develops in the Aesthetics. This article considers the significance of the absence of sensible perfection from the Metaphysics and (...) its implications for Baumgarten’s aesthetics, before turning to the use Meier and Kant make of Baumgarten’s concept. In the end, this article shows that Baumgarten did not abandon his conception of sensible perfection in the Metaphysics, though its influence declined significantly after Kant rejected the idea that sensibility and the understanding could be distinguished by the perfections of their cognition. (shrink)
This article redresses the function of the theodicy in Descartes's epistemological project. In the Fourth Meditation, Descartes establishes the meditator's knowledge as attainable through the proper use of the freedom of the will in the act of judgment. This freedom implies a will that is at once perfect in its likeness to God's own will and only perfectible in its propensity to err in its judgments. The theodicy is thus necessary to sustain the balance between the (unlimited) perfection of (...) God and the (limited) perfection of the meditator. (shrink)
Kant claims that we have a duty to promote our own moral perfection, but not the moral perfection of others. I examine three types of argument for this asymmetry, as well as the implications of these arguments--and their success or failure--for Kantian theory. The arguments I consider say that (first) to promote others’ perfection is impossible; (second) to try to promote others’ perfection is impermissible; and (third) one cannot be obligated to promote both others’ perfection (...) and one’s own. I argue that none of these arguments establishes Kant’s conclusion. Since the formula of humanity grounds a duty to promote our own perfection out of respect for our rational nature, the absence of an argument denying that we must promote others’ perfection suggests that we must do so (out of respect for their rational nature). Even so, Kant’s theory discourages moral paternalism and takes perfection to be a primarily self-regarding project. Thus, I also show that a Kantian duty to promote the moral perfection of others would be unobjectionable, despite the problems such a duty might initially seem to invite. (shrink)
Liberalism without Perfection offers an introduction to the debate between liberal perfectionism and political liberalism. This book is a new account and defence of Rawlsian political liberalism, one of the most discussed, but widely misunderstood and criticized theories in contemporary political theory.
Anselmian theists claim (a) that there is a being than which none greater can be conceived; and (b) that it is knowable on purely—solely, entirely—a priori grounds that there is a being than which none greater can be conceived. In this paper, I argue that Anselmian Theism gains traction by conflating different interpretations of the key description ‘being than which no greater can be conceived’. In particular, I insist that it is very important to distinguish between ideal excellence and maximal (...) possible excellence. At the end of my paper, I illustrate the importance of this distinction by applying my discussion to the recent defence of Anselmian Theism in Nagasawa (Philos Q 58:577–591, 2008). (shrink)
This paper elaborates and defends an argument for saying that if God is necessarily good (morally perfect in all possible worlds), then He does not have the maximum conceivable amount of power and so is not all-powerful. It considers and rejects several of the best-known attempts to show that necessary moral perfection is consistent with the requirements of omnipotence, and concludes by suggesting that a less than all-powerful person might still be the greatest possible being. Great is your power, (...) and your wisdom is immeasurable. Psalm 147.5. (shrink)
The Modal Perfection Argument (MPA) for the existence of a Supreme Being is a new ontological argument that is rooted in the insights of Anselm, Leibniz and Gödel. Something is supreme if and only if nothing is possibly greater, and a perfection is a property that it is better to have than not. The premises of MPA are that supremity is a perfection, perfections entail only perfections, and the negation of a perfection is not a (...) class='Hi'>perfection. I do three things in this paper. First, I prove that MPA is valid by constructing a formal deduction of it in second order modal logic. Second, I argue that its premises are true. Third, I defend the argument and the logic used against some likely objections. (shrink)
In 1964 radiographs of an Egyptian mummy displayed by the, then, Gulbenkian Museum of Art and Archaeology in Durham revealed an artificial upper limb attached to a deformed lower forearm. The limb was removed for further study. It concluded that the deformity was due to pre-mortem, amputation above the wrist, the ancient embalmers applying a crude restoration. In 2005 the author undertook a detailed reappraisal of this restored limb. These findings now suggest that this individual exhibits a congenital deformity to (...) the upper limb. Such a proposal prompts a discourse on how deformity was perceived, not only by ancient Egyptian society but by those across the ancient world. Textual sources have been selected to highlight how perfection of the physical body was prized by some cultures, contrasting this with how those who exhibited ‘otherness’,were either accepted or marginalized. (shrink)
Proclus (c.412-485) once offered an argument that Christians took to stand against the Christian doctrine of creation ex nihilo based on the eternity of the world and God’s perfection. John Philoponus (c.490-570) objected to this on various grounds. Part of this discussion can shed light on contemporary issues in philosophical theology on divine perfection and creation. First I will examine Proclus’ dilemma and John Philoponus’ response. I will argue that Philoponus’ fails to rebut Proclus’ dilemma. The problem is (...) that presentism is incompatible with divine simplicity, timelessness, and a strong doctrine of immutability. From there I will look at how this discussion bears on contemporary understandings of divine perfection and creation, and argue that there are at least two possible ways contemporary philosophical theologians can try to get around the dilemma. One option is to adopt four-dimensional eternalism and maintain the traditional account of the divine perfections. I argue that this option suffers from difficulties that are not compatible with Christian belief. The other option is to keep presentism and modify the divine perfections. I argue that this option is possible and preferable since our understanding of the divine perfections must be modified in light of divine revelation and the incarnation. (shrink)
Both, bioconservatives and bioliberals, should seek a discussion about ideas of human perfection, making explicit their underlying assumptions about what makes for a good human life. This is relevant, because these basic, and often implicit ideas, inform and influence judgements and choices about human enhancement interventions. Both neglect, and polemical but inconsistent use of the complex ideas of perfection are leading to confusion within the ethical debate about human enhancement interventions, that can be avoided by tackling the notion (...) of perfection directly. In the recent debates, bioconservatives have prominently argued against the ‘pursuit of perfection’ by biotechnological means. In the first part of this paper, we show that—paradoxically—bioconservatives themselves explicitly embrace specific conceptions of human perfection and perfectionist assumptions about the good human life in order to argue against the use of enhancement technologies. Yet, we argue that the bioconservative position contains an untenable ambiguity between criticising and endorsing ideas of human perfection. Hence, they stand in need of clarifying their stance on human perfection. In the second part of the paper, we ask whether bioliberals in fact (implicitly) advocate a particular conception of perfection, or whether they are right in holding that they do not, and that discussing perfection is obsolete anyway. We show that bioliberals also rely on a specific idea of human perfection, based on the idea of autonomy. Hence, their denial of the relevance of perfection in the debate is unconvincing and has to be revised. (shrink)
Plotinus’s theory of dual selfhood has ethical norms built into it, all of which derive from the ontological superiority of the higher (or undescended) soul in us overthe body-soul compound. The moral life, as it is presented in the Enneads, is a life of self-perfection, devoted to the care of the higher self. Such a conception of morality is prone to strike modern readers as either ‘egoistic’ or unduly austere. If there is no doubt that Plotinus’s ethics is exceptionally (...) austere, it will be argued below that it is not ‘egoistic.’ To that effect, the following questions will be addressed: Are the virtues, civic as well as purificatory, mere means to Plotinus’s metaphysically conceived ethical goal? To what extent must the lower self abnegate itself so as to enable the higher self to ascend to Intellect and beyond? And if self-perfection lies at the centre of the Plotinian moral life, is there any conceptual room left in it for other-regarding norms of conduct? A close reading of selected passages from Plotinus’s tractate I.2 On Virtues and tractate VI.8 On Free Will and the Will of the One will, it is claimed, bring elements of answer to these questions. (shrink)
This paper is a reply to Graham Oppy’s “Maydole’s 2QS5 Argument,” published in Philo 7, 2. I argue that he fails to refute myModal Perfection Argument for the existence of a Supreme Being, and that it remains arguably sound in the face of his alleged counterexamples and parodies.
Divine omnipotence entails that God can choose to do evil by taking up a human nature. In showing others by way of example how temptations are to be overcome, His exposure to evil desires in such circumstances is consistent with moral perfection. The view that 'God has the greatest power and is morally perfect simpliciter', is religiously more adequate than 'God has great power and is essentially morally perfect'. The essentiality of other divine attributes to God is discussed, and (...) rebuttals to Anselmian arguments are offered. (shrink)
I argue that Aristotle took pleasure to be a certain aspect of perfect activities of awareness, namely, their very perfection. I also argue that this reading facilitates an attractive interpretation of his view that pleasures differ in kind along with the activities they arise in connection with.
Today, philosophers interested in self-knowledge usually look to the scholastic tradition, where the topic is addressed in a systematic and familiar way. Contemporary conceptions of what medieval figures thought about self-knowledge thus skew toward the epistemological. In so doing, however, they often fail to capture the crucial ethical and theological importance that self-knowledge possesses throughout the Middle Ages. -/- Human beings are not transparent to themselves: in particular, knowing oneself in the way needed for moral progress requires hard and rigorous (...) work. Yet, medieval contemplatives insist, without this work we will never attain our final end. In this paper, I trace the connection drawn in this tradition between self-knowledge, humility, and self-fulfillment, arguing in section 1 that the humility that results from introspection needs to be understood in the context of contemplative expectations for eventual perfection. Self-knowledge is key for developing the relationship with God that leads to mystical union, but (as I show in section 2) in the affective tradition of the 13th-14th centuries, which emphasizes the role of emotion and the body, such union with God tends to restore rather than annihilate us. In fact, I argue in section 3, the outcome of such union even in this life is often knowledge that benefits not only the individual who experiences it but also their broader community. (shrink)
One will be hard-pressed to find a morally perfect agent in this world. It’s not that there aren’t any morally good people. It just takes a lot to be morally perfect. However, theists claim that God is morally perfect. (Atheists claim that if God exists, God is morally perfect.) Perhaps they are mistaken. This chapter presents an argument for the conclusion that God is not morally perfect. The argument depends upon two things: (1) the nature of the concept of moral (...)perfection, and (2) the modest theistic claim that God is involved in the affairs of the world. (shrink)
It is tempting to argue that Kantian moral philosophy justifies prohibiting both human germ-line genetic engineering and non-therapeutic genetic engineering because they fail to respect human dignity. There are, however, good reasons for resisting this temptation. In fact, Kant’s moral philosophy provides reasons that support genetic engineering—even germ-line and non-therapeutic. This is true of Kant’s imperfect duties to seek one’s own perfection and the happiness of others. It is also true of the categorical imperative. Kant’s moral philosophy does, however, (...) provide limits to justifiable genetic engineering. (shrink)
I offer part of an account of divine moral perfection. I defend the claim that moral perfection is possible, then argue that God has obligations, so that one part of his moral perfection must be perfection in meeting these. I take up objections to divine obligations, then finally offer a definition of divine deontic perfection.
This paper develops an account of moral friendship that both draws on and revises Kant’s conception of moral friendship for the purpose of explaining how trusting and being trusted in the way that Kant describes supports moral self-perfection beyond increased self-knowledge and refinement of judgment. I will argue that cultivation of the virtues of friendship is important to the pursuit of moral self-perfection, specifically with respect to combatting the unsociable side of our unsociable sociability. Reciprocal trust shelters the (...) individual’s predisposition to goodness, which comes under attack by the passions in social relations wherein distrust is the default. Reciprocal trust also enables communion, the importance of which has been undervalued in analyses of moral self-perfection. (shrink)
This paper examines the doctrine of existence as a perfection. Examining some of the comments from Leroy Howe, there is an immense amount of confusion with the idea of existence as a perfection. Leaning on some level of the cosmological argument, I believe it is Descartes that brings forth a proper understanding of why existence is a great making property. However, there is a level of irrelevance between the Kantian problem existence as a predicate and the nature of (...) Anselm's argument. (shrink)
Discussions of genetic enhancements often imply deep suspicions about human desires to manipulate or enhance the course of our future. These unspoken assumptions about the arrogance of the quest for perfection are at odds with the normally hopeful resonancy we find in contemporary theology. The author argues that these fears, suspicions and accusations are misplaced. The problem lies not with the question of whether we should pursue perfection, but rather what perfection we are pursuing. The author argues (...) that perfection, properly understood, has an enormously positive function in the Roman Catholic tradition. The author examines three sources: the Scriptures, the scholastic tradition, and ascetical theology. He examines contemporary criticisms of perfectionism and suggests that an adequate virtue theory keeps us from engaging perfectionism as such. The author then shows how a positive, responsible view of perfection is an asset to our discussion on enhancement technology. (shrink)
In the 1970s, Alvin Plantinga made use of the Anselmian concept of God to develop a modal version of Anselm's ontological argument for God's existence. His definition describes the God of perfect-being theology as one that exists necessarily and is essentially omnipotent, omniscient, and morally perfect, and this definition has become standard in discussions about the nature and existence of the God of western theism. Hence, these discussions operate with a relatively thin conception of God, since many of the key (...) terms in the definition, including essential moral perfection, remain undefined. Philosophers find this attractive in some ways, since it permits an a priori approach to explicating the divine perfections. One drawback for the minimalist approach, however, is that it can impede the effort to connect philosophical theology with religious faith. This article discusses three major ways of modelling divine moral perfection and considers some of the major objections to the claim that God is necessarily morally perfect. (shrink)
In this paper, which is a reply to Wes Morriston's 'Omnipotence and necessary moral perfection: are they compatible?', I argue that, contrary to what Morriston suggests, a classical theist need not admit that omnipotence and necessary moral perfection are incompatible. Indeed, I shall argue that a classical theist can show that an omnipotent being is of necessity morally perfect.
In the Bhagavad-Gita, Krishna lays out three paths of yoga as the means to achieve human perfection: the path of self-less action, the path of knowledge, and the path of devotion. In this paper I will argue for an interpretation of the Gita in which the path of devotion is the last step that leads to moksha. This is not to claim that bhakti yoga is more important than karma and jnana yoga, but rather that the latter two are (...) more elementary. In order to practice bhakti yoga, one must first have practiced karma and jnana yoga. All three forms of yoga are equally important—but there is a prioritized order in which they are to be practiced. On my reading, bhakti is more than having an intense feeling of love for God, because practicing devotion to God is an intellectual love of God that entails an intuitive understanding of the essence of things. My approach is to cross-examine the concept of human perfection as discussed in the Gita and Spinoza’s Ethics. Human perfection is characterized in both texts as a total liberation from being guided by things external to oneself other than one’s own nature. In other words, the aim of life is to liberate oneself by acquiring the right kind of knowledge. The freer one becomes and the more knowledge that one has, the more perfect one becomes. Thus, Spinoza’s idea of the “free man” resembles the self-realized agent in the Gita, because a human being becomes more “perfect” when he expresses God’s power to a greater degree. Bhakti yoga is the last step on the path to attain knowledge of God because in bhakti yoga, one employs the method of intuition to grasp God’s essence. As such, unlike karma and jnana yoga, the knowledge acquired in bhakti yoga is not empirical. In the Gita, rational devotion is a single act of both the mind and the heart, which, in turn, will lead to the practice of self-less actions. (shrink)
In the course of the debates on Priscian's notion of the perfect sentence, the philosopher Peter Abelard developed a theory that closely resembles modern accounts of propositional attitudes and that goes far beyond the established Aristotelian conceptions of the sentence. According to Abelard, the perfection of a sentence does not depend on the content that it expresses, but on the fact that the content is stated along with the propositional attitude towards the content. This paper tries to provide an (...) analysis and a consistent interpretation of Abelard's arguments within the framework of the mediaeval models of language and mind. (shrink)
In a short piece written most likely in the 1690s and given the title by Loemker of “On Wisdom,” Leibniz says the following: “...we see that happiness, pleasure, love, perfection, being, power, freedom, harmony, order, and beauty are all tied to each other, a truth which is rightly perceived by few.”1 Why is this? That is, why or how are these concepts tied to each other? And, why have so few understood this relation? Historians of philosophy are familiar with (...) the fact that both Spinoza and Leibniz place strong emphasis on the notion of power in giving their accounts of the human passions. But, while many scholars have explicated the relation between power and the passions (especially in Spinoza’s philosophy), there has been considerably less attention given to the nature of perfection and its relation to both power and the passions.2 Consider the following passages from Spinoza and Leibniz in which these two thinkers seem to bring together the issue of perfection and passion. In Ethics IIIp11s, Spinoza says the following: We see, then, that the Mind can undergo great changes, and pass now to a greater, now to a lesser perfection. These passions, indeed, explain to us the affects of Joy and Sadness. By Joy, therefore, I shall understand in what follows that passion by which the Mind passes to a greater perfection. And by Sadness, that passion by which it passes to a lesser perfection. The affect of Joy which is related to the Mind and Body at once I call Pleasure or Cheerfulness, and that of Sadness, Pain or Melancholy.3 And, in the Monadology §49, Leibniz says this: “The creature is said to act externally insofar as it is perfect, and to be acted upon [patir] by another, insofar as it is imperfect.”4 In other words, for Spinoza, the primitive passions of joy and sadness are cases in which a being’s perfection is increasing or decreasing, while, for Leibniz, any passion, it would.. (shrink)
Recording has transformed the nature of music as an art by reconfiguring the opposition between the aesthetics of perfection and imperfection. A precursor article, ‘The Art of Improvisation and the Aesthetics of Imperfection’, contrasted the perfectionist aesthetic of the ‘work-concept’ with the imperfectionist aesthetic of improvisation. Imperfectionist approaches to recording are purist in wanting to maintain the diachronic and synchronic integrity of the performance, which perfectionist recording creatively subverts through mixing and editing. But a purist transparency thesis cannot evade (...) the fact that the recorded image is crafted; against creative editing, however, the imperfectionist ideal of the ‘complete take’ is humanistic and anti-mechanistic, and not mere Romantic illusion. The article concludes with a discussion of the question of the artistic status of recording, and contrasts the possibility of a non-acousmatic sound art with the essentially acousmatic art of music. (shrink)
The aim of this article is to determine and analyze the meaning of the transitio and the posset that not only enable the radical modal experience of the Amor Dei intellectualis but which are also central features in the attainment of human perfection and of the highest knowledge. I wish to answer the following questions. What power is attributable to the Amor Dei intellectualis? In other words, what is the power that corresponds to human perfection and to the (...) possession of blessedness? And why does Spinoza explain this relation in terms of love? In this article, I intend to give a possible definition of human nature, a definition whose determination implies a maximal affirmation of modal power. At this point more questions arise: by attributing this maximal power to human nature, are we underlining a specific necessity, i.e., a constitutive relation capable of giving a specific form to this power and to human nature? Does the third kind of knowledge imply modifications in human nature itself, e.g., in the body or soul? Finally, does the correlation between the third kind of knowledge and the Amor Dei intellectualis allow for the determination of a model of human nature that surpasses the one given by Spinoza in the preface to part four of the Ethics? (shrink)
A study of the structural perfection of icosahedral quasicrystalline grains of various alloys and Al-Cu-Fe), grown by different slow solidification techniques was performed using high-resolution diffraction, including recording rocking curves combined with X-ray topography and phase contrast radiography, at a third-generation synchrotron radiation source . For Al-Pd-Mn, additional coherent diffraction and diffuse scattering measurements were also carried out. After evaluating the potentialities of the techniques used, in the light of the criteria defined for crystals, it is shown that the (...) structural perfection of icosahedral quasicrystals is quite comparable with that of metallic crystals but is considerably influenced by either uniform phason strains which can destroy the quasiperiodic long-range order, or by long-wavelength phason fluctuations leading to diffuse scattering. The structural perfection was also found to be extremely variable across the as-grown quasicrystalline grains and to be dependent on the presence and characteristics of inhomogeneities often included in the quasicrystalline matrix. Regarding the grains that we used, it has been impossible to distinguish a clear influence of either the type of alloy or the growth method. It has, however, been noticed that Al-Pd-Mn and Al-Cu-Fe grains appeared less defective than Zn-Mg-RE grains and that the microstructure of these latter grains looks like that of crystals grown by the same technique. Annealing and mechanical polishing effects have also been analysed in the case of Al-Pd-Mn grains. It appeared that annealing improves the quasicrystalline lattice perfection by lowering phason strains insofar as no precipitates are nucleated. Mechanical polishing can introduce defects, located at the external surfaces, having the shape of bands. (shrink)
The article offers a defense of liberal perfectionism in the light of criticism of perfectionist politics stated in Jonathan Quong?s book Liberalism without Perfection. It argues against Quong?s claims that perfectionism is incompatible with demands of individual autonomy and non-paternalism as requirements of liberal commitment of treating all persons as free and equal. nema.
Many theists of a traditional bent have been bothered by the apparent tension between God's essential omnipotence and his essential moral goodness. Nelson Pike draws attention to the conflict between these two attributes in his article ‘Omnipotence and God's Ability to Sin’, and there have been many attempts to respond to it since that time. Most of these responses argue that the essential omnipotence and essential goodness of God are not logically incompatible, so that the traditional conception of God is (...) not incoherent; I think the arguments have been largely successful. However, some theists have found the typical responses to Pike less than convincing, and are tempted to surrender the claim that God has moral perfection essentially in favour of the more modest claim that God is morally perfect in the actual world though in some possible worlds God is morally defective. I argue in this paper that this fall-back position is incoherent. More accurately, I argue that a necessary being who is essentially omniscient and essentially omnipotent cannot be contingently morally perfect or contingently morally defective. Any such being is either essentially good or essentially evil. Since the latter alternative seems unattractive, I argue that theists should embrace the essential moral perfection of God. (shrink)