Witnessing to the strong present-day interest in the formation of the great scholastic syntheses of the thirteenth century are the large number of studies devoted to the lesser thinkers of the preceding century. The English-born Robert of Melun is one of these so far largely neglected authors. Despite the edition of his major works in Louvain by R. M. Martin, little has been written on this gifted pupil of Abelard. Horst cuts a large and central piece out of (...) class='Hi'>Robert's "system": the doctrines of the Trinity and of God. After a detailed analysis of the sources of his thinking, the Trinity is dealt with and then God. Under the pen of Robert, the sharp dialectical method of Abelard serves to elaborate Augustine's speculation on the Trinity. Yet the author—in line with the contemporary interest in trinitology—is not satisfied to expound the subtle distinctions Robert made but strives to show also how they can have a bearing on the "economy of salvation." There is a rather liberal dose of lengthy Latin quotes, footnotes mushroom, and secondary literature is quoted by the yard. To sum up: this is a serious and articulate treatment of two central questions of scholastic theology and we are glad to read the promise of a continuation treating Robert's anthropology, angelology, and his views on the First Man.—M. J. V. (shrink)
Richard Popkin gives the frame into which the topics of the colloquium fit: Cartesian skepticism about our knowledge of the existence of the self and the external world. Robert Fogelin sketches a prescriptive model for human action, using classical and contemporary ideas on the grammar of act descriptions. Following these individual papers, there are three symposia, consisting of a paper, comments, and author's reply. In the first, with Philip Hugly as commentator, Fred Dretske attempts to undercut skeptical attack on (...) the validity of ordinary perceptual claims. He holds that an epistemic perceptual report conveys two items: a description, and a justification of the increment in knowledge which is the crux of each particular claim. The second symposiast is Roderick Chisholm, writing with historical fluency and analytic skill on the loose and strict senses of identity. In his comments, S. Shoemaker offers a "special concern" criterion for personal identity. In the third symposium, Jaakko Hintikka argues that the logic of perceptual terms is modal, in the extended sense that most of the words used to express propositional attitudes, words like 'knows', 'believes', 'strives', serve as modal operators. Romane Clark is Hintikka's commentator. Again, the comments seem genuinely helpful in clarifying or emphasizing the issues for the reader. Hintikka tells us that he finds that traditional problems in perception are closely related to difficulties logicians have met as they try to understand the interplay between modal notions and the basic logical concepts of identity and existence. His comment expresses the sense of discovery and promise which pervades these papers. It strikes one that this Colloquium achieved a felicitous combination of high-level technique and creative scholarship.--M. B. M. (shrink)
In many Catholic colleges the first exposure to philosophy is a course in the philosophy of man. The text-anthology is specifically designed for use in such courses and forms one third of a series with further volumes on metaphysics and ethics. Views on man's knowledge, freedom, unity, and immortality, are presented in short selections from five philosophical traditions. Each section has an introductory essay, a glossary, topics for student discussion and term papers, and a short bibliography. A contributing editor is (...) responsible for each section. The general editors coordinated the study aids, including a list of films related to the teaching of philosophy. Elizabeth Salmon edited Classical and Scholastic Thought: Plato, Aristotle and Aquinas. Robert Kreyche edited American Pragmatic-Naturalist Thought: Peirce, James, Dewey, and Santayana. The section on Dialectical Thought, edited by R. T. DeGeorge contains, in addition to Hegel, Marx, and Engels, a selection from a book by Adam Schaff. Margaret Gorman edited Analytic-Positivist Thought. This section includes Hume, Russell, Ayer, Carnap, Ryle, Strawson, Hampshire, and Wittgenstein. Although pointing out to students that the interests of this tradition preclude discussion of the reality behind the four core problems, the introductory section is appreciative of the analytic method. The final part, Existentialist-Phenomenological Thought, is edited by R. Sokolowski. A passage from a forthcoming translation of Husserl's Die Krisis der europäischen Wissenschaften, sets the problem; readings from Sartre, Marcel, Merleau-Ponty, and August Brunner treat the themes of temporality, corporeal space, intersubjectivity, decisions, the emotions, and speech. Finally, short passages from Heidegger tell the reader that the above factors "open man to being." In this way the Phenomenological-Existentialist school is shown to provide a philosophy of man which can serve as a first step in metaphysics, and thus as a bridge to the next book in the series.--M. B. M. (shrink)
In the Summa Theologiae ‘simplicity’ is treated as pre–eminent among the terms which may properly be used to describe the divine nature. The Question in which Thomas demonstrates that God must be ‘totally and in every way simple’ immediately follows the five proofs of God's existence, preceding the treatment of His other perfections, and being frequently used as the basis for proving them. Then in Question 13 ‘univocal predication' is held to be ‘impossible between God and creatures’ so that at (...) best ‘some things are said of God and creatures analogically’ because of the necessity of using ‘various and multiplied conceptions’ derived from our knowledge of created beings to refer to what in God is simple for ‘the perfections flowing from God to creatures… pre–exist in God unitedly and simply, whereas in creatures they are received divided and multiplied’ . In line with this, in the De Potentia Dei the treatment of analogical predication is integrated into that of ‘the Simplicity of the Divine Essence’ . Moreover, it lies at the root of Thomas's rejection of any possibility of a Trinitarian natural theology such as, for instance, St Anselm or Richard of St Victor had attempted to develop, on the grounds that ‘it is impossible to attain to the knowledge of the Trinity by natural reason’ since ‘we can know what belongs to the unity of the essence, but not what belongs to the distinction of the persons’ . Even modern minds sympathetic to Thomas have clearly found it difficult to understand his concern for the divine simplicity: in his Aquinas Lecture Plantinga speaks for many in stating that it is ‘a mysterious doctrine’ which is ‘exceedingly hard to grasp or construe’ and ‘it is difficult to see why anyone should be inclined to accept it’. Not surprisingly, therefore, some of the most widely read twentieth–century commentators on Aquinas have paid little attention to it. Increased interest has recently been shown in it, but a number of discussions pay insufficient attention to the historical context out of which Thomas's interest in the doctrine emerged, and consequently tend to misconstrue its nature. (shrink)
Modern historical criticism of the gospels and Christian origins began in the seventeenth century largely as an attempt to debunk the Christian religion as a pious fraud. The gospels were seen as bits of priestcraft and humbug of a piece with the apocryphal Donation of Constantine. In the few centuries since Reimarus and his critical kin, historical criticism has been embraced and assimilated by many Christian scholars who have seen in it the logical extension of the grammatico-historical method of the (...) Reformers. The new views of New Testament exegesis and of early Christian history are important and well known. Many New Testament scholars would now hold with Schweitzer and Bultmann that Jesus was a preacher of the imminent end of the world. He may have secretly considered himself to be the Messiah, or he may have simply sought to pave the way for another, the apocalyptic Son of Man. After his execution, his disciples' experiences of his resurrection forced on them a conclusion already implicit in his teachings and personal piety: that Jesus was indeed, or had become, the Messiah, and was in fact God's Son. They expected he would soon return as the Son of Man he had predicted. (shrink)
In recent years a growing trend has emerged which has argued for a greater priority to be placed upon patient autonomy within the doctor-patient relationship. The patient self determination movement, which first began to emerge in the 1960s, helps to mark the start of this ground swell of patient power sentiment. In keeping with this idea, the recent book by Robert M. Veatch, Patient heal thyself: How the new medicine puts the patient in charge addresses this very idea, arguing (...) for and promoting a new paradigm for medicine which places the patient firmly at the centre of all decision making in terms of medical treatment and care. Veatch is one of the leading bioethicists in the USA, having previously held the position of Senior Associate at the Hastings Center before moving to the Kennedy Institute of Ethics where he has served as director and Professor of Medical Ethics. (shrink)
In their paper “Members First: The Ethics of Donating Organs and Tissues to Groups,” Timothy Murphy and Robert Veatch question the ethical underpinnings of LifeSharers, a grass-roots effort to increase the supply of organs by giving organ donors preferred access to organs.
With this understanding, children are better able to anticipate the behavior of others and to attune their own behavior accordingly. In mentally retarded children with Down's syndrome, attainment of such competence is delayed, but it is generally acquired by the time they reach the mental age of 4, as measured by tests of nonverbal intelligence. Thus from a developmental perspective, attainment of the mental age of 4 appears to be of profound significance for acquisition of what we shall call psychological (...) competence : possession of the skills and resources people routinely call on in the.. (shrink)