James Thomas | : La doctrine thomiste de l’unité de la forme substantielle explique l’unité près de l’âme cartésienne avec le corps, mais pour leur indépendance Paul Hoffman a conseillé la lecture pluraliste du composite attribuable à Guillaume d’Ockham et Duns Scot. Principalement pour lier la pensée cartésienne à une tradition éthique plus étendue, je suggère que la doctrine thomiste pourrait être développée pour répondre aux objections de Marleen Rozemond à une lecture scolaire si la forme substantielle est (...) considérée comme l’argument d’incliner le conatus ou de l’appétit de l’existence. | : The Thomistic doctrine of the unity of substantial form accounts for the Cartesian mind’s close unity with body, but for their independence Paul Hoffman advised the pluralist reading of the composite attributable to William of Ockham and Duns Scotus. Principally to link Cartesian thought to a more extensive ethical tradition, I suggest that the Thomistic doctrine could be developed to respond to Marleen Rozemond’s objections to a scholastic reading if the substantial form is taken to be the argument to incline the conatus or appetite of existence. (shrink)
We are very grateful to both Matthew Ratcliffe and Thomas Szasz for taking the time to read and respond to our paper. Ratcliffe is broadly sympathetic to our efforts and provides a very convincing argument against mind–body dualisms by drawing on work from the phenomenological tradition. His comments extend rather than challenge our central thesis. Szasz, however, is dismissive of our position. As a result, most of our response is directed to his commentary. Ratcliffe uses the work of van (...) der Berg to make the case that any easy distinction between bodily and mental illness or suffering is false to our lived reality as human beings. Of course, in the day-to- day world of contemporary medical practice .. (shrink)
We explore the issue of media content and corporate social responsibility by considering three questions:1. Why is this issue becoming so salient to a variety of stakeholders across the political spectrum at this time?2. What are the ethical issues that companies and policy makers should be concerned about with regard to media content?3. How can media-related companies and industries either better self-regulate or enhance consumer choice to respond to legitimate concerns about access tocontent?
This study aimed to explore the understanding of and attitudes towards academic ethics of first-year students at a South African University using a paper-based survey that yielded 3611 respondents. A degree of confusion and ambivalence regarding academic ethical issues exists. The relative wealth of respondents also appears to influence the understanding of and attitudes to academic ethics. Millennial students have a tendency to disregard ownership of knowledge. There is a need for instruction in academic ethics to instil an awareness of (...) integrity in academic pursuit, coupled with an understanding of the world views of millennials. (shrink)
In the first systematic study of the philosophy of Thomas Nagel, Alan Thomas discusses Nagel's contrast between the "subjective" and the "objective" points of view throughout the various areas of his wide ranging philosophy. Nagel's original and distinctive contrast between the subjective view and our aspiration to a "view from nowhere" within metaphysics structures the chapters of the book. A "new Humean" in epistemology, Nagel takes philosophical scepticism to be both irrefutable and yet to indicate a profound truth (...) about our capacity for self-transcendence. The contrast between subjective and objective views is then considered in the case of the mind, where consciousness proves to be the central aspect of mind that contemporary theorising fails to acknowledge adequately. The second half of the book analyses Nagel's work on moral and political philosophy where he has been most deeply influential. Topics covered include the contrast between agent-relative and agent-neutral reasons and values, Nagel's distinctive version of a hybrid ethical theory, his discussion of life's meaningfulness and finally his sceptical arguments about whether a liberal society can reconcile the conflicting moral demands of self and other. (shrink)
On the day before Christmas, 1170, Robert de Broc, member of a family of royal servants that had taken up King Henry II's fierce opposition to Thomas Becket, seized a horse bringing goods to the archbishop and cut off its tail. The next day, Archbishop Thomas noted this incident after his Christmas sermon when renewing his excommunication of Robert and several others, and he discussed it again four days later in his initial meeting with the men who would (...) shortly murder him. The excision of the horse's tail appears in five of the biographies of the martyr and subsequently in the national chronicles of Roger of Howden and Ralph of Diceto. Why did a minor act of cruelty inflicted on a horse seem so noteworthy to contemporaries? The sources recording it resound with the rich Latin vocabulary of shame: “dedecus, contemptus, ignominia, dehonestatio, opprobrium.” Robert's highly symbolic act, part of a pattern of harassment by the Brocs, was designed not just to threaten Becket but also to humiliate him. (shrink)
Peu connu du grand public, le philosophe Henri Van Lier a rédigé à la fin de sa vie une œuvre monumentale, l'Anthropogénie, qui apporte un éclairage nouveau et pour tout dire fascinant sur ce drôle d'animal qu'est l'homme, depuis ses performance les plus basiques, jusqu'à ses réalisations les plus élaborées. Extraordinaire par son ampleur et sa fécondité, cet ouvrage de plus de 1000 pages est d'une lecture difficile car pour mener à bien son entreprise, Van Lier a - (...) Philosophie – Nouvel article. (shrink)
Thomas Aquinas maintained that God foreknows future contingent events and that his foreknowledge does not entail that they are necessarily the case. More specifically, he stated that if God knows a future contingent event, this future contingent event will be necessarily the case de sensu composito, but not de sensu diviso. After emphasizing the unified nature of Aquinas’ notion of necessity, we propose an interpretation of his theses by restating them within the framework of non-normal modal logics. In this (...) framework, the K-axiom does not hold, i.e. the necessity operator does not distribute over the material implication. Moreover, assuming that Aquinas rejected the K-axiom is not only consistent, but also leads to a logical framework that allows us to understand other theses maintained by the Doctor Angelicus. In particular, we argue that Aquinas’ remarks on the principle of non-contradiction rest on an impossible worlds semantics for non-normal modal logics. (shrink)
Grace is defined by Thomas as a participation of the divine nature. By the gift of grace man is said to become a „god by participation”. In this study an interpretation is proposed of the meaning of participation as applied to grace. Grace, according to Thomas, is the free gift of God himself to man by which man becomes united with God in knowledge and love. It is through the gift of grace that man achieves his ultimate perfection (...) which consists in the vision of God. Why must grace be understood as a matter of participation, so it is asked? Does the notion of participation befit the Christian experience of grace as a personal encounter between man and God? It appears that the expression participation of the divine nature is intended as a solution to the following problem: how can man be understood to attain his ultimate perfection of seeing God's infinite essence, if this vision is only connatural to an infinite intellect? Because the act of seeing God is proper to the divine nature, it is not a desirable good for man precisely insofar as he is a man. This means that human nature as such cannot be understood as the subject of the act of faith by which the vision of God is anticipated within the context of human life on earth. The only way open to man to be subject of faith, thus to attain God in his divinity, is by becoming a god himself, while remaining a human being. Since the act of faith is properly a divine act, this act cannot perfect man in relation to his human nature, but only in relation to the divine nature as participated in him by grace. Only in this way, by receiving a participated likeness of God, is the human intellect capable of an act with respect to God himself, which is nevertheless a free and spontaneous act of man himself as it proceeds from an intrinsic principle. The conclusion is that participation provides an answer to the question of how man must be understood if a personal encounter between man and God, between creature and creator, should be possible. (shrink)
Een van de hoekstenen van het idee dat de wetenschap een eenheid is, wordt gevormd door de overtuiging dat er in haar rijk één taal wordt gesproken: de taal van de feiten. Natuurlijk zijn er tussen de wetenschappen ook grote verschillen, maar die betreffen volgens deze overtuiging het gebied van de theorieën. De data waarop deze zich baseren, zouden neutraal geformuleerd kunnen worden. Als dit niet zo zou zijn, wordt ons het angstbeeld van een grote spraakverwarring voorgehouden.
The centenary of the Louvain Institute of Philosophy (which was founded to contribute to a renewal of philosophy within the Christian community „by adhering as closely as possible to the doctrine of Thomas Aquinas”) is the occasion for a critical examination of the particular form of Thomism developed by Désiré Mercier, the first president of the Institute. In Mercier's view, the appeal to Thomas can not be a submission to tradition or authority. Since philosophy is always a personal, (...) free, rational investigation, the only reason for adhering to a certain doctrine, is its intrinsic philosophical value. The mean argument for preferring Thomas „in philosophicis” is the fact that he „combines observation and rational-speculation, analysis and synthesis”, whereby all empirical facts are integrated and made intelligible in a larger metaphysical frame. By so doing Thomas avoids the extremes of empiricism, which leads to materialism, and idealism, which goes hand in hand with dualistic spiritualism. One may doubt whether this is a good characteristic of the „essence of Thomism”. However, Mercier follows Thomas, not so much for any original doctrine, but because he best represents the great scholastic tradition starting from Aristotle. This tradition should not be admired as an ideal of perfection that cannot be improved upon, but should be further developed and renewed, especially by integrating the achievements of modern experimental investigations within it. (Besides the sciences, we should expect not too much from modern philosophy, except in the discussion of the „critical problem”). Mercier thus bases his philosophical option for Thomism on his judgment that it better than any other philosophy offers a metaphysical synthesis within which the investigations of the modern sciences can be integrated, while at the same time being in concordance with the Christian view on man and world. However, when one studies the Thomism as elaborated in Mercier's manuals, it turns out that his attempt at integration fails. For there is no intrinsic link between the scientific findings he considers and the philosophical theses he develops. Herein lies the inherent weakness of the neo-scholastic construction as it was advocated by Mercier. When one defends Thomism by arguing that it offers a „comprehensive synthesis of all knowledge”', and at the same time one stresses the autonomy of scientific inquiry without apologetic intentions, one can expect that as these sciences develop, there will also arise the need for new conceptual schemes and new philosophical models which better fit these new findings. At that moment Thomistic doctrine also seems to fall away as a superfluous superstructure. One can argue that Mercier too easily understood philosophy as a „natural complement” of the sciences and that for that reason he could not really succeed in renewing Thomism. Most neothomists will try to base their option for Thomas upon the originality of his metaphysics. But this search for the „essence of Thomism” is problematic. At the end of the paper it is argued that no intrinsic philosophical arguments can be given for a normative preference for Thomas. The demand to philosophize „ad mentem Thomae” only makes sense when the relation of reason to faith is considered. As É. Gilson has shown, most neothomists were reluctant to develop this argument, except in a negative way : to argue for the autonomy of their philosophical (thomistic) arguments (although they were, in fact, motivated by a religious interest). (shrink)