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Abstract

Fundamental to theology is the ordering of all things to God, yet this ordering is directly tied to the topic of relation. Thus, while the category of relation is inherited by Aquinas from ancient philosophy, it mostly shows up in Aquinas’ theological treatments. This paper will look specifically at the distinction between God and creatures as understood through Aquinas’ use of mixed relations. It will provide an expository treatment of Aquinas’ use of mixed relation in attempt to bridge his philosophy and theology while seeking to encourage and aide others to more actively incorporate the category of relation in theological work, as Aquinas himself did.

Abstract

Contemporary discussions of Aquinas’ understanding of the passions often mention the passio corporalis and the passio animalis, but no recent scholarship has paid close attention to what these terms mean, largely because many scholars wrongly assume that ‘passio animalis’ simply means the same thing as ‘passio animae’. However, this paper argues that ‘passio corporalis’ and ‘passio animalis’ are specialized terms that Aquinas uses in order to explain the ways in which Christ experienced suffering on earth. Furthermore, understanding these terms properly bears important implications for understanding the development of Aquinas’ thought on the passion of pain.

Abstract

Employing a work of modern conceptual art, a manipulated photograph entitled ‘The Missing Person’, the author studies Thomas Aquinas on the concept of human beings as image of (the Triune) God. Typical for Aquinas’ approach is the theocentric focus of his Christian anthropology. The threefold (nature, grace, glory) ‘image of God’, a central and dynamic concept in Aquinas’ Summa Theologiae, is both descriptive and prescriptive in nature, corresponding to an account of both analogical naming of the divine ánd living according to the vocation to become more and more image of the Triune God.

Abstract

Many people are attracted to the idea that plants experience phenomenal conscious states like pain, sensory awareness, or emotions like fear. If true, this would have wide-ranging moral implications for human behavior, including land development, farming, vegetarianism, and more. Determining whether plants have minds relies on the work of both empirical disciplines and philosophy. Epistemology should settle the standards for evidence of other minds, and science should inform our judgment about whether any plants meet those standards. We argue that evidence for other minds comes either from testimony, behavior, anatomy/physiology, or phylogeny. However, none of these provide evidence that plants have conscious mental states. Therefore, we conclude that there is no evidence that plants have minds in the sense relevant for morality.

Abstract

This paper will critically examine two solutions to Frege’s puzzle: the Millian-Russellian solution proposed by Salmon and Braun, which invokes non-semantic modes of presentation (guises, ways of believing or the like); and Fine’s relationalist solution, which appeals to semantic coordination. Special attention will be devoted to discussing the conception of modes of presentation as mental files and to elucidating the nature of coordination. A third solution to Frege’s puzzle will be explored which, like Salmon’s and Braun’s, adopts the Millian-Russellian semantics but, like Fine’s, involves coordination instead of modes of presentation; however, coordination will not be conceived as a semantic relation but as a cognitive and subjective relation, which provides no contribution to semantic content. This novel Millian-Russellian account involving cognitive coordination will be labelled cognitive relationism.

Abstract

Indispensability arguments are among the strongest arguments in support of mathematical realism. Given the controversial nature of their conclusions, it is not surprising that critics have supplied a number of rejoinders to these arguments. In this paper, I focus on one such rejoinder, Melia’s ‘Weasel Response’. The weasel is someone who accepts that scientific theories imply that there are mathematical objects, but then proceeds to ‘take back’ this commitment. While weaseling seems improper, accounts supplied in the literature have failed to explain why. Drawing on examples of weaseling in more mundane contexts, I develop an account of the presumption against weaseling as grounded in a misalignment between two types of commitments. This is good news to the weasel’s opponents. It reinforces that they were right to question the legitimacy of weaseling. This account is also beneficial to the weasel. Uncovering the source of the presumption against weaseling also serves to draw out the challenge that the weasel must meet to override this presumption—what is required to be an ‘honest weasel’.

Abstract

Friendship and happiness are intimately connected. According to a recent account provided in Leibowitz (2018) friendship contributes to happiness because friends value each other and communicate this valuation to each other, which increases their self-worth, and this in turn increases their happiness. In this paper I argue that Leibowitz’s account of how friendship contributes to happiness is mistaken. I first present Leibowitz’s view, and then argue against it. I have two main worries with his account. One worry is that increase in self-worth is not characteristic of friendship and hence it is problematic to use it for explaining the connection between friendship and happiness. The other worry is that the distinctive way in which increase in self-worth contributes to happiness seems to be in an important way different from the distinctive way in which friendship contributes to happiness. Finally, I point to what I take to be the right direction in explaining the connection between friendship and happiness.

Abstract

The conception of two kinds of practical identities, which Korsgaard introduces in the Sources of Normativity, helps her explain how universal categorical reasoning is compatible with the moral content of individual practical decisions. Based on this conception, she devises an interpretation of the Kantian as if principle amended by her argument for the public shareability of reasons. I suggest that, in doing so, Korsgaard steps too far away from Kant’s architectonic approach to the question of why moral norms bind us, and that, as a result, the Korsgaardian explanation, as it stands, cannot be accomplished.

Abstract

It is usually taken for granted that a necessary condition for knowing that P is the truth of P. It may therefore be claimed that if we assume that we gain some kind of knowledge through fiction (let us call it fictional knowledge) of P*, then P* should be true—in at least a certain sense. My hypothesis is that this assumption grounds the different ways adopted by philosophers for attributing truth-conditions to fictional sentences. My claim in this work is that fictional sentences do not have truth-values and truth-conditions, but I want to maintain that we gain some kind of knowledge through fiction: to this aim, I will characterize the objective content of fictional sentences not in terms of truth-conditions (which are usually described by appealing to rules of the language or rules of interpretation of language independent of the actual users), but in dispositional terms and I will define a necessary condition for fictional knowledge accordingly.