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Fainché Ryan

Abstract

Current political and social climate seems to have as a presupposition the view that truth-telling has a merely instrumental value. This paper will explore Thomas Aquinas’ writing on truth and truth-telling, arguing that truth-telling is an intrinsic good, a human virtue and a component of human flourishing. In Aquinas’ view the virtue of truth-telling is a satellite virtue within the cardinal virtue of justice, and as such imperative for the flourishing of human society.

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Smith O.P. Innocent

Abstract

Thomas Aquinas makes occasional references to the coexistence of multiple versions of the Bible. In particular, Thomas was familiar with several versions of the Latin Psalter used in liturgical and scholarly contexts. This article examines Thomas’s references to Ps. 67, 7 as a test case for understanding the role of scriptural plurality in his biblical hermeneutics. Thomas associates this verse with the theme of unity within religious life, the relation of the Eucharist to ecclesial unity, and ecclesial unity in itself. Thomas’s citations of alternate versions of this verse often appear to be consciously chosen in accord with his exegetical purposes.

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John Meinert

Abstract

In both the 20th and 21st centuries, there has been a lively debate concerning beauty’s transcendental status in Aquinas’ thought. Nobody, however, has noticed that this debate can be replicated with peace. Peace’s place vis-à-vis the transcendentals is also ambiguous. This paper argues that peace is not an independent transcendental, but a transcendental of the good. In peace’s positive and negative rationes, union/order and rest/tranquility, it is reduced to the transcendental good. Yet through this reduction, peace adds conceptual content to ens. Inasmuch as something is, it is ordered/in union. Inasmuch as something is, it is at rest/tranquil.

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Jörgen Vijgen

Abstract

The so-called. ‘Christianization’ of Aristotle in the Middle Ages and in particular by Thomas Aquinas remains a vexed debate. A case by case study seems to be a fruitful approach. One of these cases concerns Aristotle’s definition of the soul in De anima II, 1(412b10-25). Applying this philosophical claim to the theological question Utrum Christus fuerit homo in triduo mortis seems to be not without difficulty, as St. Thomas’ frequent treatments of this question show. In this paper I analyze these texts and show how Aquinas on multiple occasions follows De anima II, 1 and similar texts of Aristotle and defends a robust Aristotelian position, even in light of the significance of his recovery of Greek Church Fathers.

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Anton ten Klooster

Abstract

After his death an intense struggle ensued for ownership of the relics of Thomas Aquinas. There were both pious and political motives for the desire to possess the bones of the saint. This article introduces the topic by describing the places where Aquinas’ relics can now be found. We then outline Aquinas’ own views on the veneration of relics, which is characterized by an appreciation of the practice but with great caution to avoid superstition. An historical overview of the fate of Aquinas’ relics sheds light on their significance, particularly in light of the canonization process. The final reflection considers the fate of Aquinas’ relics in light of his own theology.

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Jörgen Vijgen, Harm Goris, Jos Moons, Piotr Roszak, Matthew Dugandzic and Anton ten Klooster

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Neil McDonnell and Nathan Wildman

Abstract

Are the objects and events that take place in Virtual Reality genuinely real? Those who answer this question in the affirmative are realists, and those who answer in the negative are irrealists. In this paper we argue against the realist position, as given by Chalmers (2017), and present our own preferred irrealist account of the virtual. We start by disambiguat- ing two potential versions of the realist position—weak and strong— and then go on to argue that neither is plausible. We then introduce a Waltonian variety of fictionalism about the virtual, arguing that this sort of irrealist approach avoids the problems of the realist positions, fits with a unifying theory of representational works, and offers a better ac- count of the phenomenology of engaging in virtual experiences.

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Mark Silcox

Abstract

In “The Virtual and the Real,” David Chalmers argues that there is an epistemic and ontological parity between VR and ordinary reality. My argument here is that, whatever the plausibility of these claims, they provide no basis for supposing that there is a similar parity of value. Careful reflection upon certain aspects of the transition that individu- als make from interacting with real-world, physical environments to interacting with VR provides a basis for thinking that, to the extent that there are good reasons to deny the reality of virtual objects, there are also reasons to place a correspondingly higher value upon the ex- perience of interacting with a VR environment. Chalmers’ assump- tion to the contrary arises from a subtle misrepresentation of how the phenomenon of cognitive penetration works in the perception of virtual objects, and from an unwillingness to acknowledge how our attitudes toward virtual environments are conditioned by the values we adopt when engaged in gameplay.

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Alyssa Ney

Abstract

According to phenomenal functionalism, whether some object or event has a given property is determined by the kinds of sensory expe- riences such objects or events typically cause in normal perceivers in normal viewing conditions. This paper challenges this position and, more specifically, David Chalmers’s use of it in arguing for what he calls virtual realism.

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Eric Schwitzgebel

Abstract

I defend a how-possibly argument for Kantian (or Kant*-ian) transcen- dental idealism, drawing on concepts from David Chalmers, Nick Bostrom, and the cyberpunk subgenre of science fiction. If we are ar- tificial intelligences living in a virtual reality instantiated on a giant computer, then the fundamental structure of reality might be very dif- ferent than we suppose. Indeed, since computation does not require spatial properties, spatiality might not be a feature of things as they are in themselves but instead only the way that things necessarily ap- pear to us. It might seem unlikely that we are living in a virtual reality instantiated on a non-spatial computer. However, understanding this possibility can help us appreciate the merits of transcendental ideal- ism in general, as well as transcendental idealism’s underappreciated skeptical consequences.