Academic journal article The Review of Metaphysics

International Philosophical Quarterly: Vol. 55, No. 2, June 2015

Academic journal article The Review of Metaphysics

International Philosophical Quarterly: Vol. 55, No. 2, June 2015

Article excerpt

Aristotelian Substance and Personalistic Subjectivity, MARK K. SPENCER

Many personalists have argued that an adequate account of the human person must include an account of subjectivity as irreducible to anything objectively definable. The personalists contend that Aristotle lacks such an account and claim that he fails to meet three criteria that a theory of the human person must fulfill in order to have an account of subjectivity as irreducible. The author shows first that some later Aristotelians fulfill these criteria, and then that Aristotle himself also does so. He describes four characteristics of human subjectivity that are considered crucial by many personalists. The author does this through an interpretation of Aristotle's accounts of substantial actualities, nous, friendship, and beauty.

Strong Motivational Internalism, MATEJ SUSNIK

Strong motivational internalists claim that the relation between moral judgment and motivation is necessary. It is widely accepted that strong motivational internalism is false because it cannot accommodate various phenomena from common experience. In order to make room for these phenomena, motivational internalists usually propose the weak formulation of their thesis. In the first part of the paper the author differentiates between several versions of both strong and weak motivational internalism. In the second part he argues that the reasons for endorsing weak motivational internalism of any form are not compelling.

Aquinas, the Principle of Alternative Possibilities, and Augustine's Axiom, PETER FURLONG

According to the highly controversial "Principle of Alternative Possibilities," an agent is morally responsible for an action only if he could have done otherwise. This paper investigates whether Aquinas accepts this principle. The author begins by arguing that if one grants Aquinas's theory of human action, Frankfurt-style counterexamples do not succeed. For this reason, it is necessary to investigate various texts in order to discover how Aquinas views this principle. Although he does not explicitly discuss it, he does discuss an axiom (taken from Augustine) that is similar to this principle in various ways. The author eventually concludes that, even if Aquinas would reject a strict understanding of PAP, he would only demand a relatively common modification of it.

Cosmic Outlooks and Neo-Aristotelian Virtue Ethics, DAVID McPHERSON

The author examines Bernard Williams's forceful challenge that evolutionary science has done away with the sort of teleological worldview that is needed in order to make sense of an Aristotelian virtue ethic perspective. He also considers Rosalind Hursthouse's response to Williams and argues that it is not sufficient. …

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