Academic journal article The Review of Metaphysics

Current Periodical Articles(*)

Academic journal article The Review of Metaphysics

Current Periodical Articles(*)

Article excerpt

PHILOSOPHICAL ABSTRACTS

AMERICAN CATHOLIC PHILOSOPHICAL QUARTERLY Vol. 72, No. 4, Autumn 1998

The Vision of God in Philo of Alexandria, DAVID BRADSHAW

Philo's discussions of the vision of God provide a case study in how he attempts to meld Platonism with the worship of the personal God of the Bible. The paper begins by describing the moral purification that Philo holds is necessary in order to aspire to such a vision. It then moves to a close examination of the texts dealing with the vision itself, focusing particularly on how the knowledge of God conveyed by the vision differs from that available through creation.

Aquinas on the Cognitive Soul: Metaphysics, Physics, or Both? JOHN F. X. KNASAS

My paper probes half of a popular neo-Thomist thesis, viz., by proving something immaterial in natural philosophy, Aquinas completes the requisite data to abstract the subject of metaphysics. The one half of the thesis upon which I focus claims that natural philosophy demonstrates subsistent soul. I argue that if a reader investigates how Aquinas elaborates conceptions as sui generis "passions of the soul" and as "likenesses of things" because form is "received without the matter," the reader finds analyses that are metaphysical, not physical. Since these points hold analogously for sensation, natural philosophy cannot even directly study sensation. My conclusion is; that as popular as the above neo-Thomist thesis is, the thesis possesses at best confused basis in Aquinas's understanding of the philosophical sciences.

Free Choice, Self-Referential Arguments, and the New Natural Law, JENNIFER HERDT

The opposition of the so-called "new natural lawyers" to an objective hierarchy of basic goods has often been criticized, but its fundamental connection with their commitment to radical free choice has not been fully examined. The self-referential form of argumentation used by Joseph Boyle, Germain Grisez, and Olaf Tollefsen in their book Free Choice is a promising approach to natural law thinking, as it offers certainity without appealing to external foundation, but their self-referential argument in defense of free-choice is not successful.

From Limits of Knowledge to the Hermeneutics of Action: From Derrida to Ricoeur, PAUL GYLLENHAMMER

Ricoeur is often placed in opposition to the radical nature of Derrida's deconstructionism. But Ricoeur is able to offer an analysis of the semantic dimension of language while retaining the critical focus of Derrida's semiology. The issue at hand is placed within the context of both Derrida's and Ricouer's interpretation of Husserl. Derrida's famous 'deconstruction of presence' is outlined. Although extremely important as a critique of Husserl's foundationalism, Derrida dismisses some key ideas regarding the living present which become the center of Ricouer's understanding of Husserl. By focusing on the living present as correlated with the realm of action, Ricoeur unfolds his theory of triple mimesis as a means to incorporate some important insights offered by semiology without, however, compromising the importance of semantic depth.

Hume's Mitigated Skepticism and the Design Argument, ROBERT ARP

The case for God's existence is to be found in the investigation of human nature. Hume tells us in the Treatise that nature, "by an absolute and uncontrollable necessity has determined us to judge as well as to breathe and feel." In human nature we find certain universal propensities and belief which are distinct from philosophical reason that simply force us to accept the existence of the external world and the existence of God. We must simply trust and accept that the beliefs written into the very fabric of our nature will give us an account of the world and God's existence; the attempt has always led to contradiction and imperfection. But our natural beliefs assure us of the external world. And, when presented with order and purpose in the natural world, a propensity to believe in the existence of some kind of primary caused behind its workings arises in the individual. …

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