The underlying assumptions of Germain Grisez’s critique of the perverted faculty argument

This paper demonstrates the underlying assumptions of Germain Grisez’s critique of the perverted faculty argument. In the first place, it establishes what formulations of the principle Grisez considered in his criticism (those of Father Henry Davis) and what his arguments are. Afterward it establishes his assumptions: (a) a latent ethical logicism; (b) a pragmatist conception of choice and the good; (c) a mistaken metaphysics of being, the good and the theoretical and practical principles. It underlines John Dewey’s influence. Lastly, it defends the classical formulation of the perverted faculty argument and even its rendition by Father Davis.

The Alexandrian and the Cappadocian Fathers of the Church in the writings of Thomas Aquinas

St. Thomas considers the writings of the Fathers as directly related to Scripture since these were composed under the guiding influence of the same Holy Spirit. There exists therefore a continuity of thought between the Fathers as representatives of the authority of the Apostles and the Bible.1 For this reason, one would do well to recognize how deeply St. Thomas draw upon the thought of the Fathers. In this contribution we will present the main themes within the writings of the Alexandrian and Cappadocian Fathers that have influenced St. Thomas’s own thought.

On Kant’s po(i)etic concept of dream

Dreams have always been a puzzling, because obscure and irrational-connoted topic; this being the reason why they were neglected for so long by learned scholars. Kant is one of the first to investigate the hidden traits and potentialities of the dream, in his anthropological-aesthetic work. The objective of this article is therefore to show how, according to Kant, dreams are a connection, as well as a scission between human consciousness and unconsciousness, and this through the hybrid factor of the I’s capacity of imagination (Einbildungsfähigkeit); to demonstrate Kant’s explanation of the inverse formation of oneiric representations in one’s unconsciousness and their inherent and unique strength and influence on the human soul, and thereby to render explicit the philosopher’s singular view of dreams as “involuntary poetry”, as opposed and/or connected to conscious poetry.

Thomas Aquinas’ Theory of Knowledge through Connaturality in a Dispute on the Anthropological Principles of Liberalism by John Rawls

The anthropological principles of liberalism presuppose that an individual has a possessive character. It means that a person possesses only specified characteristics and attributes which define them from the outside but do not constitute their nature. The essence of what a person is remains entirely independent from specific choices.
Thomas Aquinas distinguishes between rational knowledge and affective knowledge. Explaining the structure of judgment through connaturality Thomas shows the relation between constitutive nature and human characteristics. Connaturality is achieved gradually as a result of a repetition of simple acts. This means that a person’s choices constitute human nature to some extent.

Alasdair MacIntyre’s Concept of Natural Law

This article argues that Alasdair MacIntyre’s approach to the natural law theory is not relativistic. It also focuses on MacIntyre’s explanation of moral disagreement from the perspective of natural law, which makes his theory defensible according to the modern standards. Finally, it contrasts the traditional approach to natural law with new theories, preferring the former to the latter.

Logical Positivism and Carnap’s Confirmability on the Meaningfulness of Religious Language

The characteristic claim of the group of thinkers who referred to themselves as “The Vienna Circle” and who formed the philosophical movement now known as “Logical Positivism” was their acceptance of the so-called verifiability principle. Put briefly, the verifiability principle is an empiricist criterion of meaning which says that only those statements that are verifiable by (i.e., logically deducible from) observational statements are cognitively meaningful. Statements that do not satisfy the verifiability principle were taken to be cognitively meaningless, statements that failed to describe any state of affairs.

The Corruption of the Good of Nature and Moral Action: The Realism of St. Thomas Aquinas

After exploring in the introduction the current sacramental and moral crisis and its foundation in ‘salvation optimism’ and in ‘moral optimism’, this article explores the realistic assessment of the human condition according to St. Thomas Aquinas in order to shed light on the connection between the sacramental and the moral crisis. First, I recall some essential elements of the doctrine of original justice and original sin. Secondly, I explore the wounding of human nature as an effect of original sin. Finally I discuss the fourfold effect of man’s wounded nature on moral action. In light of this crisis, St. Thomas’ account of the postlapsarian human condition is at the same time frightful and realistic. While St. Thomas is adamant in affirming that the root of man’s inclination to virtue as a good of nature remains, he is equally realistic regarding the moral fragility of postlapsarian man as a result of the diminution of the same inclination to virtue.

From Existence to Essence: Re-gaining the Aristotelian-Thomistic Doctrine in Front of Modern problems

The present paper re-examines the traditional concepts of existence and essence which have been reflected also by modern philosophers, but only as problematic or even opposite terms. From Descartes until Kant, Hegel, Gilson and Heidegger, they are involved in the opposition of concrete reality and ideal abstract thinking, together with the connected problems, as the first part of my article shows. The second part of my re-examination explains that the two concepts, in their original meaning from Plato and Aristotle until Thomas Aquinas, are not opposed but coordinated, even complementary, thanks to the underlying meta phy sics which avoids the opposition between the concrete individuals and abstract universal thinking, referring properly to the essence in the individuals.

Toward a Postmodern Recovery of “Person”

Aristotle and Aquinas considered relation to have a reality in the world of being independent of awareness. Poinsot took the step of identifying relation as the only positive mode of being which retains its essential character as suprasubjective both when circumstances render it existing in the awareness-independent dimension of being (ens reale) and when circumstances reduce the relation to an awareness-dependent status (ens rationis). Poinsot further demonstrated that this singularity of relation being is what makes the action of signs possible in the world of nature. Cardinal Ratzinger in our own time pointed out that the being of person, as a matter of personal identity, depends upon this being of relation. The human person is not simply a “supposit of a rational nature” but much further an identity developed in time through relationships. Ratzinger’s work combines with the semiotic understanding of Poinsot to point us toward a postmodern understanding which at once re-trieves (in Heidegger’s sense) the medieval understanding of the “type of substance” required for human personhood and at the same time shows how the identity of persons is more than that, requiring the suprasubjective or public dimension which relation adds within the psyche as an actual “personal identity” develops over time

From Ta Metá Ta Physika to Metaphysics

After Aristotle’s death his philosophical legacy was soon forgotten to be returned only after three centuries due to the new edition started to be produced first by Tyrannion and then accomplished by Andronicus of Rhodes. The works of the Stagyrite were subjected to a procedure typical of Hellenistic culture called commentary; they were written not only in Hellenistic circles, but also over the course of time in Syrian, Arab, and Latin circles. In this article I try to analyse the four ways of approaching Aristotle’s philosophy: 1) it is a coherent whole; 2) there is a unity between Plato and Aristotle in favour of Plato (ancient Neo-Platonism); 3) Aristotle’s philosophy is a part of a Neo-Platonic system (Arab commentators); 4) autonomous, Christian or Neo-Platonic? controversies between Christian commentators. Saint Thomas Aquinas can be an example of a commentator who tried to keep a distance to Aristotle’s Metaphysics, as a work to be explained and not to be artificially Christianized

The Existence of Being and the Original Cognitive Acts

The philosophical explanation of reality constitutes an attempt to discover the causes of the existence of everything that is. The aspect of inquiries thus described makes philosophy the fundamental body of knowledge, but at the same time it makes it the most difficult body of knowledge to formulate in a univocal way. The apprehension in one objective denotation of “everything that is” becomes a rather large difficulty in the precise establishment of investigative postulates and in the determination of the proper object of philosophy. Therefore in the current of realistic philosophy, an appeal is postulated to a method of knowledge that will be adequate to the real ways in which things exist. To this purpose, we should rely on spontaneous pre-scientific knowledge in which things are apprehended in the fundamental way of existence as “that which is.” On this basis, the object of philosophy is formulated, and a realistic method of philosophical knowledge based on the relational way that being exists is formulated

The Role of Existential Judgments in Knowing the Existence of Beings

In this paper I am going to focus on describing the character and role of the cognitive acts whereby we apprehend the existence of beings. In the first point, I take note of the main difficulties connected with explaining man’s knowing of the existence of beings. In the next step, I present a specific description of the existential judgment as the fundamental cognitive act in which the intellect apprehends the existence of known things. I will base my discussion of this basic cognitive act on the interpretation of the Polish philosopher M. A. Krąpiec, who in comparison with other authors has most systematically and exhaustively formulated this question. The next element in the presentation will be an analysis of the structure and content of the existential judgment in which I will remark on the presence and role of the existential factor of known being in the act of knowledge. I will conclude the paper by emphasizing the basic function of the existential judgment in all metaphysical knowledge, which in light of the analyses that have been made turns out to be nothing other than the explicit expression of what in actu confuse is already contained in the first cognitive act. Above all, I note that the discovery of the role of the existential judgment in human knowledge provides a rational justification for realism of knowledge, and thereby it refutes the grounds for sceptical, agnostic, and relativistic positions in epistemology

The Rational Credibility of a Literal Adam and Eve

Recent scientific claims by evolutionists have led many people to deny that a literal Adam and Eve ever existed. This essay demonstrates: (1) that their real existence remains authentic Catholic doctrine, (2) that this doctrine is essential to the credibility of the Catholic Faith, (3) that the sudden appearance of Adam and Eve is philosophically necessary and scientifically credible, (4) that recent findings in molecular biology need not rule out their literal reality, and (5) that rare interbreeding events may explain present genetic diversity, but might not prove necessary.

Grace and Charity. Participation in the Divine Nature and Union with God: The Surpassing Contemporary Significance of Thomas Aquinas’s Doctrine of Divinization

One of the overarching motivations for the modern turn from theocentrism to anthropocentrism was the attempt to achieve the full realization of human subjectivity and, indeed, sovereignty. Yet the dialectic between a gnostic angelism and a materialistic animalism that necessarily ensues from isolating the human being from its transcendent origin and end destroys what the anthropocentric turn set out to achieve. In his expansive philosophy and theology of participation and deification Aquinas has a lesson of surpassing contemporary significance to offer: The genuine realization of subjectivity comes about only in what is best called a self-less self-realization in the twofold participation of the human being in the origin and end of all things (1) qua rational creature through intellect and will in the First Truth and Sovereign Good and (2) qua created dynamic image in the conformation with the divine exemplar in an everlasting union of vision and love with the Triune God. The former is the creaturely condition of the possibility for the latter and the latter is the surpassing fulfillment of the former. The quasi-ontological foundation for this self-less self-realization in the union with God is sanctifying grace and its inchoative realization are operations of the infused habitus of charity.

Teaching as ministry, on the basis of considerations of Saint Thomas Aquinas

El documento enfatiza el hecho de que los actos de caridad sean intrínsecos a la naturaleza del proceso de educación y aprendizaje. El acto de la educación es una conexión única de la vida contemplativa y activa. El acto de la educación libera al hombre del mal que experimenta. Este mal –explica Santo Tomás– es la ignorancia, la falta de conocimiento y comprensión de la verdad. Toda persona tiene derecho a la educación, ya que es un bien natural y necesario, por la que mejora su vida personal.

El trabajo del maestro se presenta como una ocupación muy importante y responsable; la adquisición de conocimientos sobre la realidad y su transmisión

The presence of Aristotle in Saint Thomas Aquinas’ Treatise of temperance

Una introducción describe el significado de templanza en la filosofía de Platón, Aristóteles y la Stoa. Ambrosio la consideraba como virtud cardinal. Santo Tomás aclara su sentido al distinguir las partes integrales, subjetivas y potenciales. ¿Puede oponerse una virtud a las inclinaciones naturales? La templanza no nos aparta de los placeres conformes a la razón, concierne a los placeres del tacto que se siguen de las operaciones ordenadas a la conservación del individuo y de la especie. Son vicios contrarios a la templanza la intemperancia, la insensibilidad. Una parte integral es la vergüenza. Son partes subjetivas la abstinencia, el ayuno, la castidad y la pureza.

Por último, se mencionan las denominadas partes potenciales como la clemencia, estudiosidad y curiosidad.