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Creation as Efficient Causation in Aquinas, JULIE LOVELAND SWANSTROM

In this article, Swanstrom explores Aquinas's account of divine creative activities as a type of efficient causation. She proposes that Aquinas's works hold a framework for understanding God as an efficient cause and creating as an act of divine efficient causation that makes explicit what Aquinas views to be implicit in Aristotle's account of efficient causation. She explores Aristotelian efficient causation in depth, offering a detailed analysis of the components of Aristotelian efficient causation. After this exploration, it is necessary to address what reasons Aquinas has for viewing creation as efficient causation. Swanstrom explores Aquinas's understanding of creation and relates it to Aristotle's analysis of efficient causation, analyzing how, precisely, Aquinas's conception of efficient causation--which includes change, creation, and conservation--aligns with Aristotle's. Because Aquinas's account is derivable directly from elements in Aristotle's account, Aquinas's account can be understood to be implied by Aristotle's account.

Suarez on Creation and Intrinsic Change, JACOB TUTTLE

The late scholastic philosopher Francisco Suarez (1548-1617) articulates and defends an extraordinarily detailed account of efficient causation. Some of the most interesting and difficult questions connected with this account concern the particular types of efficient causation he acknowledges. This paper clarifies one of the most fundamental distinctions Suarez employs in the course of his treatment of efficient causation--namely, that between motion (motus) or change (mutatio), on the one hand, and creation ex nihilo, on the other. The paper shows that, although motion and creation differ in systematic and important ways, they nevertheless can both be captured by Suarez's general theoretical model of efficient causation. Moreover, the paper shows that creation serves as a kind of limit case of efficient causation, and accordingly that it informs how Suarez understands motion or change as well.

Against the Permissibility of Attempted Wife Poisoning, CRAIG M. WHITE

The Aristotelian-Thomist claim is that external actions can be morally evaluated when they are voluntary (which includes being based on reasonably accurate knowledge of what an agent is doing), absent which, in effect, we evaluate outcomes, not acts. Also, in the Aristotelian-Thomist tradition the internal act of the will is paramount. These claims contrast with some current theorizing, for example, by Judith Jarvis Thomson, that morally evaluates actions separately from agents, downplaying the internal act. Taking cases from current authors that revolve around ignorance of key facts, White critiques their theorizing on the basis of the nature of agency, the nature of abstraction, the moral language we use in describing acts, the need for reasonably complete descriptions of acts, and the tendency of act evaluations to "leak" into agent evaluations in objective theories. He then describes how Thomas Aquinas's account of moral evaluation avoids these problems and provides a superior, multidimensional framework for moral evaluation.

The Virtual Presence of Acauired Virtues in the Christian, W. SCOTT CLEVELAND and BRANDON DAHM

Aquinas's doctrine that infused virtues accompany sanctifying grace raises many questions. The authors examine one: how do the infused virtues relate to the acquired virtues? More precisely, can the person with the infused virtues possess the acquired virtues? The authors argue for an answer consistent with and informed by Aquinas's writings, although it goes beyond textual evidence, as any answer to this question must. There are two plausible, standard interpretations of Aquinas on this issue: the coexistence view and transformation view. After explaining the views, the authors present plausible reasons for and against each view. The evidence suggests that the acquired virtues are both present and absent in the Christian. The authors then survey Aquinas's account of virtual presence. Finally, they argue that the case of the presence of acquired virtues in the Christian is a good candidate for virtual presence.

St. Thomas, Teaching, and the Intellectual Virtue of Art, RANDALL G. COLTON

Applying Thomas Aquinas's account of the intellectual virtue of art to teaching yields valuable results for both those who wish to understand teaching better and those looking for models of the approach to virtue epistemology Roberts and Wood call "regulative." To vindicate that claim, this article proceeds in four steps: First, Colton introduces Thomas's taxonomy of the intellectual virtues in light of a pair of distinctions between practical and speculative knowledge and between immanent and transient operations. In the second section, Colton considers teaching's relation to each of Thomas's intellectual virtues and argues that it belongs most properly to art. Next, Colton describes Thomas's taxonomy of art by distinguishing among four cross-cutting categories that characterize species of that virtue. Finally, Colton outlines an account of the art of teaching that treats it, with respect to those categories, as performative, deliberative, cooperative, and intersubjective.

Anscombe on How St. Peter Intentionally Did What He Intended Not to Do, GRAHAM HUBBS

G. E. M. Anscombe's Intention, meticulous in its detail and its structure, ends on a puzzling note. At its conclusion, Anscombe claims that when he denied Jesus, St. Peter intentionally did what he intended not to do. This essay examines why Anscombe construes the case as she does and what it might teach us about the nature of practical rationality.

The Root of Sin Is Still Undiscovered: A Counter-reply to Jensen, MICHAEL BARNWELL

In "Aquinas's Original Discovery: A Reply to Barnwell," Steven Jensen offers five objections to Barnwell's earlier claim that Aquinas's explanation of the origin of sin, also known as his "original discovery," does not succeed. In this paper, Barnwell quickly summarizes Aquinas's putative discovery and his initial criticism. He then begin to address Jensen's five objections. The issue at hand between Jensen and Barnwell largely rests upon disagreeing over the truth of a particular conditional; Barnwell claims the conditional is true whereas Jensen must hold it is false. Barnwell argues that Jensen's five objections either fail to demonstrate the falsity of that conditional or pose other problems (such as limiting the scope of Aquinas's discovery). Barnwell thus concludes that Jensen fails to vindicate Aquinas's explanation of a sin's origin as a viable, original discovery against his earlier critique.

Proto-Sin: A Case Study, STEVEN J. JENSEN

Michael Barnwell has helpfully clarified his criticisms of Aquinas's explanation of proto-sins. In this response, Jensen further clarifies his own defense of Aquinas. Although the sinner lacks one rule, he has at hand another: he is aware that if he chooses, then he must have the rule of his action. This rule is conditional, that is, he is not obliged--categorically--to have the rule at hand; rather, he is obliged to have the rule only if he chooses. An additional clarification concerns the manner in which the sinner is aware that he lacks the rule. More precisely, he is aware that he might not have the rule. In a proto-sin, then, the sinner is aware that if he chooses an action, then that action should be ordered to the end, and he is also aware that the good he desires while acting might not be ordered to the end.
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Publication:The Review of Metaphysics
Article Type:Author abstract
Date:Mar 1, 2019
Previous Article:ZOLLER, Coleen P.: Plato and the Body: Reconsidering Socratic Asceticism.
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