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American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Spring 2012, Vol. 86, No. 1.


This essay contends that there is something called holy fear, which expresses love for God. First, it distinguishes holy fear from certain types of unholy fear and from the type of fear regulated by the virtue of courage. Next, relying on the work of Thomas Aquinas, the paper considers the roles love and power play in holy and unholy fear and extends this analysis of the passion of fear by means of an analogy to the capital vices. The essay concludes that this extension illuminates the moral significance of John Paul II's call not to be afraid and shows how this theme of his pontificate is inextricably linked to another great theme of his teaching, that of love as a gift of oneself.

Trichotomizing the Standard Twofold Model of Thomistic Eudaimonism: A Solution to a Logical Problem, T. J. LOPEZ

Aquinas's eudaimonism is normally interpreted as twofold in the sense of being divided into the imperfect, natural happiness of Aristotle and the perfect, supernatural happiness of Augustine. This work argues that Aquinas is logically committed to a third type of happiness that, in light of the standard view, renders his eudaimonism threefold. The paper begins with an overview of the standard twofold model of Aquinas's eudaimonism; it then turns to the model's logical problem whose solution requires the postulation of a third type of happiness. In the second part of the paper, two clarifying issues are addressed and several objections are considered. In closing, the essay explains why Aquinas's commitment to a third type of happiness offers the Christian wayfarer grounds for a new optimism.

The Ratio of Unity: Positive or Negative? The Case of Thomas Aquinas, DAVID SVOBODA

This paper deals with the problem of the ratio of unity in the work of Thomas Aquinas. More specifically, it tries to answer the question wherein the ratio of unity consists: whether it is a "positive entity of being" or rather the "negative aspect of being undivided." In order to answer the question properly the paper is divided into four main parts. In the first two parts the constitutive characteristics of unity are explained and attention is focused on the concepts division and negation of division. In the third part Aquinas's statements that seem to reflect a negative conception of unity are expounded and the relationship of unity and goodness to the "entitative principles" of being (essence and existence) are elucidated. Finally, in the fourth part the answer to the fundamental question of the article is given and arguments for the "positive" conception of unity are presented.

Transubstantiation, Tropes, and Truthmakers, TIMOTHY J. PAWL

This article addresses a difficult case at the intersection of philosophical theology and truthmaker theory. It shows that three views, together, lead to difficulties in providing truthmakers for truths of contingent predication, such as that the bread is white. These three views are: the Catholic dogma of transubstantiation, a standard truthmaker theory, and a trope (or accident) view of properties. The paper presents and explains each of these three views, at each step noting their connections to the thought of St. Thomas Aquinas. After presenting the three views, the paper shows why they entail a difficulty for providing truthmakers for truths of contingent predication, drawing on two cases that are not impossible, for all we know. The article then presents four ways that one can respond to this difficulty, afterward noting some shortcomings of those responses.

Can It Be Morally Permissible to Assert a Falsehood in Service of a Good Cause? CHRISTOPHER KACZOR

This paper examines three arguments that are meant to show that all intentional false assertions are intrinsically evil. The first argument holds that lying is intrinsically evil, and all false assertions are lies. The second argument is that all intentional deception is intrinsically evil, and all false assertions are attempted deceptions. Finally, the paper explores the argument that false assertions are intrinsically evil because they are a violation of self-unity and unity with the community. Each of these arguments, the paper argues, fails to demonstrate the conclusion, which nevertheless, may be true for other reasons not examined in this paper.

Augustine, Aquinas, and the Absolute Norm against Lying, CHRISTOPHER TOLLEFSEN

Recent events concerning the guerilla journalism group Live Action created controversy over the morality of lying for a good cause. In that controversy, I defended the absolutist view about lying, the view that lying, understood as assertion contrary to one's belief, is always wrong. This essay steps back from the specifics of the Live Action case to look more closely at what St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas had to say in defense of the absolutist view. Their approaches, while rather different, are nevertheless complementary, and cast light on both practical and principled reasons for thinking that lying is wrong, even for a good cause. The final section of the paper discusses some of the challenges that a further defense of the absolute view would need to meet.

Thomistic Perspectives?: Martin Rhonheimer's Version of Virtue Ethics, STEVEN J. JENSEN

Martin Rhonheimer's The Perspective of Morality: Philosophical Foundations of Thomistic Virtue Ethics offers a bold summary of Thomistic virtue ethics, laid upon some not-so-Thomistic foundations, culminating in questionable, perhaps even dangerous, conclusions concerning actions evil in themselves. As an introduction to ethical thought, the book covers a wide range of topics, including happiness, freedom, the nature of human actions, the moral virtues, conscience, the principles of practical reason, consequentialism, Kantian ethics, and much more. For some of these topics Rhonheimer provides a helpful summary of the ethics of Aquinas, sprinkled with thoughtful reflections for the modern age. For other topics Rhonheimer introduces questionable interpretations and developments of Aquinas, written with obscurity and lack of precision. This article provides some suggested alternatives to Rhonheimer's account, especially with regard to the origin of the first practical principles.

* Abstracts of articles from leading philosophical journals are published as a regular feature of the Review. We wish to thank the editors of the journals represented for their cooperation, and the authors of the articles for their willingness to submit abstracts. Where abstracts have not been submitted, the name and author of the article are listed.
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Publication:The Review of Metaphysics
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 1, 2012
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