American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly Vol. 79, No. 2, Spring 2005.
Scholarly convention holds that in Plato's mind logos and muthos are fundamentally opposed, the former being the medium of philosophy and the latter of poetry. The author of this article argues that muthos in the broad sense of story or narrative in fact plays an indispensable philosophical role in the Republic. In particular, any account of the nature and power of justice and injustice must begin with powers of the soul that can come to light only through the telling and interpretation of stories. This is implicit in Glaucon's Gygean tale. Read in connection with the earlier tale of Gyges in Herodotus, Glaucon's muthos shows itself to be a story about storytelling and interpretation, knowledge of self and others, and the discovery of the roots of justice and injustice.
Catholic Cartesian Dualism: A Reply to Freddoso, CHRISTOPHER GILBERT
Alfred Freddoso has argued that Cartesian dualism cannot serve as the model for a philosophical anthropology that will be consistent with the plain sense of Church teachings. The author of this paper disagrees. Although the interpretation of Cartesian dualism to which Freddoso objects is not unwarranted by the Cartesian texts, a close reading of those texts suggests a different interpretation. This paper defends a reading of Cartesian dualism that departs from the one which Freddoso discusses. It is then demonstrated that this alternative reading is consonant with the teachings of the Church.
Malebranche's Occasionalism: A Strategic Reinterpretation, ALAN BAKER
The core thesis of Malebranche's doctrine of occasionalism is that God is the sole true cause, where a true cause is one that has the power to initiate change and for which the mind perceives a necessary connection between it and its effects. Malebranche gives two separate arguments for his core thesis, T, based on necessary connection and on divine power respectively. The standard view is that these two arguments are necessary to establish T. The author of this article argues for a reinterpretation of Malebranche's strategy, according to which the Necessary Connection Argument alone is sufficient to establish T. The Divine Power Argument, which is anyway weaker, is needed not to support T but to bridge the gap between T and full-fledged occasionalism. Specifically, it is needed to rule out the existence of causal powers in nature, a scenario which is consistent with T but inconsistent with occasionalism.
The Facticity of Being God-forsaken: The Young Heidegger and Luther's Theology of the Cross, SEAN J. MCGRATH
The early Freiburg lectures have shown us the degree to which Heidegger is influenced by Luther. In Being and Time, Heidegger designs a philosophy that can coexist with a radical Lutheran theology of revelation. Heidegger's hermeneutics of facticity constitutes a polemic with the Scholastic idea of a natural desire for God and an accommodation of a theology of revelation. However, Heidegger's implicit assent to the Lutheran concept of God-forsakenness is philosophically problematic. To be God-forsaken is not to be ignorant of God; it is to be abandoned by God, to have a history of dealing with God that has resulted in a decisive rupture and distance. But if this is a theological position, as Luther would be the first to argue, it can be justified only theologically.
Hauntological Hermeneutics and the Interpretation of Christian Faith: On Being Dead Equal Before God, JOHN D. CAPUTO
Using Kierkegaard's Works of Love, the author of this essay advocates a theory of interpretation as a conversation with the dead, of the same sort Kierkegaard was practicing in the last discourse of his book. This does not mean reading the works of dead, white, European males, but looking at things from the perspective of the grave where, as Kierkegaard says, we are all equal before God. This paper maintains that the creative conflict of interpretations arises from the ambiguity of this conversation, from the difficulty we have in making out just what the dead are saying, which the author relates to what Derrida calls the absolute "secret." Whence the Derridean idea that only as "hauntology" is hermeneutics possible. The interpretation of religious faith is inserted within this hauntological hermeneutical framework.
Against God's Moral Goodness, JOSEPH L. LOMBARDI, S.J.
While denying that God has moral obligations, William Alston defends divine moral goodness based on God's performance of supererogatory acts. The present article argues that an agent without obligations cannot perform supererogatory acts. Hence, divine moral goodness cannot be established on that basis. Defenses of divine moral obligation by Eleonore Stump and Nicholas Wolterstorff are also questioned. Against Stump, it is argued (among other things) that the temptations of Jesus do not establish the existence of a tendency to sin in a divine being. Hence, Stump's Christological objection to Alston's denial of divine moral obligation fails. Some counterexamples to that denial offered by Wolterstorff also fail. It is concluded that claims of divine moral goodness remain problematic.
Sincerity and Vulnerability, A. T. NUYEN
The aim of this paper is to explore the perplexity of the notion of sincerity, chiefly by examining Lionel Thrilling's account in his Sincerity and Authenticity. The author of this article shows that his account is problematic if interpreted as a "truthfulness account." However, it is also shown that his basic insight can be preserved in the author's own account of sincerity as a kind of congruence between the agent's avowal and those beliefs, feelings, and dispositions that constitute the agent's "true self." The latter include a set of minimally morally acceptable beliefs, feelings, and dispositions that constitute the agent's moral integrity. Further, the context of sincerity is one in which the agent realizes that his integrity, particularly the moral part, is vulnerable.
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|Title Annotation:||PHILOSOPHICAL ABSTRACTS; metaphysical papers|
|Publication:||The Review of Metaphysics|
|Date:||Sep 1, 2005|
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