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International Philosophical Quarterly: vol. 55, no. 2, June 2015.

Aristotelian Substance and Personalistic Subjectivity, MARK K. SPENCER

Many personalists have argued that an adequate account of the human person must include an account of subjectivity as irreducible to anything objectively definable. The personalists contend that Aristotle lacks such an account and claim that he fails to meet three criteria that a theory of the human person must fulfill in order to have an account of subjectivity as irreducible. The author shows first that some later Aristotelians fulfill these criteria, and then that Aristotle himself also does so. He describes four characteristics of human subjectivity that are considered crucial by many personalists. The author does this through an interpretation of Aristotle's accounts of substantial actualities, nous, friendship, and beauty.

Strong Motivational Internalism, MATEJ SUSNIK

Strong motivational internalists claim that the relation between moral judgment and motivation is necessary. It is widely accepted that strong motivational internalism is false because it cannot accommodate various phenomena from common experience. In order to make room for these phenomena, motivational internalists usually propose the weak formulation of their thesis. In the first part of the paper the author differentiates between several versions of both strong and weak motivational internalism. In the second part he argues that the reasons for endorsing weak motivational internalism of any form are not compelling.

Aquinas, the Principle of Alternative Possibilities, and Augustine's Axiom, PETER FURLONG

According to the highly controversial "Principle of Alternative Possibilities," an agent is morally responsible for an action only if he could have done otherwise. This paper investigates whether Aquinas accepts this principle. The author begins by arguing that if one grants Aquinas's theory of human action, Frankfurt-style counterexamples do not succeed. For this reason, it is necessary to investigate various texts in order to discover how Aquinas views this principle. Although he does not explicitly discuss it, he does discuss an axiom (taken from Augustine) that is similar to this principle in various ways. The author eventually concludes that, even if Aquinas would reject a strict understanding of PAP, he would only demand a relatively common modification of it.

Cosmic Outlooks and Neo-Aristotelian Virtue Ethics, DAVID McPHERSON

The author examines Bernard Williams's forceful challenge that evolutionary science has done away with the sort of teleological worldview that is needed in order to make sense of an Aristotelian virtue ethic perspective. He also considers Rosalind Hursthouse's response to Williams and argues that it is not sufficient. The main task is to show what is needed in order to meet Williams's challenge. First, the author argues that we need a deeper exploration of the first-personal evaluative standpoint from within our human form of life than we find in Hursthouse's ethical naturalist perspective. In particular, we need to recognize the important role of "strong evaluation" for identifying what is noblest and best about us as human beings, for this will enable us to address the "mixed bag" problem of human nature. Second, the author argues--contra John McDowell's quietism--that in order to make sense of such a normative account of human nature we must overcome Williams's tragic cosmic outlook according to which human life is seen as ultimately without meaning and purpose.

Fichte's Deduction of the External World, GABRIEL GOTTLIEB

The essay provides a new interpretation of Fichte's deduction of the external world that considers the argument to be motivated not by epistemic concerns but by concerns about the possibility of freedom. In defending this view, the author critically examines Frederick Beiser's reconstruction of Fichte's deduction, which characterizes the argument as refuting external world skepticism, exactly the threat by which Fichte is not troubled. The author claims that Fichte is troubled by ethical skepticism, the view that the freedom required for self-consciousness is not possible. Establishing the possibility of the freedom involved in self-consciousness requires an external world suitable for such a form of freedom. An implication of this claim is that the world that Fichte deduces is an intersubjective or social world.

Translation and Interpretative Introduction of "Treatise on the Relationship of the Real and the Ideal in Nature" (1806) by F. W. J. Schelling, DALE SNOW

The "Treatise on the Relationship of the Real and the Ideal in Nature, or the Development of the First Principles of the Philosophy of Nature and the Principles of Gravity and Light" is one of the last essays on Naturphilosophie that Schelling wrote. It was a topic that had occupied his attention since 1796, and as such it marks the end of an era. It is distinguished by its unusual approach to the problem of matter, which becomes, in his discussion, the problem of force or energy. Without being able to avail himself of the language of the conservation of energy or mass, it can be argued that Schelling makes a valiant attempt to express that insight, using the terminology of the bond and the entities bound by it. The text reaffirms Schelling's strong affinities with Spinoza, anticipates Schopenhauer, and continues his quarrel with Fichte.
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Publication:The Review of Metaphysics
Date:Sep 1, 2015
Previous Article:European Journal of Philosophy: vol. 23, no. 2, June 2015.
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