Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Philosophy Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Articles 1 - 17 of 17

Full-Text Articles in Philosophy

Contextualizing Aquinas's Ontology Of Soul: An Analysis Of His Arabic And Neoplatonic Sources, Nathan Mclain Blackerby Jul 2017

Contextualizing Aquinas's Ontology Of Soul: An Analysis Of His Arabic And Neoplatonic Sources, Nathan Mclain Blackerby

Dissertations (2009 -)

Contemporary scholarship has generally focused on two major influences that have shaped Thomas Aquinas’ account of the soul. The first set of scholarship focuses on how doctrinal concerns and the Augustinian and Scholastic traditions defined the central issue that Aquinas faced, viz., explaining how the soul can be treated as an individual substance that has an essential relationship to a body. The second set of scholarship focuses on Aquinas’s employment of Aristotle’s works in his attempt to resolve the issue. Contemporary assessments of Aquinas’s theory of the soul-body relation therefore take Aquinas to be offering a solution ...


Omnipotence In A Physical World, Lanéa Pearson May 2017

Omnipotence In A Physical World, Lanéa Pearson

Student Honors Theses By Year

The aim of this project is to answer the following question: “is omnipotence possible?” I am not concerned with questions addressing the existence of this being, but rather if a being can possess the property of omnipotence in a physically possible world. Aquinas was determined to understand God is a way that was compatible with the physics of his time. However, in this thesis I have shown that the conception of God which Aquinas defends in his Summa Theologica is not compatible with today’s fundamental physics. Once the incompatibility was made clear, I formulated a set of necessary ...


The Poet And The Polemist: Demystifying The Natural Law Theory Of John Milton, John J. Mazola Dec 2016

The Poet And The Polemist: Demystifying The Natural Law Theory Of John Milton, John J. Mazola

School of Arts & Sciences Theses

A summation of the influences behind Milton's Natural Law theory as found in the works of Aristotle, Grotius, Hobbes, and Thomas Aquinas. The essay's intent is to uncover this important thread that runs through both Milton's Poetic Verse as well as his Polemic tracts.


What Must There Be To Account For Being?, Dillon T. Mccrea Jan 2016

What Must There Be To Account For Being?, Dillon T. Mccrea

Williams Honors College, Honors Research Projects

The purpose of this essay is to identify what I consider to be core philosophical arguments supporting the thesis that being subsists. The design of the thesis is as follows: First, I will attempt to identify arguments supporting the claim that we posit the universe and all of its content in relation to the question of being. Second, I will identify arguments supporting the claim that it is incoherent to claim that being is merely a function of the existence of individual entities, and that all entities share being in common. Third, I will identify arguments supporting the claim that ...


John Duns Scotus’S Metaphysics Of Goodness: Adventures In 13th-Century Metaethics, Jeffrey W. Steele Nov 2015

John Duns Scotus’S Metaphysics Of Goodness: Adventures In 13th-Century Metaethics, Jeffrey W. Steele

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

At the center of all medieval Christian accounts of both metaphysics and ethics stands the claim that being and goodness are necessarily connected, and that grasping the nature of this connection is fundamental to explaining the nature of goodness itself. In that vein, medievals offered two distinct ways of conceiving this necessary connection: the nature approach and the creation approach. The nature approach explains the goodness of an entity by an appeal to the entity’s nature as the type of thing it is, and the extent to which it fulfills or perfects the potentialities in its nature. In contrast ...


Epistemology Of The Cartesian Image, Mikhail Pozdniakov Oct 2014

Epistemology Of The Cartesian Image, Mikhail Pozdniakov

Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

This study is an examination of the epistemological history of the image. Its first strands are to be found in the Christian concept of profanity, in the difference of the world to the divine. The highest form of intelligibility profanity could have, second only to theology, was mathematics. Derived from the problems surrounding this concept are the techniques of inquiry that eventually resulted in the development of analytic geometry by Descartes. The latter marked a new sensibility regarding the physical universe and its constitution, one that is coterminous with the development of exact procedures in science. Being that exactitude regards ...


Can Libertarianism Or Compatibilism Capture Aquinas' View On The Will?, Kelly Gallagher Aug 2014

Can Libertarianism Or Compatibilism Capture Aquinas' View On The Will?, Kelly Gallagher

Theses and Dissertations

The contemporary free will debate is largely split into two camps, libertarianism and compatibilism. It is commonly assumed that if one is to affirm the existence of free will then she will find herself in one of these respective camps. Although merits can be found in each respective position, I find that neither account sufficiently for free will. This thesis, therefore, puts the view of Thomas Aquinas in dialogue with the contemporary debate and argues that his view cannot be capture by either libertarianism or compatibilism and that his view offers a promising alternative view that garners some of the ...


The Metaphysics Of Causation In The Creation Accounts Of Avicenna And Aquinas, Julie Ann Swanstrom Oct 2013

The Metaphysics Of Causation In The Creation Accounts Of Avicenna And Aquinas, Julie Ann Swanstrom

Open Access Dissertations

The medieval conception of monotheistic creation is this: God voluntarily creates the universe from nothing. Endorsed by medieval philosophers, this conception of creation is in tension with their understanding of causation more generally. Each theory of causation available--Aristotelian efficient causation in which an agent acts upon a patient, and Neoplatonic emanation in which beings are produced through a series of emanations--have attractive explanatory features, but neither theory aligns perfectly with divine creation. Since God acts to create, efficient causation seems to include creating; yet, efficient causation is not causation ex nihilo. Since emanation accounts for producing being ex nihilo, it ...


Thomas Aquinas On The Apprehension Of Being: The Role Of Judgement In Light Of Thirteenth-Century Semantics, Rosa Vargas Della Casa Oct 2013

Thomas Aquinas On The Apprehension Of Being: The Role Of Judgement In Light Of Thirteenth-Century Semantics, Rosa Vargas Della Casa

Dissertations (2009 -)

Aquinas’ famous comments in his early Scriptum on the Sentences (In I Sent., d. 38, q. 1, a. 3) regarding the intellect’s apprehension of essence and esse have traditionally been interpreted as grounding Aquinas’ doctrine on the judgment of esse. For Aquinas, it appears, what the intellect apprehends in a simple concept is essence. Since esse, for him, is not an essence, it cannot, on the received view, be the object of conceptualization. Therefore, esse is grasped by the intellect only in judgment. The claim that no genuine concept of esse is possible, however, is inconsistent with Aquinas’ theory ...


Timelessly Present, Compassionately Impassible: A Defense Of Two Classical Divine Attributes, Philip R. Olsson Jan 2012

Timelessly Present, Compassionately Impassible: A Defense Of Two Classical Divine Attributes, Philip R. Olsson

CGU Theses & Dissertations

This study articulates a God-concept in the tradition of classical Christian theism, contending with calls to modify significantly or revise classical constructions. Attention falls upon two closely related divine attributes that have, especially in recent decades, come under philosophical and theological attack – God’s timelessness and impassibility (inability to suffer). Is the “classical” Lord truly Immanuel, i.e. with us? This general question motivates the study.

The opening three chapters analyze aspects of the God-concepts put forth by Augustine, Aquinas, and Calvin. Apparent tensions between a timeless transcendence and an affirming union of the Trinity with creation are countenanced, with ...


The Logic Of Divine-Human Reconciliation: A Critical Analysis Of Penal Substitution As An Explanatory Feature Of Atonement, Blaine Swen Jan 2012

The Logic Of Divine-Human Reconciliation: A Critical Analysis Of Penal Substitution As An Explanatory Feature Of Atonement, Blaine Swen

Dissertations

The purpose of this research is to offer an analysis of the major conceptual and ethical problems facing penal substitution insofar as it is utilized as an explanatory feature of Christ's contribution to divine-human reconciliation. I present fourteen problems and argue that penal substitution can overcome these problems by embracing a "divine-manifest offering" approach to atonement. On this approach, God mercifully chooses to require satisfaction for sin through penal substitution in order to give God's Self the opportunity to meet this requirement by satisfaction through penal self-substitution. This divine self-substitution is intended by God to elicit a free ...


The Virtuoso Human: A Virtue Ethics Model Based On Care, Frederick Joseph Bennett Jan 2011

The Virtuoso Human: A Virtue Ethics Model Based On Care, Frederick Joseph Bennett

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

The goal of this thesis is to develop the foundation and structure for a virtue ethics theory grounded in a specific notion of care. While there has been a recent revival of interest in virtue ethics theory, the theory has its roots in Aristotle's work as well in the medieval writings of Thomas Aquinas. Aquinas worked out many of Aristotle's ideas in much more detail. However, while Aquinas offers a very rich and compelling ethical theory, it is problematic because it is very tightly wrapped in his theology. A key component in Aquinas's theory is charity. Charity ...


Contemplation And The Human Animal In The Philosophy Of St. Thomas Aquinas, Edyta M. Imai Jan 2011

Contemplation And The Human Animal In The Philosophy Of St. Thomas Aquinas, Edyta M. Imai

Dissertations

This dissertation explores how, according to Thomas Aquinas, the operations of the sensitive soul are necessary for ordinary (i.e., not mystical) human contemplation, and for the acquisition of knowledge which precedes contemplation.

The sensitive soul is the soul possessed by all sentient beings, that is, animals, and thus, in examining the role of the sensitive soul in human contemplation we learn about the way the animal side of our nature participates in contemplation.

According to Aquinas, we possess natural inclinations, which direct us to our proper ends, our proper good. Knowledge of truth is also a good to which ...


Natural Law Theory And The "Is"--"Ought" Problem: A Critique Of Four Solutions, Shalina Stilley Jul 2010

Natural Law Theory And The "Is"--"Ought" Problem: A Critique Of Four Solutions, Shalina Stilley

Dissertations (2009 -)

This dissertation explores the "Is"--"Ought" problem (IOP) as it relates to natural law theory (NLT). It begins with a brief analysis of the type of "ought"--precepts upheld by traditional natural law theorists as well as a consideration of the precise nature of the IOP. Chapter two considers the attempts of Searle and Gewirth at establishing that it is possible validly to derive an "ought"--conclusion from "is"--premises and asks whether their attempts can be imitated successfully by those who wish to uphold the basic claims of NLT. Chapter three considers whether it is possible to bypass the ...


Friendship And Fidelity: An Historical And Critical Examination, Joshua Walter Schulz Apr 2010

Friendship And Fidelity: An Historical And Critical Examination, Joshua Walter Schulz

Dissertations (2009 -)

Aristotle considers friendship the greatest external good, one integral to the attainment of happiness. However, while Aristotle limits distrust to what he calls imperfect forms of friendship, subsequent philosophers have stressed our uncertainty regarding the benevolence, beneficence and loyalty we may expect of friends. They do so in part because overcoming this uncertainty requires the exercise of the virtues of trust and loyalty if our friendships are to survive intact.

For example, insofar as Aquinas holds that we cannot scrutinize the wills of others - thus inviting uncertainty regarding their present and future conduct - he argues that friendship requires the virtue ...


Father Knows Best: A Critique Of Joel Feinberg's Soft Paternalism, James Cullen Sacha May 2007

Father Knows Best: A Critique Of Joel Feinberg's Soft Paternalism, James Cullen Sacha

Philosophy Theses

This thesis focuses on the issue of whether or not the government is ever justified in prohibiting the actions of an individual who is harming herself but not others. I first analyze some of the key historical figures in the paternalism debate and argue that these accounts fail to adequately meet the needs of a modern, pluralistic society. Then, I analyze and critique the nuanced, soft-paternalist strategy put forth by Joel Feinberg. Finally, I defend a version of hard paternalism, arguing that a balancing strategy that examines each action on a case-by-case basis shows all citizens equal, and adequate concern ...


Critical For Pure Judgment: The 'Socratic Method' On Relativism, Zachary May Jan 1996

Critical For Pure Judgment: The 'Socratic Method' On Relativism, Zachary May

Vahe Proudian Interdisciplinary Honors Program, Senior Honors Theses

The following essay is an attempt to justify philosophically the possibility of a 'natural law' or prescriptive cross-experiential judgment. To accomplish this task, an examination of contemporary relativism and indication of what is wrong with that position is necessary at first. Why argue against something if its sound? The second stage is a survey of certain key thinkers on law, justice and judgment. Their thoughts will yield clues or suggestions about what is needed for a natural law. The third section lays out this author's thoughts on how to solve the problem. The final section is objections and replies.