31 found
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  1. Being a ‘not-quite-Buddhist theist’.James Dominic Rooney - 2022 - Religious Studies 58 (4):787-800.
    Buddhism is a tradition that set itself decidedly against theism, with the development of complex arguments against the existence of God. I propose that the metaphysical conclusions reached by some schools in the Mahayana tradition present a vision of reality that, with some apparently small modification, would ground an argument for the existence of God. This argument involves explanation in terms of natures rather than causal agency. Yet I conclude not only that the Buddhist becomes a theist in embracing such (...)
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  2. The Problem of Thomistic Parts.James Dominic Rooney - forthcoming - Dialectica.
    Thomas Aquinas embraces a controversial claim about the way in which parts of a substance depend on the substance’s substantial form. On his metaphysics, a ‘substantial form’ is not merely a relation among already existing things, in virtue of which (for example) the arrangement or configuration of those things would count as a substance. The substantial form is rather responsible for the identity or nature of the parts of the substance such a form constitutes. Aquinas’ controversial claim can be roughly (...)
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  3. Diabolical Disregard for Consent.James Dominic Rooney - forthcoming - Faith and Philosophy.
    There is a theological puzzle concerning the way in which Satan – an angel – was able to sin, despite lacking knowledge of no relevant fact about the world. Anselm and Aquinas explain Satan’s sin as malicious in virtue of Satan’s indifference to what mattered. I appeal to their account of Satan’s sin as a paradigm case clarifying the way in which those who intentionally engage in nonconsensual sex are always acting maliciously. Assuming competence, those who engage in nonconsensual sex (...)
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  4. A Metametaphysics of Form.James Dominic Rooney - forthcoming - In Gaven Kerr (ed.), Thomism Revisited. Cambridge University Press.
    A model of metaphysics associated with EJ Lowe and Tuomas Tahko sees metaphysics as involving a priori knowledge of possible essences, or at least modal facts, and delimiting the actual ‘ontological categories,’ the ultimate and essential divisions of what exists, based on the results of a posteriori scientific investigation. Their approach to metaphysics has been criticized by those who argue that such metaphysics is unsuitably a priori, disconnected with empirical research in natural science, and ends up failing to provide meaningful (...)
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  5. Material Objects in Confucian and Aristotelian Metaphysics: The Inevitability of Hylomorphism.James Dominic Rooney - 2022 - Bloomsbury Academic.
    Hylomorphism is a metaphysical theory that accounts for the unity of the material parts of composite objects by appeal to a structure or ‘form’ characterizing those parts. I argue that hylomorphism is not merely a plausible or appealing solution to problems of material composition, but a position entailed by any coherent metaphysics of ordinary material objects. In fact, not only does hylomorphism have Aristotelian defenders, but it has had independent lives in both East and West. -/- I review three contemporary (...)
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  6. Integralism and Justice for All.James Dominic Rooney - forthcoming - Nova et Vetera.
    Catholic integralism is a tradition of thought which insists upon the ideal nature of political arrangements on which the Church can mandate the State to advance the supernatural good of the baptized. Thomas Pink, one of the foremost defenders, has proposed controversially that these arrangements are ideal because the Church possesses rights to civil coercive authority. But I argue this fact would not entail – by itself – the ideal nature of those arrangements. To the contrary, I argue that integralism (...)
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  7. Classical Theists are Committed to the Palamite Distinction Between God’s Essence and Energies.James Dominic Rooney - 2023 - In Robert C. Koons & Jonathan Fuqua (eds.), Classical Theism: New Essays on the Metaphysics of God. Routledge. pp. 318-338.
    A distinction attributed to Gregory Palamas involves claiming that God’s essence and energies/activities are distinct, yet equally ‘uncreated.’ Traditionally, this Palamite distinction was attacked by some Latin theologians as compromising divine simplicity. A classical view holds that no properties really inhere in God, because God enters into no composition of any kind, including composition of substance and accident. God’s energies/activities seem like properties inhering in God or otherwise composing some kind of part of God. I will argue that, contrary to (...)
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  8. The Ends of the Divine.James Dominic Rooney - forthcoming - Nova et Vetera.
    David Bentley Hart and Jordan Daniel Wood are part of a movement aiming to overcome any separation between divine and human nature, avoiding what they see as a problematic account of grace. As opposed to radical kenoticism which holds that God only exists or has a given character in relation to creation, Hart and Wood appeal to facts about God such that He could not act otherwise towards human beings, given His character. They thereby ground conclusions that God could not (...)
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  9. What is the Value of Faith For Salvation? A Thomistic Response to Kvanvig.James Dominic Rooney - 2019 - Faith and Philosophy 36 (4):463-490.
    Jonathan Kvanvig has proposed a non-cognitive theory of faith. He argues that the model of faith as essentially involving assent to propositions is of no value. In response, I propose a Thomistic cognitive theory of faith that both avoids Kvanvig’s criticism and presents a richer and more inclusive account of how faith is intrinsically valuable. I show these accounts of faith diverge in what they take as the goal of the Christian life: personal relationship with God or an external state (...)
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  10. ‘Orthodox panentheism’ is neither orthodox nor coherent.James Dominic Rooney - forthcoming - Religious Studies.
    Jeremiah Carey presents a version of panentheism which he attributes to Gregory Palamas, as well as other Greek patristic thinkers. The Greek tradition, he alleges, is more open to panentheistic metaphysics than the Latin. Palamas, for instance, hold that God’s energies are participable, even if God’s essence is not. Carey uses Palamas’ metaphysics to sketch an account on which divine energies are the forms of created substances, and argues it is open to Orthodox Christians to affirm that God is in (...)
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  11. A Dilemma for Yong Huang’s Neo-Confucian Moral Realism.James Dominic Rooney - forthcoming - Australasian Philosophical Review.
    Yong Huang presents criticisms of Neo-Aristotelian meta-ethical naturalism and argues Zhu Xi’s Neo-Confucian approach is superior in defending moral realism. After presenting Huang’s criticisms of the Aristotelian metaethical naturalist picture, such as that of Rosalind Hursthouse, I argue that Huang’s own views succumb to the same criticisms. His metaethics does not avoid an allegedly problematic ‘gap,’ whether ontological or conceptual, between possessing a human nature and exemplifying moral goodness. This ontological gap exists in virtue of the fact that it is (...)
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  12. Liberal arts and the failures of liberalism.James Dominic Rooney - 2024 - In James Dominic Rooney & Patrick Zoll (eds.), Beyond Classical Liberalism: Freedom and the Good. New York, NY: Routledge Chapman & Hall.
    Public reason liberalism is the political theory which holds that coercive laws and policies are justified when and only when they are grounded in reasons of the public. The standard interpretation of public reason liberalism, consensus accounts, claim that the reasons persons share or that persons can derive from shared values determine which policies can be justified. In this paper, I argue that consensus approaches cannot justify fair educational policies and preserving cultural goods. Consensus approaches can resolve some controversies about (...)
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  13. Public Reason Naturalism.James Dominic Rooney - forthcoming - American Journal of Jurisprudence.
    I will argue that the natural law theory of morality, when extended into a political theory of justice, results in a picture of political justice much like that of public reason liberalism. However, natural law political theory, I argue, need not entail a natural law theory of morality. While facts about what societies ought to do supervene upon facts about what is good for human beings, there are distinct goods involved and distinct reasons for action. Rather, considerations taken from the (...)
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  14. Retributive Harmony in the Thomistic and Neo-Confucian Traditions.James Dominic Rooney - forthcoming - In an edited volume associated with the Eleventh Thomistic Congress. Rome, Italy: Urbaniana University Press.
    Retributive theories of punishment hold that moral desert is a necessary and sufficient condition for punishment. This principle has been justified in light of rectifying a 'balance of justice' upset by wrongdoing. Many opposed to retributivism, such as Nussbaum, have argued such a ‘balance’ is nothing more than ‘magical’ thinking and retributivism is, in fact, positively harmful. On the contrary, I will argue that there is a compelling way to make sense of that intuition. The Chinese Neo-Confucian tradition and medieval (...)
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  15. Grounding Relations Are Not Unified.James Dominic Rooney - 2019 - International Philosophical Quarterly 59 (1):57-64.
    Jonathan Schaffer, among others, has argued that metaphysics should deal primarily with relations of " grounding. " I will follow John Heil in arguing that this view of metaphysics is problematic as it draws on ambiguous notions of grounding and fundamentality that are unilluminating as metaphysical explanations. I understand Heil to be arguing that grounding relations do not form a natural class, where a 'natural' class is one where some member of that class has (analytic or contingent a posteriori) priority (...)
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  16. Believing the Incomprehensible God.James Dominic Rooney - 2018 - Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 92:111-122.
    There has been recent epistemological interest as to whether knowledge is “transmitted” by testimony from the testifier to the hearer, where a hearer acquires knowledge “second-hand.” Yet there is a related area in epistemology of testimony which raises a distinct epistemological problem: the relation of understanding to testimony. In what follows, I am interested in one facet of this relation: whether/how a hearer can receive testimonial knowledge without fully understanding the content of the testimony? I use Thomas Aquinas to motivate (...)
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  17. Eucharistic Locus of the Presbyterate in Aquinas and Zizioulas: A Proposal for a Theology of the Priesthood.James Dominic Rooney - 2020 - Antiphon 24 (3):243-270.
    The contemporary revival of Eucharistic ecclesiology has occurred alongside a new understanding of the episcopacy as a distinct grade of holy orders. Both of these developments make possible a new synthetic understanding of the presbyterate, building on classical theological approaches to orders that incorporate both of these perspectives. In this essay, I will attempt to show how the theology of the presbyterate articulated by Thomas Aquinas might help supplement and be supplemented by that of John Zizioulas. The synthesis I propose (...)
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  18. Banez’s Big Problem: The Ground of Freedom.James Dominic Rooney - 2021 - Faith and Philosophy 38 (1):91-112.
    While many philosophers of religion are familiar with the reconciliation of grace and freedom known as Molinism, fewer by far are familiar with that position initially developed by Molina’s erstwhile rival, Domingo Banez (i.e., Banezianism). My aim is to clarify a serious problem for the Banezian: how the Banezian can avoid the apparent conflict between a strong notion of freedom and apparently compatibilist conclusions. The most prominent attempt to defend Banezianism against compatibilism was (in)famously endorsed by Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange. Even if (...)
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  19. An Alleged Contradiction in Dignitatis Humanae.James Dominic Rooney - 2021 - Angelicum 98 (2):99-118.
    The declaration on religious freedom issued by the Second Vatican Council, Dignitatis Humanae claimed: «the human person has a right to religious freedom» (no. 2). Nevertheless, some think the modern declaration of Vatican II contradicts prior Catholic magisterial teaching on religious liberty. I evaluate whether the Magisterium is proposing an inconsistent set of propositions. I argue that a careful reading of the relevant magisterial propositions from classical papal encyclicals, namely, those that apparently opposed religious freedom, reveals they do not contradict (...)
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  20. Aquinas, Thomas.James Dominic Rooney - 2022 - In Mortimer Sellers & Stephan Kirste (eds.), Encyclopedia of the Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy. Springer.
    [Encyclopedia entry] Born in Italy in 1225, and despite a relatively short career that ended around 50 years later in 1274, Thomas Aquinas went on to become one of the most influential medieval thinkers on political and legal questions. Aquinas was educated at both Cologne and Paris, later taking up (after some controversy) a chair as regent master in theology at the University of Paris, where he taught during two separate periods (1256-1259, 1269-1272). In the intermediate period he helped establish (...)
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  21. Metaphysical Fundamentality as a Fundamental Problem for C. S. Peirce and Zhu Xi.James Dominic Rooney - 2022 - Philosophy East and West 72 (4):1045–1065.
    Abstract:While the American pragmatist C. S. Peirce and the twelfth-century Confucian thinker Zhu Xi 朱熹 lived and worked in radically different contexts, there are nevertheless striking parallels in their view of inquiry. Both appeal to the fundamental nature of reality in order to draw conclusions about the way in which inquiry can be a component of the path toward moral perfection. Yet they prominently diverge in their account not only of the fundamental nature of reality, but also of the way (...)
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  22. Freedom, even if God decrees it.James Dominic Rooney - 2022 - In Olli-Pekka Vainio & Aku Visala (eds.), Theological Perspectives on Free Will: Compatibility, Christology, and Community. Routledge.
    W. Matthews Grant has argued that it is possible to reconcile a strong theory of God’s causal sovereignty with libertarian freedom by denying that God causes the acts of free creatures by means of some factor intrinsic to Himself. Grant argues that the accounts on which God causes those actions of His creatures in virtue of His decrees cannot be libertarian. I will argue that two classical theories of grace, despite holding that God causes creaturely acts in virtue of a (...)
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  23. Survivalism, Suitably Modified.James Dominic Rooney - 2021 - The Thomist 85 (3):349-376.
    A well-known problem seems to beset views on which humans are essentially material, but where I can survive my death: they seem incoherent or reducible to substance dualism. Thomas Aquinas held a unique hylomorphic view of the human person as essentially composed of body and soul, but where the human soul can survive the death of the body. ‘Survivalists’ have argued that, post mortem, a human person comes to be composed of their soul alone. ‘Corruptionists’ point to Thomas’ texts, where (...)
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  24. The Metaphysics of Creation: Secondary Causality, Modern Science.James Dominic Rooney - 2022 - In Eleonore Stump & Thomas Joseph White (eds.), The New Cambridge Companion to Aquinas. [New York]: Cambridge University Press. pp. 107-125.
    This chapter moves from the most fundamental parts of Aquinas’s metaphysics to Aquinas’s thought about the created world, and especially the way in which things in the created world are able to act as beings in their own right, without altering their dependence on the creator. The result is an account of the causality of creatures that does not impugn their connection to the more basic causality of the Deity and that allows this part of Aquinas’s account to be compatible (...)
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  25. Vocation to Love: Supererogation in Aquinas.James Dominic Rooney - 2022 - International Journal of Systematic Theology 24 (2):156-172.
    Thomas Aquinas’ account of religious vocation has been interpreted as involving a qualified duty, where ordinary people fall short of living up to the moral ideal of becoming a monk or nun. Such an account of religious vocation makes a hash of Aquinas’ thought and misses important aspects of his ethics. Aquinas holds that religious life is praiseworthy, but not morally required, because there are multiple sources of normativity. I conclude by proposing that, while elements of Aquinas’ notion of supererogation (...)
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  26. Why all classical theists should believe in physical premotions, but it doesn’t really matter.James Dominic Rooney - 2020 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 88 (2):139-166.
    “Physical premotion” is a concept associated with Baroque Catholic theological debates concerning grace and freedom. In this paper, I present an argument that the entities identified in this debate, physical premotions, are necessary for any classical theist’s account of divine causality. A “classical theist” is a theist who holds both that God is simple, that is, without inhering properties, and that humans and God are both free in the incompatibilist sense. In fact, not only does the acceptance of physical premotions (...)
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  27. Believing the Incomprehensible God.James Dominic Rooney - 2020 - Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 94:111-122.
    There has been recent epistemological interest as to whether knowledge is “transmitted” by testimony from the testifier to the hearer, where a hearer acquires knowledge “second-hand.” Yet there is a related area in epistemology of testimony which raises a distinct epistemological problem: the relation of understanding to testimony. In what follows, I am interested in one facet of this relation: whether/how a hearer can receive testimonial knowledge without fully understanding the content of the testimony? I use Thomas Aquinas to motivate (...)
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  28. The Christological Root of Heresy in the Thought of JH Newman.James Dominic Rooney - 2012 - Josephinum Journal of Theology 19 (2):1-15.
    John Henry Newman's theory of heresiology evolved over the course of his life, accentuating certain Christological characteristics of heresy. He began with the study of the Arian heresy, progressing through the Sabellian and Apolloniarian, and ending with the Monophysite. The theory of heresy and orthodoxy finally developed in the Development of Doctrine reflects this struggle to find common features of orthodoxy corresponding to principles governing Christology in the early Church Fathers. As a consequence, Newman's heresiology, in its final stage, holds (...)
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  29. Evolutionary Biology and Classical Teleological Arguments for God's Existence.James Dominic Rooney - 2013 - Heythrop Journal 54 (4):617-630.
    Much has been made of how Darwinian thinking destroyed proofs for the existence of God from ‘design’ in the universe. I challenge that prevailing view by looking closely at classical ‘teleological’ arguments for the existence of God. One version championed by Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas stems from how chance is not a sufficient kind of ultimate explanation of the universe. In the course of constructing this argument, I argue that the classical understanding of teleology is no less necessary in modern (...)
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  30. Goods and Groups: Thomistic Social Action and Metaphysics.James Dominic Rooney - 2016 - Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 90:287-297.
    Hans Bernhard Schmid has argued that contemporary theories of collective action and social metaphysics unnecessarily reject the concept of a “shared intentional state.” I will argue that three neo-Thomist philosophers, Jacques Maritain, Charles de Koninck, and Yves Simon, all seem to agree that the goals of certain kinds of collective agency cannot be analyzed merely in terms of intentional states of individuals. This was prompted by a controversy over the nature of the “common good,” in response to a perceived threat (...)
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  31. Beyond Classical Liberalism: Freedom and the Good.James Dominic Rooney & Patrick Zoll (eds.) - 2024 - New York, NY: Routledge Chapman & Hall.
    This volume brings together diverse sets of standpoints on liberalism in an era of growing skepticism and distrust regarding liberal institutions. The essays in the volume: - Relate concerns for liberal institutions with classical themes in perfectionist politics, such as the priority of the common good in decision-making or the role of comprehensive doctrines. - Analyse how perfectionist intuitions about the political life affect our concepts of public reason or public justification. - Outline various moral duties we have toward other (...)
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