Necessity and Counterfactual Discourse

By James Walsh The question “Is water necessarily H2O?” has a more complicated answer than may appear at first blush. To answer the question, one must first distinguish between conceptual and metaphysical necessity. By differentiating between these two types of necessity, it becomes clear that water is not necessarily H2O on a conceptual level. Whether water is necessarily H2O on a metaphysical level depends on the understanding of the word “water” on the part of the person who is judging whether water is metaphysically necessarily H2O. First I will expound upon the notion of conceptual necessity. Then I will evaluate … Continue reading Necessity and Counterfactual Discourse

Ficino’s Five Questions: A Christian Platonist Response to Aristotle’s Problem of Happiness

By Aaron David Aristotle is known for his philosophy and for his being Plato’s most prized student and intellectual companion. Perhaps Aristotle’s most influential and widely read work is his Nicomachean Ethics, which was, and still is, considered a seminal argument for the value of moral and intellectual virtue. The Ethics does more than argue for virtue; it also discusses human nature and the human condition. This paper will show that Aristotle argues that humankind most deeply desires a “perfect” happiness: one that that is complete, lasting the whole of one’s life, and sufficient in itself to render each day … Continue reading Ficino’s Five Questions: A Christian Platonist Response to Aristotle’s Problem of Happiness

Liberating the Kantian Sublime: Sublimity as Humanism, and Inquiries into the Poetically Sublime

By James Zainaldin Abstract: Kant’s sublime experience is limited by two primary factors: 1) it finds its significance almost exclusively in the moral and religious and 2) it has no place in the sphere of human-produced works. A close reading of Kant’s Analytic of the Sublime returns the understanding that neither of these limitations is an essential property of the sublime experience, however. Indeed, questioning the Kantian sublime’s moral implications actually demonstrates that the sublime is of vital importance to human experience more broadly: the sublime, through its affirmation of the human mind, celebrates and instills a deep appreciation for … Continue reading Liberating the Kantian Sublime: Sublimity as Humanism, and Inquiries into the Poetically Sublime

Egypt, Libya, and the Just War: Lenin versus Gandhi

By Omar Quinonez Abstract: The ‘Arab Spring’ has finally seen its light. Revolutions are sweeping the Middle East and North Africa. Tunisia and Egypt have experience the collapse of decades-long regimes through peaceful protests, while Libya has taken the path of armed struggle. Such differences bring the Arab Spring to the philosophical table. What is the correct path for revolution? Are the Libyan rebels philosophically justified in their armed struggle? Or is non-violence the only ethical path for the Arab Spring? In short, the philosophical question for the Arab people is the question of the just war. This paper is … Continue reading Egypt, Libya, and the Just War: Lenin versus Gandhi

Fluid Identity

By Mitchell Creelman Abstract: In this paper I propose a novel view on the persistence of identity through time. I propose that an object is defined by a certain set of basic properties, that these properties are maintained throughout the life span of the whole, and that the whole does not cease to exist due to the replacement of individual parts. Given the constant change throughout the persistence of a single whole, I call this idea of identity “Fluid Identity.” Throughout this paper, I will outline the concept that I call “fluid identity,” which I will define as the idea … Continue reading Fluid Identity