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

The Liturgical and the Ethical in Lacoste and Kierkegaard

By: ALEXANDER GILMAN The relationship between the liturgical, defined by Jean-Yves Lacoste as “the logic that presides over the encounter between man and God writ large,” and the ethical is deeply ambiguous. Throughout Lacoste’s phenomenological work, Experience and the Absolute, the call of man and the world is set in contrast with the call of the Absolute. In this text Lacoste begins with the Heideggerian notion of our being as being-in-the world-toward-death and explores how a liturgical relationship with the absolute subverts, but also sublates, our being-in-the-world in favor of a being-toward-God. Without rejecting Heidegger’s fundamental ontology, Lacoste aims to … Continue reading The Liturgical and the Ethical in Lacoste and Kierkegaard

Hellfire: A Loving God, Infinite Suffering, and the Reliability of the Bible

By ERIN McDONNELL ABSTRACT: One of the most imposing problems facing the modern theist philosopher is the ‘problem of Hell,’ or the problem of how to make the Bible’s depiction of Hell as a place of eternal punishment logically consistent with the generally held theist idea that God is perfectly loving. This issue has been dealt with by a number of philosophers; some have attempted to re-imagine Hell into something less severe than eternal punishment, and some have attempted to give justifications for the traditional version of Hell. An overview of these various views and attempts will conclude that universalism—the … Continue reading Hellfire: A Loving God, Infinite Suffering, and the Reliability of the Bible

Free Will & Divine Action

By Michael Schwartz Abstract: While there is significant variation in the theist’s description of God, there are nonetheless a set of attributes upon which there is general (but certainly not universal) agreement. God is omnipotent, omniscient, and is capable of interacting in the lives of humans. My purpose in this paper is to provide an account of God’s relation to time given an assumption of these three divine attributes. I will show that the task is unsuccessful for an eternal God (one that exists outside of time), and succeeds in a modified version of an everlasting God that exists with … Continue reading Free Will & Divine Action

Threatening Ambivalence: Aliza Shvarts’s Disruption of the Patriarchal (Hetero)Normative

By Asam Ahmad ABSTRACT: In April of 2008, Yale University’s Aliza Shvarts was accused of a sort of ‘insanity’ that made her unable to make sound judgements and jeopardize her own body for the sake of her art. This paper aims to explore the nature of Shvarts’ artistic project and understand the hyper-reactionary interventions that followed its appearance. I will argue that what caused this hyper intervention and the disciplinary actions that followed was more than just the project itself – it was the very ambiguity of the Event the project was presenting us with, its very refusal to ‘name’ the … Continue reading Threatening Ambivalence: Aliza Shvarts’s Disruption of the Patriarchal (Hetero)Normative

A Critique of the Ontological Argument

by MATTHEW ROWE ABSTRACT The following is a brief introduction to the origins and logical flaws within St. Anselm’s famous Ontological Argument for the existence of G-d. Throughout the time since Anselm first formulated his argument, logicians and philosopher, including Kant, Gödel, and Aquinas, have struggled to reveal its apparent flaws. Through the study of this complex argument in the philosophy of religion, several advances in modern logic have emerged, including an understanding of the sensitive treatment of how to classify existence, whether it is a property of an object, or a quantifier within a logical system. Throughout the years … Continue reading A Critique of the Ontological Argument

Kant’s Religion vs. Our Religion

By Daniel Arango In Religion Within the Limits of Pure Reason Alone, Immanuel Kant considers the claim that God “arises out of mortality” without being the basis for moral obligation. “Morality thus leads ineluctably to religion, through which extends itself to the idea of a powerful moral Lawgiver, outside of mankind, for Whose will that is the final end (of creation) which at the same time can and ought to be man’s final end.” Kant develops what he calls the “pure religion of reason” and explains this true moral religion in relation to other established, historical religions. He was particularly interested … Continue reading Kant’s Religion vs. Our Religion

God and the Island

By ALEX HATHAWAY Upon purchasing a tin of tobacco from the market, Bertrand Russell began his routine trek back to the campus of Cambridge University. Suddenly, as if struck by Zeus’ bolt, he threw his hands into the air and exclaimed, “Great Scott, the ontological argument is sound!” (Pojman 2). This epiphany-like experience has not been uncommon among philosophers of both the classical and modern eras. Beginning with its original formulation by St. Anselm, the ontological argument for the existence of God has confounded philosophers for over nine centuries, and it continues to be a subject of profound debate. The … Continue reading God and the Island