Freedom and the Human Person

Freedom and the Human Person

edited by Richard Velkley
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt28511n
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    Freedom and the Human Person
    Book Description:

    The present collection seeks to contribute toward finding that distance by making the tradition of thought more a living reality and not an object of arid analyses. Unlike most collections the present one transcends disciplinary boundaries, as it acknowledges the interconnectedness of philosophical, theological, and political arguments on these themes.

    eISBN: 978-0-8132-2101-4
    Subjects: Philosophy

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. INTRODUCTION
    (pp. vii-xxii)
    RICHARD VELKLEY

    The essays collected here were with two exceptions delivered in the Fall 2001 lecture series of the School of Philosophy, the Catholic University of America. As the lectures were being planned in the academic year 2000–2001 it could not be foreseen how events political and personal would place their grim stamp on the series. The attacks of September 11 transpired just days before the first of the lectures, delivered by Robert Sokolowski. Seth Benardete, who was scheduled to lecture on September 28, was struck by a fatal illness shortly before that date and died on November 14. This pairing...

  4. 1 FREEDOM: Grace and Necessity
    (pp. 1-12)
    SETH BENARDETE

    Before the start of the Isthmian games at Corinth in 196 B.C., a Roman herald proclaimed that with the conquest of Philip of Macedon all the cities of Greece and Asia Minor were to be free, exempt from tribute, and under their own laws. The crowd was so astonished that they demanded that the herald repeat his message. “Not only was there happiness at the moment,” Livy goes on to say, “but for many days it was freely renewed in thoughts and speeches: ‘There was a people on earth that at their own expense and by their own effort waged...

  5. 2 THE FOLLIES OF FREEDOM AND REASON: An Old Story
    (pp. 13-38)
    LEON R. KASS

    The story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden is perhaps the most famous story in Genesis, indeed, in the whole Hebrew Bible. Read simply and superficially, it tells the tale of man’s disobedience and its doleful consequences: the loss of ease, innocence, and psychic wholeness, the gain of a burdened and painful mortal existence. But read carefully and searchingly, with attention to all its details, it offers profound insights into our permanent human nature and the human condition. First among these are insights into the follies of human freedom and reason.

    A careful reading of the Garden...

  6. 3 FREEDOM, RESPONSIBILITY, AND TRUTH
    (pp. 39-53)
    ROBERT SOKOLOWSKI

    There are three nouns in the title of my essay. If we stay with only two of them, truth and freedom, and if we try to think these two things together as a coherent whole, we might seem to run into a paradox or an aporia. Truth seems to necessitate us, and therefore it seems to exclude freedom. If something shows up as true, we seem to have no further choice about the matter. Truth seems to bring along with it a kind of intellectual determinism. Freedom, on the other hand, seems to undermine truth. If we are to be...

  7. 4 FREEDOMS AND WOULD-BE PERSONS
    (pp. 54-69)
    JOHN M. RIST

    The apparently simple title of this lecture series as a whole is “Freedom and the Human Person,” but those five words conceal problems: What is freedom? And how do we identify a person? Starting with freedom, we can recognize at least two different accounts in circulation, so that saying that we all agree that freedom is very important in human life is often confusing rather than helpful. The first view, which dominates antiquity and the Middle Ages, is that freedom is secured by the removal of encumbrances in the way of our choosing the good. There have been varying ways...

  8. 5 BEYOND LIBERTARIANISM AND COMPATIBILISM: Thomas Aquinas on Created Freedom
    (pp. 70-89)
    BRIAN J. SHANLEY

    Contemporary philosophers approaching the writings of Thomas Aquinas on human freedom naturally look to him for answers to the kinds of questions that vex us. For several centuries now, philosophical discussions of freedom have focused on the problem of the relationship between human choice and causal determination. Are human choices the end-products of causal chains originating outside of and antecedent to the agent in such a way as to determine the agent to one and only one outcome? If the answer is yes, then one is either a determinist or a compatibilist. A determinist is someone who argues that causal...

  9. 6 JUSTIFYING FAITH, FREE WILL, AND THE ATONEMENT
    (pp. 90-105)
    ELEONORE STUMP

    That we are justified by faith is one of the fundamental claims of Christian doctrine, variously understood but equally accepted by all traditional Christian theologians, including Aquinas. On the traditional understanding, all human beings are marred by original sin, which means, among other things, that a post-fall person has a will which tends to will what he ought not to will, and that that inborn defect of will results sooner or later in sinful actions, with consequent moral deterioration. In such a state a person cannot be united with God in heaven but is rather bound to be left to...

  10. 7 SOVEREIGN STATES AND SOVEREIGN INDIVIDUALS: The Question of Political Theory
    (pp. 106-121)
    MICHAEL ALLEN GILLESPIE

    On a beautiful day in the spring of 146 B.C., Publius Cornelius Scipio Aemilianus, who was just approaching his fortieth birthday, stood on a low hill in northern Africa, looking out over the still blue waters of the Mediterranean toward the peninsular city of Carthage. For three years this great city had been besieged by his legions, but now it had fallen and was being burned to the ground and all of its surviving inhabitants slaughtered or enslaved. The vicious war between the two greatest powers of the Western Mediterranean that had raged for more than 118 years had finally...

  11. 8 FREEDOM, REPUBLICS, AND PEOPLES IN MACHIAVELLI’S PRINCE
    (pp. 122-142)
    NATHAN TARCOV

    This essay considers three interwoven subjects in Machiavelli’s Prince that are usually considered rather in relation to his Discourses on Livy: freedom, republics, and peoples. Machiavelli implies or announces early in The Prince that he will not discuss two of these subjects. In the dedicatory letter he writes that he will discuss and give rules for the governments of princes because as one of the people he can know the nature of princes, whereas to know the nature of peoples one needs to be a prince. In Chapter II he writes that he will leave out reasoning on republics and...

  12. 9 JOHN LOCKE: Toward a Politics of Liberty
    (pp. 143-180)
    MICHAEL P. ZUCKERT, JESSE COVINGTON and JAMES THOMPSON

    Many years ago Robert Goldwin opened his fine essay on John Locke by calling attention to Locke’s identification of the two chief propositions put forward by Sir Robert Filmer: “[Filmer’s] system . . . is no more than this: That all government is absolute monarchy. And the ground he builds on is this: That no man is born free” (I2). Goldwin then astutely observed: “Locke’s own political teaching may be stated in opposite terms but with similar brevity, in this way: All government is limited in its powers and exists only by consent of the governed. And the ground Locke...

  13. 10 FREEDOM AND FAITH WITHIN THE BOUNDARIES OF BARE REASON
    (pp. 181-205)
    SUSAN MELD SHELL

    Religion within the Boundaries of Bare Reason has been the object of new and growing interest in recent years. Henry Allison, for example, finds in it Kant’s fullest and most detailed treatment of the executive power, or “autocracy,” of the will whereby we determine ourselves decisively for good or evil. Felicitas Munzel has mined it for Kant’s understanding of moral “character” as a crucial link between his critical philosophy and his anthropology. And a number of scholars, including Allen Wood, Philip J. Rossi, and Sharon Anderson-Gold, have used it as a springboard in their respective efforts to uncover a less...

  14. 11 ON GIVING ONESELF THE LAW
    (pp. 206-228)
    ROBERT B. PIPPIN

    Kant’s claim that morality is a matter of rationality clearly counts as a legacy to contemporary Anglophone philosophy. Thanks largely to the influence of John Rawls and his legions of Kant scholar students, this Kantian position has again become a contemporary option in debates about moral theory. It was also a great living legacy to Kant’s German Idealist successors, although the nature of that linkage is still not well understood. So before addressing what I want to claim is the central issue in the contemporary appropriation of Idealist moral theory (the idea of “self-legislation”), I would like to begin with...

  15. 12 SLAVES, MASTERS, TYRANTS: Nietzsche’s Concept of Freedom
    (pp. 229-248)
    ROBERT RETHY

    In a note, parts of which were later incorporated into aphorism 289 of Beyond Good and Evil, Nietzsche spoke of “aphorism books like mine” in which “many lengthy, forbidden things and chains of thought stand between and behind short aphorisms.”¹ Two years before the publication of Toward the Genealogy of Morality and its three essays he asserted that he did not write essays—“these are for asses and journal readers.” A solitary like him, living in his cave which could just as well be a “labyrinth as a gold mine” and “whose very concepts finally retain a peculiar twilight color,...

  16. Bibliography
    (pp. 249-258)
  17. Contributors
    (pp. 259-262)
  18. Index of Names
    (pp. 263-266)
  19. Back Matter
    (pp. 267-267)