Classical Trinitarian dogma affirms that God is simple—a teaching also advanced by major proponents of classical monotheism. Nevertheless, as each one knows, this notion is controversial in modern analytic philosophy, where it is commonly contested. It is also largely ignored in contemporary continental dogmatic theology. Nevertheless, the teaching that God is simple is requisite for any authentic interpretation of the Trinitarian dogma of Nicaea. It is also eminently defensible from a rational, philosophical point of view. In what follows I will (...) begin with a theological consideration of the notion of Trinitarian simplicity before considering the metaphysics of the simplicity of the divine essence. I will then consider briefly two special problems that are associated with the metaphysics of divine simplicity: divine knowledge and divine freedom. Finally, I will consider briefly the significant Christological consequences of the acceptance of the traditional affirmation of divine simplicity. (shrink)
Drawing on philosophy, history, moral psychology, and ethics, this revised and expanded edition of French’s The Code of the Warrior examines historical and contemporary warrior cultures and their values, arguing that today’s warriors need a code, as their ancestors did, to prevent them from crossing the thin but critical line that separates warriors from murderers in the battle against global terrorism.
This new Companion to Aquinas features entirely new chapters written by internationally recognized experts in the field. It shows the power of Aquinas's philosophical thought and transmits the worldview which he inherited, developed, altered, and argued for, while at the same time revealing to contemporary philosophers the strong connections which there are between Aquinas's interests and views and their own. Its five sections cover the life and works of Aquinas; his metaphysics, including his understanding of the ultimate foundations of reality; (...) his metaethics and ethics, including his virtue ethics; his account of human nature; his theory of the afterlife; his epistemology and his theory of the intellectual virtues; his view of the nature of free will and the relation of grace to free will; and finally some key components of his philosophical theology, including the incarnation and atonement, Christology, and the nature of original sin. (shrink)
Joseph Hannon has expressed a most surprising objection to Aquinas scholar Prof William E. Carroll in his latest paper “Theological Objections to a Metaphysicalist Interpretation of Creation.” The main claim is that Prof. Carroll misunderstands Aquinas' doctrine of creatio ex nihilo by reducing it to a metaphysical notion, rather than considering it in its full theological sense. In this paper I show Hannon's misinterpretation of Carroll's and Thomas Aquinas' thought, particularly by stressing the dependence that the doctrine of (...) providence through secondary causes has on the doctrine of creatio ex nihilo. (shrink)
The tendency to test outcomes that are predicted by our current theory (the confirmation bias) is one of the best-known biases of human decision making. We prove that the confirmation bias is an optimal strategy for testing hypotheses when those hypotheses are deterministic, each making a single prediction about the next event in a sequence. Our proof applies for two normative standards commonly used for evaluating hypothesis testing: maximizing expected information gain and maximizing the probability of falsifying the current hypothesis. (...) This analysis rests on two assumptions: (a) that people predict the next event in a sequence in a way that is consistent with Bayesian inference; and (b) when testing hypotheses, people test the hypothesis to which they assign highest posterior probability. We present four behavioral experiments that support these assumptions, showing that a simple Bayesian model can capture people's predictions about numerical sequences (Experiments 1 and 2), and that we can alter the hypotheses that people choose to test by manipulating the prior probability of those hypotheses (Experiments 3 and 4). (shrink)