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  1. On Value and Obligation in Practical Reason: Toward a Resolution of the Is–Ought Problem in the Thomistic Moral Tradition.William Matthew Diem - 2021 - Nova et Vetera 19 (2): 531-562.
    Within the Thomistic moral tradition, the is-ought gap is regularly treated as identical to the fact-value gap, and these two dichotomies are also regularly treated as being identical to Aristotle and Aquinas’s distinction between the practical and speculative intellect. The question whether (and if so, how) practical (‘ought’) knowledge derives from speculative (‘is’) knowledge has driven some of the fiercest disputes among the schools of Thomistic natural lawyers. I intend to show that both of these identifications are wrong and the (...)
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  2.  46
    Why Animals Have No Rights.William Matthew Diem - 2022 - American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 96 (3):485-497.
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  3.  25
    Just Pain: Aquinas on the Necessity of Retribution and the Nature of Obligation.William Matthew Diem - 2022 - American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 96 (1):47-79.
    Although it is common in the Catholic moral tradition to hear punishment spoken of as “just” and demanded by reason, it is remarkably difficult to say why reason demands that malefactors suffer or to articulate what is rendered to whom in punishment. The present essay seeks to fill this lacuna by examining Aquinas’s treatment of punishment. After examining several themes found in his work, the paper will conclude that the conceptual key to the reasonableness of punishment is to be found (...)
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  4.  10
    Obligation, Justice, and Law in advance.William Matthew Diem - forthcoming - Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association.
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  5.  14
    Obligation, Justice, and Law.William Matthew Diem - unknown - Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association:271-286.
    Anscombe argues in “Modern Moral Philosophy” that obligation and moral terms only have meaning in the context of a divine Lawgiver, whereas terms like ‘unjust’ have clear meaning without any such context and, in at least some cases, are incontrovertibly accurate descriptions. Because the context needed for moral-terms to have meaning does not generally obtain in modern moral philosophy, she argues that we should abandon the language of obligation, adopting instead the yet clear and meaningful language of injustice. She argues (...)
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  6.  10
    Obligation, Justice, and Law.William Matthew Diem - 2016 - Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 90:271-286.
    Anscombe argues in “Modern Moral Philosophy” that obligation and moral terms only have meaning in the context of a divine Lawgiver, whereas terms like ‘unjust’ have clear meaning without any such context and, in at least some cases, are incontrovertibly accurate descriptions. Because the context needed for moral-terms to have meaning does not generally obtain in modern moral philosophy, she argues that we should abandon the language of obligation, adopting instead the yet clear and meaningful language of injustice. She argues (...)
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  7.  44
    Prima Secundae, Q. 18 and De Malo, Q. 2.William Matthew Diem - 2017 - American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 91 (3):447-471.
    This essay examines the role that circumstances play in determining the morality of moral acts as presented in ST I-II, q. 18 and argues that q. 18 uses two different sets of principles that are left unreconciled in the text. The paper argues that consequently the text is not coherent but is radically divided; specifically, q. 18 holds both that a circumstance—by virtue of being a true circumstance and accident of the act—can make a good act evil but also that (...)
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  8.  12
    Reasons for Acting and the End of Man as Naturally Known.William Matthew Diem - 2019 - American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 93 (4):723-756.
    Aquinas implies that there is a single end of man, which can be known by reason from the moment of discretion and without the aid of revelation. This raises the problems: What is this end? How is it known? And how are the several natural, human goods related to this one end? The essay argues, first, that the naturally known end of man is the operation of virtue rather than God; second, that the virtue in question is, in the first (...)
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  9.  12
    Reasons for Acting and the End of Man as Naturally Known.William Matthew Diem - 2019 - American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 93 (4):723-756.
    Aquinas implies that there is a single end of man, which can be known by reason from the moment of discretion and without the aid of revelation. This raises the problems: What is this end? How is it known? And how are the several natural, human goods related to this one end? The essay argues, first, that the naturally known end of man is the operation of virtue rather than God; second, that the virtue in question is, in the first (...)
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  10.  13
    Reply to Macdonald.William Matthew Diem - 2022 - American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 96 (3):505-510.
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  11.  22
    Reply to the National Catholic Bioethics Center’s Commentary on the CDF’s 2018 Responsum.William Matthew Diem - 2019 - The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly 19 (4):533-544.
    The National Catholic Bioethics Center’s commentary on the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’s 2018 responsum concerning hysterectomy fails to address the explicit reasoning that the CDF offers to justify its response. The CDF does not condone the hysterectomies in question as indirect sterilizations, justified by double effect. Rather, it defines procreation—and consequently sterilization—such that the moral categories of direct and indirect sterilization are not applicable in such cases. The CDF responsum is far more radical and consequential than the (...)
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  12.  25
    The Analogy of Natural Law: Aquinas on First Precepts.William Matthew Diem - 2021 - Heythrop Journal 62 (3):498-510.
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  13.  26
    Book Review: Stephen J. Jensen, Knowing the Natural Law: From Precepts and Inclinations to Deriving OughtsJensenStephen J., Knowing the Natural Law: From Precepts and Inclinations to Deriving Oughts . ix + 238 pp. £32.50/US$34.95. ISBN 978-0-8132-2733-7. [REVIEW]William Matthew Diem - 2016 - Studies in Christian Ethics 29 (3):356-359.
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