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VOLUME LXVII, NUMBER 1
September 2013

 

Confucian Values and Human Rights, MAY SIM

Rather than attempt to adjudicate between these rivals in the “Asian values”/”Confucian values” debates, I wish to explore if Confucian values can contribute to the promotion of human rights. Instead of relying on prioritizing the communal over the individual which some defenders of ‘Asian values’ have done, which communal values are not that distinct from the more conservative Western communitarians’ emphasis, I inquire into the distinctive characteristics of Confucianism which can be used to justify the kind of human rights proclaimed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. More specifically, I reexamine the resources put forth by some Confucian commentators which are, in my view, relevant to someone’s being a rights bearer, such as, the role of the Confucian intellectual and the importance of education, and the potentiality for civic virtues in virtues like humaneness (ren ), acting with appropriateness (yi ), and ritual propriety (li ). Examining these key philosophical concepts will enable us to get clear about Confucianism’s compatibility with pluralistic values and ascertain if the kind of liberalism, so frequently associated with the ills of Western individualism by Asian governments, is necessary for possessing human rights, especially the first generation civil and political rights.

Aristotle on Deduction and Inferential Necessity, JEAN-LOUIS HUDRY

Aristotle’s Prior Analytics identifies deductions simpliciter with inferential necessity, so that a deduced conclusion is necessarily inferred from some premises. Modern logical reconstructions claim that inferential necessity in Aristotle corresponds to logical validity. However, this logical reconstruction fails on two accounts. First, logical validity does not highlight Aristotle’s distinction between inferential necessity and predicative necessity, meaning that the inferential necessity of a deduction is not of the same kind as the predicative necessity of a non‑deductive argument. Second, logical validity does not explain the relevance of Aristotle’s distinction between complete and incomplete deductions. Logicians speak of complete deduction by adding the term “obvious” or “transparent” to logical validity, and then criticize Aristotle’s view for being unclear. However, Aristotle’s position is not confronted with this difficulty. There is nothing to add to inferential necessity, which already means complete deducibility, as opposed to incomplete deducibility, deemed to be potentially complete. Accordingly, the Prior Analytics reduces the incomplete deductions (of the second and the third figure) to the complete deductions (of the first figure) in order to prove the potential, inferential necessity of the incomplete deductions. Logical validity would have been faithful to Aristotle’s text, if it had been possible to coin a notion of potential validity, distinct from both validity and invalidity.—Correspondence to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Does Plotinus Present a Philosophical Account of Creation? BRANDON ZIMMERMAN

In his influential essay, “Plotinus’s Metaphysics: Emanation or Creation?” Lloyd Gerson raises the question of whether Plotinus’ account of the procession of all things from the One is actually a type of creationist metaphysics rather than an alternative to it. This paper is a reexamination of this question. As with most philosophical questions, much depends on how the terms are defined. Therefore, the first part of this paper will draw on Thomas Aquinas for a philosophical definition of creation and for the judgment that the philosophical understanding of creation can be and was achieved without the aid of divine revelation. The second part will argue that, according to Aquinas’ definition, Plotinus presents a philosophical account of creation. The issues of pantheism, negative theology, the freedom of the One, and the generation of Nous are all discussed. Some use is made of Avicenna as bridge figure between Aquinas and Plotinus.

Francis Suárez on the Efficiency of Substantial Forms, MAURICIO LECÓN

Francisco Suárez claims that forms may be efficient causes. There is an action whose proximate efficient cause is a substantial form, namely, the natural resulting. Also a substantial form is the principal efficient cause of the eduction of other forms, although it causes this through the substance’s own accidents. The souls insofar as substantial forms participate of both features. However, they pose a new complexity because of the actions they are exclusively principles of, namely vital actions. This kind of actions may seem no different from natural resulting, if vitality is mainly described as some sort of immanence. However, there is a Suarezian approach to vital actions that does not rely completely on the immanence and therefore allows to consider souls as efficient causes without turning their actions into natural.—Correspondence to: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Hegel’s Ontological Pluralism: Rethinking the Distinction between Natur and Geist, RAONI PADUI

This paper argues against recent post-Kantian readings of Hegel that overstate the role that the distinction between nature and spirit plays within Hegelian Idealism. In order to do so, it first differentiates between a transcendental and an ontological way of understanding such a distinction, arguing that the former is Kantian or neo-Kantian in nature while the latter is properly Hegelian. Then it demonstrates how Hegel attempts to both preserve the difference between the realm of nature and the realm of spirit without turning it into a dichotomy, which he does by admitting a continuity of gradual stages or levels of conceptual development. Finally, the paper concludes that the coherence of Hegel’s attempt to simultaneously preserve and overcome the modern division between the natural and the spiritual rests on a view of reality that is closer to ontological pluralism than it is to either dualism or monism.—Correspondence to: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 

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