Humanities Bulletin Humanities Bulletin en-US (Submission and general inquiries) (Technical Support) Thu, 30 Nov 2023 00:00:00 -0500 OJS 60 The Common Good in Catholic Social Teaching and The Legalization of Physician Assisted Suicide <p>The legalization of physician assisted suicide (PAS) in several states in the U.S. and the growing social approval of euthanasia have created confusion, pastoral challenges, and conflicts between Catholic and non-Catholic healthcare institutions. For many of its supporters, the legal and moral legitimacy of PAS is grounded on the right to autonomy. I concur with Callahan that the right to autonomy, while may be pertinent when it comes to moral debate on suicide, does not justify PAS. Unlike suicide, PAS is not a private matter. It involves the medical institution represented by the physician who is given authority to legitimize the termination of human life, and the society that will give it an imprimatur. If autonomy per se is the basis of this so-called dignity of PAS from the viewpoint of its proponents, they will not hesitate to declare suicide as more dignified than any other way of dying. But current laws in the U.S. on PAS are silent with regard to legal rights to suicide or assisted suicide in general. According to the U.S. Supreme Court, the legislature is the venue for the legalization of PAS, not the court, for PAS is about social approval of assisted suicide. Therefore, the debate concerning the legalization of PAS should shift from individual rights to common good, from autonomy to collective harms and benefits, and from justifying individual cases of PAS to legitimizing it as a social policy.</p> Ferdinand Tablan Copyright (c) 2023 Mon, 01 Jan 2024 00:00:00 -0500 Why Maritain and Wojtyla hold that Catholic Philosophy is Personalistic <p>Taking its cue from the Vatican II (1961-5 A.D.) document Nostra Aetate (1965 A.D.), this essay argues that contemporary Catholic anthropology can be classified as ‘personalistic’ since it is properly governed by the complementary doctrines of Universal Divine Goodness, viz., that God the Creator leads each person to beatitude and, following from that, a teaching of objective teleology, viz., that each person has permanent union with God the Creator as his/her ultimate purpose. The latter teaching follows from the first since if it is held that God creates each person for beatitude, it is thereby implied that each person is structured for that end. All this stands against an inherited doctrine of Catholic anthropology that also contained teachings of Limited Divine Goodness, viz., that God the Creator only leads some to beatitude and, following from that, a doctrine of subjective teleology, viz., that some persons do not have permanent union with God the Creator as his/her ultimate purpose. This essay argues for the personalistic teaching, i.e., for the universal application of Divine Goodness and objective teleology, by analyzing three essays certain Catholic philosophers published in advance of Vatican II. While two of these are by Jacques Maritain (1882-1973 A.D.), the other is by Karol Wojtyla (1920-2005 A.D.). Despite the material differences in their essays, these authors argue for the personalistic doctrine mentioned above, and their principal thesis is further supported by considering certain writings of Wojtyla promulgated before and while he held the office of Roman Catholic Pope (1978-2005 A.D.).</p> Barry David Copyright (c) 2023 Mon, 01 Jan 2024 00:00:00 -0500 How Do You Know What You Are Doing Now? <p>In this paper I explore Anscombe’s claim that agents have non-observational, non-inferential knowledge of their own actions. I show that many of the arguments against the claim are based on a misinterpretation but agree with Anscombe’s critics that her claim has certain shortcomings. The paper seeks to mitigate these by developing an alternative. I argue that agent’s knowledge of own actions is based on a grasp of previously acquired practical competence and suggest a reason-based account built on the idea of teleological activity, according to which agents know non-observationally intentional actions that fall under certain types of broad descriptions. This account of knowledge of own actions is not based on observational evidence, but on empirically grounded knowledge of capabilities, skills and past successes.</p> Cathrine Felix Copyright (c) 2023 Mon, 01 Jan 2024 00:00:00 -0500 Avoiding Façons de Parler: Potentiality and Possibility in Aristotle’s Philosophy <p>The distinction between potentiality and possibility in Aristotle’s modal teleology is sometimes conflated by the implicative conjunction that potentiality implies possibility <em>and</em> possibility implies potentiality. In his unpublished doctoral dissertation Richard Rorty warns that trying to pin down Aristotle’s definition of potentiality often leads to treating the term as a “mere <em>façon de parler</em>.” Consonant with Rorty, this paper observes that the definition of possibility in Aristotle’s works is not without its own share of semantic snags. Subsequently, I abide by Rorty’s caveat not only to resist the lure of expressive convenience some commentators have taken in describing potentiality, but also to elucidate possibility’s two-fold field of modal application. Consequently, this paper aims to present a nuanced account of how notions of potentiality and possibility are presented in Aristotle’s treatises for the sake of demonstrating that both sides of the <em>potentiality/possibility conjunction </em>do not mutually imply.</p> José Luis Fernández Copyright (c) 2023 Mon, 01 Jan 2024 00:00:00 -0500 Conflicts and Antinomies of Multiple Modernities from Eisenstadt <p>The idea of multiple modernities implies that the best way to understand the contemporary world and to explain the history of modernity is to conceive of it as a history of the successive constitution and reconstitution of a multiplicity of cultural programmes. The concept “multiple modernities” has two implications. The first is that modernity and Westernization are not identical; the Western pattern or patterns of modernity do not constitute the only “authentic” modernities, although they have been historically precedent and constitute a central reference for other visions of modernity. The second is that the term modernities includes the recognition that these modernities are not “static” but are in continuous transformation. These transformations lead to the postmodernity that has occupied a primary place in the contemporary debate of ideas, pervading a myriad of diverse issues with a wide range of political ramifications.</p> Paulo Vitorino Fontes Copyright (c) 2023 Mon, 01 Jan 2024 00:00:00 -0500 Logic and Liberalism <p>What does it take for a society to become enlightened? Kant suggests that the members of it must be free to use their ‘public reason’. Arendt develops this thought, adding that we must be able to recognize the others in our society as worthy of intellectual engagement. But, what happens when we disagree in extreme ways, for example about the laws of logic? On some traditional conceptions of the connection between logic and rationality, disagreements of this kind force us to regard others in our society as irrational. In this paper, I argue that, if we want to maintain a Kantian model of enlightenment, then these kinds of disagreements push us towards a logical pluralism. I examine two forms of pluralism, Beall and Restall’s, and Carnap’s, and show that Beall and Restall’s version conceals a lurking monism, and so cannot be the kind of pluralism needed for enlightenment. But, I argue that Carnap’s pluralism is. I conclude by examining the history of Carnap’s pluralism, and show that using it for political ends – namely, for facilitating discussion in pursuit of enlightenment – is consistent with Carnap’s initial motivations for his work, and clears the way back towards Kantian enlightenment.</p> Noah Friedman-Biglin Copyright (c) 2023 Mon, 01 Jan 2024 00:00:00 -0500 Toward a New Interpretation of Prehispanic Discourses: Reconstructing the Huehuetlatolli in the Prehispanic Context <p>Most current studies of Prehispanic Mexico have examined the indigenous discourse, <em>huehuetlatolli</em> (ancient words or words of the old men), not only as an indigenous oral tradition similar to European classical rhetorical speech but also as the symbolic representation of indigenous moral and religious philosophy. These studies, however, have overlooked possible colonial influence on the collection and evaluation process of huehuetlatolli, which the two Spanish priests, Andrés de Olmos and Bernardino de Sahagún, conducted in the sixteenth century. After the conquest, indigenous traditions were evaluated, modified, and even destroyed according to the colonizers’ ideological purposes, and the current form of huehuetlatolli has survived after going through such colonial transformation. This essay tries to provide a new interpretation of huehuetlatolli through three steps: 1) by demonstrating how Olmos, Sahagún, and their fellow Spanish priests started to compare the huehuetlatolli to European classical and biblical rhetoric and moral philosophy; 2) by reconstructing how the indigenous old men and women as keepers of the Prehispanic discursive traditions practiced, transmitted, and preserved the huehuetlatolli at school and home; and 3) by proposing that the huehuetlatolli should be understood not only as a rhetorical oral discourse that promoted specific moral behaviors, but rather as the two main discourses, both oral and pictorial, with which the indigenous people used to record any cultural, historical, political, and religious aspect of indigenous society before the conquest.</p> Jongsoo Lee Copyright (c) 2023 Mon, 01 Jan 2024 00:00:00 -0500 Literary Fragmentation as a Gnoseological Tool from Modernism to Contemporaneity: Der Mann Ohne Eigeschaften by Robert Musil and Les Années by Annie Ernaux <p>Literature can be regarded as a cognitive mode that transcends binary and oppositional views of rationality and irrationality, sustaining a dialectical tension between precision and possibility. Through the strategic use of fragmentation, the literary form is not dissolved; instead, it invites a rethinking and reshaping. The essence of this paper goes beyond mere experimentalism; it contends that the use of fragments establishes a profound link between form and content, coupled with a meticulous attention to the moment of text production. Drawing examples from two literary works of the early twentieth century – Robert Musil's Der Mann ohne Eigenschaften and Annie Ernaux's Les Années – both shaped as “fragments of fragments”, the paper aims to explore the role of literary fragmentation as a gnoseological path. Moreover, the use of the fragment can be intricately tied to the concept of Essayism, understood in its etymological sense of an attempt. The incompleteness of reality becomes constitutive of the literary form, embodying an analysis of alternative possibilities. In contemporary times, the cultural and social landscape resonates with sentiments and reflections reminiscent of the modernist era.</p> Rachele Cinerari Copyright (c) 2023 Mon, 01 Jan 2024 00:00:00 -0500 Threats to Patriarchy in the Selected Poetry of T.S. Eliot <p>Through analyzing the selected poetry written by T.S. Eliot (1888-1965), this article explores the linkage between the crisis of men’s identity and civilization against the backdrop of surging feminist ideas during the modern period. The works of T.S. Eliot are always connected with the anxiety of men. Attention will be paid on the mentality and response of his male speakers upon witnessing the transformation of modern women.<br>Modernist writings during the first half of the twentieth century are often marked by the concern over the crisis of identity and civilization. Political and economic stability that struck both Europe and the New World are often viewed as prominent reasons. Women never played a significant role in leading to the crisis mentioned. Conventional feminist criticisms often relate this phenomenon with the repression and oppression faced by women under male chauvinism. Relatively little attention has been paid to men’s fear under the “terror” of feminism. Thus, this article studies men’s anxiety and reaction in relation to the changing attributes and modern values of the twentieth century.</p> Chi Sum Garfield Lau Copyright (c) 2023 Mon, 01 Jan 2024 00:00:00 -0500 Albee in China: Revisit The Goat, or Who is Sylvia? <p>This article offers a critical examination of Edward Albee’s “The Goat, or Who is Sylvia?” in response to Professor Lianqiao Zhang’s interpretations. Challenging conventional readings that perceive the play as a manifestation of ethical concerns, it argues these interpretations, especially Zhang’s, are anthropocentric and overly simplistic. The play, known for its controversial exploration of human-animal relationships, is reinterpreted here as a platform for discussing broader themes like queer sexualities, marginalization, and societal norms. The article critiques the anthropocentric perspective prevalent in academic discourse, advocating for a more nuanced understanding of the play’s symbolic elements, particularly the goat’s representation. It aligns with post-humanist perspectives and underscores the play’s performative nature, emphasizing its role in challenging and transforming audience perceptions. “The Goat” is presented not just as a moral discourse but as a medium for profound existential and societal reflection, echoing Albee’s intent to provoke thought rather than dictate moral judgments. This reevaluation contributes to a deeper appreciation of the play’s complexities and its enduring relevance in modern literature and society.</p> Xiongwei Luo Copyright (c) 2023 Mon, 01 Jan 2024 00:00:00 -0500 Intercultural Adaptation in Early Modern Popular Theatre: From Torquato Tasso’s Aminta (1573/1581) to Von den Aminta und Silvia in Liebeskampff (1630) <p>The focus of this chapter lies on the contribution of Italian and English travelling troupes on early modern popular theatre in Germany. This will be achieved by reading Von den Aminta und Silvia (‘About Aminta and Silvia’, 1630), a German adaptation attributed to the English Comedians of Torquato Tasso’s pastoral play Aminta, against the background of adaptation theory. <br>Given the long history of performance of Tasso’s play, which was first performed in 1573 by a Commedia dell’Arte troupe, it is plausible to assume that the original text had already undergone several changes before the German version appeared. Some of these changes were due to Tasso himself; other alterations can be attributed to the Commedia dell’Arte troupes. The many translations published in France and England prior to Aminta und Silvia might also have inserted new details, further developed by the English Comedians. Finally, the anonymous editor of the German play may have been responsible for other additions. However, as adaptation theory shows, translations merely make the content comprehensible from a linguistic point of view, whereas adaptations aim at making a text accessible from a socio-cultural viewpoint, even with consistent changes to the source.</p> Caterina Pan Copyright (c) 2023 Mon, 01 Jan 2024 00:00:00 -0500 Artificial Intensities: The Question of Reality and Immersion in Tom McCarthy’s Remainder <p>This paper aims to analyze the methods through which reality may be attained in Tom McCarthy’s Remainder. Through a post-structuralist, chiefly Deleuzian lens, I argue that Remainder presents the reader with a return to the postmodern conception of the ‘real’, while also affirming the necessity, both subjective and objective, of moving beyond it. Such a stance is, I argue, only apparently paradoxical, absurd. In Remainder, this article proposes, reality is achieved through artificiality, and not around it, by accelerating a process of performative immersion which facilitates what Deleuze and Guattari consider to be a fundamental property of artificiality: its tendency to self-destruct.</p> Codrin Aniculăese Copyright (c) 2023 Mon, 01 Jan 2024 00:00:00 -0500 Attribution Accuracy Verification by Comparing Stylometric Conclusions Against Patterns in the Publishing Credits <p>The analysis of bibliographic textual information must be an essential step in any stylometric authorship attribution study. This article describes patterns among the credits given on 18th and 19th century British title-pages to printers and booksellers. These patterns are contrasted against the stylometric findings of a new method that was applied to 634 texts from these centuries. The biographies of these printers and booksellers are explored for relevant evidence. And the history of publishing is summarized to explain the significance of the findings.</p> Anna Faktorovich Copyright (c) 2023 Mon, 01 Jan 2024 00:00:00 -0500