Braniff Graduate School

Permanent URI for this collection

Browse

Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 18 of 18
  • Item
    John of Salisbury’s Metalogicon
    (2023-12) Kimzey, Samuel M.
    John of Salisbury wrote the Metalogicon as a defense of the trivium (grammar, logic, and rhetoric). He wrote in response to the ‘Cornificians’, detractors in his own century who criticized the liberal arts as a waste of time and instead proposed their own ‘shortcut’ curriculum. Based on how John of Salisbury presents them in his work, the Cornificians seem to have been concerned with seeming wise rather than with developing true wisdom through habitual study and practice of the liberal arts and philosophy. In response, John argues that the liberal arts are necessary as a foundation for the whole of education since the arts build upon the God-given capacities of nature to enable us to make progress in various disciplines with efficient, repeatable, and teachable excellence. The arts of the trivium, which he calls the ‘arts of eloquence’, are the first of the liberal arts, and John defends their role as necessary for the entirety of education and the pursuit of human knowledge and virtue. The arts of eloquence are the foundation of a liberal education which frees the soul to pursue knowledge of all the disciplines and to ultimately know God and yield the gracious fruit of virtuous living.
  • Item
    Chaos and Order in Christianity
    (2023-05-10) Nino, Lucas
    To illuminate the central mysteries of Christianity and its view on sacrificial love, this thesis explores the concepts of chaos and order, typically found within mythological stories, insofar as they can be applied to Christianity. I first explain the difference between modern scientific thinking and ancient mythological thinking. I then offer an analysis of mythological thinking and how it utilizes the concepts of chaos and order in order to articulate a story, communicating practical wisdom for how man should live in the world. I apply these insights to the creation accounts in Genesis to show how the concept of the image of God possesses some parallels to other mythological stories. I then turn to Christianity, demonstrating how Christianity adopts this biblical concept and transforms it with the Incarnation. To do this, I rely on the tradition of medieval Christian spirituality, as it communicates practical wisdom similar to mythological stories yet does so in an entirely transformative way as the focus is now on Christ, who situates man’s entire being in the context of a relationship of love. Thus, I aim to show how Christianity utilizes these concepts of chaos and order to provide a description of sacrificial love.
  • Item
    The View of the Whole Person: The Difference between Appearance and Possession of Virtue in Jane Austen's Mansfield Park
    (2023-05) Haan, Ashley
    Critics of Mansfield Park criticize Austen for not having a clear moral principle or religious belief for the reader to trace throughout the novel. This view, however, betrays a gap between the critics’ understanding and Austen’s distinction between the appearance and possession of virtue—or even her recognition that virtue is the end goal. These critics that reject the depth of Austen also fail to see that Mansfield Park aims to prove the difference between the appearance of virtue, “good etiquette,” and the possession of virtue, “right conduct.” In order to identify the distinction between appearance and possession of virtue, the reader must look at how Austen is studying the whole person and using these observations to create her characters. In Mansfield Park, there are three aspects that Austen presents as crucial to the formation of virtue in a character—a character’s education, his ability to reflect and remember, and his willfulness versus dutifulness. In this paper I analyze how Austen distinguishes between the appearance and possession of virtue in the characters in Mansfield Park using these three aspects. Austen’s position becomes clear when the reader compares the major characters in these categories and distinguishes the endings that befall them.
  • Item
    Plotinus's Problem with Beauty
    (University of Dallas Braniff Graduate School, Classics Department, 2022-05-12) Broussard, Carroll Alexander
    In Book XIII of the Confessions, Augustine admits to a sin when he is moved by the beauty of songs in church. Yes, the Christian recognizes that the truths found in the Psalms are more valuable than the beauty of singing, but this reaction seems strange for the Platonic Augustine. After all, Plato, particularly in the Phaedrus, praises Beauty and its role in the philosophical life. It is easier to see why Augustine reacts the way he does not by looking to Plato, but to Plotinus, who is reluctant to refer to his first hypostasis as “the Beautiful.” For Plotinus, beauty was subordinate to good, not equal to it. A cursory reading of the Symposium and its various encomia of Eros (and eventually of the Beautiful) would leave one with the impression that Plato valued beauty just as much as good, but careful reading of Diotima’s lesson to Socrates reveals that Plotinus’s (and Augustine’s) caution of beauty is not so much a departure from Plato’s philosophy, but natural progression of it. This paper explores how Plato’s idea of the forms results from his departure from Heraclitean thought and how Plotinus sought to solve a problem in the Platonic ontological system.
  • Item
    Improving on Sallust and Tacitus: Thomas More's Narrative Techniques in Historia Richardi Tertii
    (2021-10-01T00:00:00-07:00) Johnson, RoseMary; Dr. Gerard Wegemer; Dr. David Sweet; Dr. Andrew Moran
    In his Historia Richardi Tertii, Thomas More shares a common goal with Sallust and Tacitus: to help prevent tyranny by promoting civic virtues in readers. After reviewing the similarities between Moreâ s Historia and his classical models, I employ close reading and the insights of narratology to show that More surpasses Sallust and Tacitus in the sophistication of his narrative techniques. More uses an encomiastic introduction, mimetic indirect discourse, and divergent focalization to fill the Historia with a multiplicity of voices and points of view. The result is a complex narrative that is the perfect arena for teaching the art of character discernment, especially through the â character puzzlesâ of King Edward and Queen Elizabeth. These character puzzles are carefully constructed to assist the reader in discovering and exercising the principles of character discernment. A close reading of the text shows that King Edward falls far short of the humanist ideal of kingship, since he is ambitious, imprudent, prone to flattery, and puts his own pleasure ahead of his peopleâ s good. The â character puzzleâ of Queen Elizabeth is more difficult to solve. Why does she allow her son to leave sanctuary when she knows there is â nothing more hazardousâ than to put both her sons in Richardâ s power (CW15 394/20)? By carefully analyzing the entire Historiaâ including Moreâ s references to Lucianâ s De Calumnia, Livyâ s History of Rome, the Book of Lamentations, and Petrarchâ s â De Obedientia ac Fide uxoria, Mythologiaâ â I conclude that Elizabeth approaches the decision of whether to give up her son not as a mother, but as the leader of a faction. She is primarily concerned with what will advance her political interests and restore her fortunes, not with what will save her son. After explaining Moreâ s use of narrative techniques and â character puzzlesâ to help readers discover and exercise the principles of character discernment, I conclude that the sophistication of Moreâ s narrative techniques makes his Historia Richardi Tertii superior as a work of art to Sallustâ s Bella and Tacitusâ Annales.
  • Item
    The Consolation of Dulness: The Influence of Boethius on Pope's Dunciad
    (2021-10-01T00:00:00-07:00) Peterson, Clarke; Dr. Steven Stryer; Dr. Gregory Roper
    Alexander Popeâ s Dunciad explicitly draws from major literary and philosophical texts ranging from the Bible to The Aeneid to Paradise Lost, but scholars have heretofore not observed how The Consolation of Philosophy of Boethius shapes and informs the text. After establishing the historical fact that Pope read and seriously engaged with Boethius, my thesis endeavors to establish a few key ways in which some of The Dunciadâ s most famous puzzles are elucidated when read with an eye to The Consolation. Specifically, my thesis contends that the character of Lady Philosophy was one of the progenitor images Pope drew upon when inventing the goddess Dulness, just as the character-Boethius informed his descriptions of Tibbald and Cibber. Likewise, I argue that the Mock-Heroic Games of The Dunciad, Book II can be understood as the duncesâ attempt to obtain satisfaction in the â Lesser Goodsâ delineated by Boethius in The Consolation, Book III, i.e. bodily goods, pleasure, wealth, fame, honor, and power. Furthermore, I propose that the problem of the ivory gate at the end of Book III can be resolved by reading Tibbald/Cibberâ s vision of the underworld as directly opposed to a Boethian understanding of fate and providence. Finally, I suggest that the â Problem of Powerâ in The Dunciad is satisfactorily answered by a Boethian understanding of the relationship between power and virtue.
  • Item
    Augustine's De Beata Vita: On Christianity and Philosophy
    (2021-07-01T00:00:00-07:00) Heil, Kimberly; Dr. Matthew Walz; Dr. Daniel Burns; Fr. John Bayer, S.T.D., O.Cist.
    In Augustineâ s De beata vita: On Christianity and Philosophy, I articulate how Augustine understood the relationship between Christianity and philosophy at the time of his conversion, in light of the dialogue De beata vita. In the dialogue, Augustine and his interlocutors take up a philosophical genre, a philosophical mode of inquiry, and a philosophical question: this is a work on the happy life, in dialogue form, in which the interlocutors are asking what it takes for a person to be happy. Augustine is writing as one in a tradition of philosophers seeking to understand and pursue happiness, and makes ready reference to the arguments and conclusions those philosophers have made. The completion of the human inquiry in the dialogue is theological in nature: while happiness is seen by philosophers to be the possession or having of God, the fulfillment of this comes from Christianity in the form of the indwelling of the Holy Trinityâ a revealed truth. While philosophy is, in some modes, theological, revealed theology outstrips the capacities of philosophy. The two are consonant, however. To see this consonance, I engage in a close reading of the dialogue. Then, I look at the various authors whose influence on this particular dialogue are clear. The most notable of those are Ambrose, Cicero, and Plotinus. Finally, I make my argument that Augustine sees Christianity and philosophy as consonant: that is, Christianity encompasses true philosophy, and a Christian engaged in the activity of philosophizing is a philosopher par excellence. However, Christianity is not only philosophy, nor is philosophy a requirement for being a Christian, and Augustineâ s mother Monica demonstrates that. She plays an important role both as her particular status as a fully initiated Christian, and as a representative of the Church. Without formal philosophical training, she has attained to the summit of philosophy, and under her maternal care she shares her wisdom with all persons who are chastely seeking it.
  • Item
    An Art of Rhetorical Listening: Aristotleâ s Treatment of Audience in the Rhetoric
    (2021-04-01T00:00:00-07:00) Schmidt, Christopher; Dr. Scott Crider; Dr. Gregory Roper; Dr. Joshua Parens
    For Aristotle, the art of rhetoricâ an ability to see what is persuasive in any given caseâ is a matter both of speaking and of listening, of persuading and of judging persuasive speeches. Rhetorical artists may exercise their theoretical powers for the sake of productive activity, discovering persuasive arguments to deploy in the courtroom and the assembly, or they may use those same powers to judge the validity or political utility of other speakersâ arguments, â seeingâ the difference between the persuasive and the â apparently persuasive.â This conception of rhetorical artistry is consistent with Aristotleâ s teaching about arts generally. In the Physics and the Metaphysics, Aristotle distinguishes between technÄ , which is a rational and theoretical capacity, and poiÄ sis, which is a productive activity. In the Politics, he advises free people to study the arts, not so that they may please audiences or clients with their artifacts (which is a vulgar pursuit), but so that they may become better judges of othersâ works (a liberal one). Consistent with this conception of receptive and evaluative artistry, the Rhetoric analyzes topics, proofs, enthymeme, and metaphor from both the speaker and the audienceâ s perspectives, showing how one may be rhetorically artistic both as a speaker and as a judge. The dialectical arrangement of the Rhetoric trains Aristotleâ s students and readers in this art of rhetorical listening, teaching them to see not only the available â meansâ of persuasion, but also persuasionâ s material, formal, and final causes.
  • Item
    Tyranny and Political Philosophy
    (2021-04-01T00:00:00-07:00) Guinea, David; Dr. Joshua Parens; Dr. Richard Dougherty; Dr. David Sweet
    Tyranny is a theme that reverberates in politico-philosophical scholarship since the post-war era of the twentieth century and it has been taken up with a renewed interest in recent years. Aside from Leo Strauss, only very few scholars have focused on the link between ancient and modern tyranny, and even fewer on how the concept of tyranny might give insight into the study of political philosophy itself. In this dissertation, I argue that the concept of tyranny can make us aware of the permanent character of the problems that arise between philosophy and politics, and help us distinguish between the core and the peripheral tenets of political philosophy. On this basis, I contend that it is possible to draw a closer connection between Socratic and Machiavellian political philosophy. Through a close reading of select passages of Xenophon, Plato and Aristotle, on the one hand, and of Machiavelli, on the other, I address the main differences that separate the philosophic from the political way of life. I first analyze the concept of tyranny from the viewpoint of the city and of â real menâ (andres), and then contrast it with the perspective of the philosopher. I assert that the praise of kalokagathia is more of a concession than the real essence of the classicsâ philosophic teachings. Although I show that there is a close connection between the philosopher and the tyrant, I also explain what sets them apart. The subtle distinction that the classics made between the principles of their philosophic politics as opposed to the principles of philosophy itself, I argue, helps us to understand the classics better and to read Machiavelli in a different, more benevolent and more philosophical light. While I acknowledge that modern forms of tyranny, such as the universal and homogeneous state that Kojève proposes, originate in Machiavelliâ s revolution, I hold that the essence of Machiavelliâ s teachings, in harmony with the classics, shores up philosophy, not tyranny. The return both to the classics and to the origins of modernity that I put forward aims at keeping philosophy alive against tyranny of thought.
  • Item
    Dante in the Schoolroom of the Stars: Toward a Doxological Pedagogy
    (2021-05-01T00:00:00-07:00) Carlson, Joseph; Dr, Anthony Nussmeier; Dr. Kathryn Davis
    A faithful doxological pedagogy seeks to establish and foster in the heart and mind of the student fealty, adoration, and cheerful obedience to Jesus Christ through a biblically-grounded curriculum and atmosphere built on the understanding that apart from right worship, right thinking and right feeling can never lead to right action. This is built on the fundamental worldview assumption that Christ is Lord, that man was created by Him and for Him, and that true human flourishing can only be experienced with all of life lived in concert with His design. Man was created in the image of God, the God who is love; therefore man essentially is homo amans, loving man. What we think, how we feel, what we do ultimately stems from and reenforces the supreme object of our love. Danteâ s journey through the heavens provides a perfect metaphor for the nature and trajectory of education. The telos of man is wisdom. But this is a wisdom defined not by skill, or practical know how, or the summation of years of study. No, true wisdom begins with the fear of the Lord. True wisdom is worship. With the worship of God defining the center of what man is for, education can be seen as the training ground of worship. Parents and teachers shape and influence their children and students to think and to feel in everything they do, regardless of intention. The doxological pedagogy these pages have laid out seeks to place a biblically-grounded philosophy of education, as well as practical steps for implementation, in the hands of parents and educators, training them to see their students as homo amans, and their own role as shepherds, guiding them to a full life of worship and allegiance to the Lord Jesus Christ, a life dominated by a love for Him and all He has done.
  • Item
    The Relation Between Physics and Mathematics in Thomas Aquinas's Division and Methods of the Sciences
    (2014-05-01T00:00:00-07:00) Thurau, John II; Dr. Christopher Mirus; Dr. Matthew D. Walz
    This thesis addresses the question â How can mathematics provide knowledge of physical objects?â which was provoked by Thomas Aquinasâ s inclusion of â intermediateâ (i.e., physicomathematical) sciences in his Division and Methods of the Sciences. In examining Aquinasâ s process of division, I paid special attention to the way he distinguishes the sciences according to the formal ratio of their objects, an important development upon Boethiusâ s framework. This led me to discuss the modes of abstraction proper to each science and, in turn, how their distinct epistemic foundations seem to prevent one science from being meaningfully applied to the study of another. However, in the case of physics, the accident quantity is implicitly included in the definition of its objects, suggesting that mathematics can, in some way, inform their study (even though mathematical propositions themselves are neither true nor false from the standpoint of extramental reality). I concluded that the knowledge obtained through physico-mathematical sciences is conditional in an ontological sense, for the mathematical systems that these sciences employ cannot be more than hypothetical depictions of observed phenomena. Nevertheless, insofar as the conclusions of a given mathematical model are corroborated by physical data, the hypothesis of the model is validated. In fact, mathematicsâ indifference to the material world is of remarkable value to the physicist. As an ordered system of the imagination, mathematics enables the physicist to reinterpret the material world according to its quantitative aspects in an idealized setting. In this way, mathematics can become an indispensable tool in the physicistâ s quest to locate and abstract the universal natures of physical bodies.
  • Item
    Property and Privacy of Conscience in Montesquieuâ s Spirit of the Laws
    (2018-10-01T00:00:00-07:00) Peterson, John; Joshua Parens; David Upham; Stuart Warner
    Montesquieuâ s Spirit of the Laws is a sprawling work with six untitled and seemingly unconnected parts. How are these parts related, and how, especially, does the sixth part, on the history of Roman, French, and Feudal laws, relate to the other parts? In particular, why does Montesquieu pay special attention to the evolving understanding of property in these different legal environments, and what might his treatment of this subject have to do with his more well-known treatments of liberty, commerce, and religion? This dissertation offers answers to these questions through a close reading of the text of Spirit of the Laws, paying particular attention to Montesquieuâ s use of the figure of the barbarian in parts 6, 2, and 3, and connecting these passages to books 11â 12, on political liberty, and portions of book 26 on political and civil law. It connects Montesquieuâ s arguments in support of political libertyâ in which he implicitly makes common cause with thinkers like Hobbes and Lockeâ with the more determinist, historicist, and even sociological portions of his work, which have inspired a different strand of political philosophy. Finally, it gives an account of how parts 4 and 5, on commerce and religion, are based upon the first half of the book. This investigation yields the following conclusions: Montesquieu reinterprets the history of law in Europe in order to separate out the barbarian spirit from its Christian and Roman admixtures and translate it into the modern context. He takes from the barbarian the grounding of property rights in the individual conscience in order to make psychological security central to the social contract. His teachings on commerce and religion are, in his order of presentation, manifestations of the barbarian use of property as a sacred and inviolable space of security for the individual. Religious liberty and commercial republicanism are, for Montesquieu, adaptations of the barbarian spirit to the Christian world, meant not to usurp religious authority or undermine virtue, but to make concessions to human weakness. This teaching, however, effectively transforms religion into privacy of conscience, and makes property into the palladium that protects that most sacred of possessions.
  • Item
    The Soul-Reforming Rhetoric of Thomas More's Dialogue of Comfort
    (2021-04-01T00:00:00-07:00) Friddle, Patrick; Dr. Gerard Wegemer; Dr. Andrew Moran
    How does Antony comfort Vincent in Thomas Moreâ s Dialogue of Comfort Against Tribulation? While other critics focus on specific aspects of Antonyâ s comfort and their reforming effect on a specific power of Vincentâ s soul, I attempt to show in this paper the effect of the whole of Antonyâ s comfort on the whole of Vincentâ s soul. First, I define the three appeals of persuasion, since comfort is a reforming kind of rhetoric through appeals. Then, I analyze how Antony discovers, organizes, and stylizes those appeals: he discovers the appeals in Vincentâ s responses, organizes them according to what Vincent is ready for, and stylizes them so that Vincent will enduringly remember his counsel. Lastly, I look at the reforming effect of Antonyâ s appeals on Vincentâ s soul: Antony helps to instruct Vincentâ s intellect through logical appeals that draw from reason and faith, refashion his memory and imagination through passionate appeals that are humorous and serious, and redirect his heart (his will and affections) through ethical appeals that move him to trust in Christ alone. The work as a whole is Moreâ s vision of a comprehensive attempt to reform the soul so as to pursue freedom and trust in the grace of God. By explicating Antonyâ s rhetorical appeals and Vincentâ s soul-responses, this paper relates the powers of rhetoric with the powers of the soul. Although grace reforms the soul in the supernatural order, rhetoric helps to reform the soul to a great degree in the order of nature.
  • Item
    The Causes of Tyranny as a Guide to Political Reform: St. Thomas More's History of King Richard III of England
    (2017-04-01T00:00:00-07:00) Mock, Carle; Dr. Gerard Wegemer; Dr. Richard Dougherty; Dr. Daniel Burns
    Part One of this dissertation establishes a basis for interpreting Moreâ s History of King Richard III. Chapter One inquires into its genre, concluding it is a â rhetorical historyâ like the histories composed by Thucydides, Livy, Sallust, and Tacitus, a genre similar to drama which aims to reveal fundamental moral and political truths by following classical rhetorical principles. Chapter Two investigates the relationship between the nine textually significant extant versions of this work, and concludes that they derive from a series of revised drafts. The English versions are shown to be preliminary drafts, with the Paris manuscript being the Latin version based on the latest draft. Chapter Three analyzes the changes between drafts and finds that More carefully revised his work and paid particular attention to concepts important in political philosophy. The four chapters of Part Two interpret the work's political teaching. Chapter Four introduces the major themeâ the causes of tyranny in the England depictedâ by contrasting tyranny with a good political order, â republic.â This chapter defines tyranny, distinguishes the tyrant Richard from the merely bad king Edward, notes the relationship between tyranny and faction, and describes the attributes of a republic and its members, â citizens.â It also discusses aligning public and private interests and avoiding conflicts of interest as principles of political reform. Chapter Five inquires into institutional causes of tyranny, discussing sanctuary and the dangers of imprudent rational critique, the strengths and weaknesses of England's criminal, civil, and constitutional law, and the weaknesses of hereditary kingship. Chapter Six inquires into moral causes, concentrating on individual failures of the virtue fides, including persons who are too trusting and those who are not trustworthy, discusses when it is appropriate to trust, and notes the importance of trustworthiness in political teaching. Chapter Seven inquires into nonhuman causesâ Divine Providence, fate, and fortuneâ and concludes that despite the limits these place on human power, a significant arena for choice and action remains. Humans have free will, and should choose to work for the real, but limited possibility of political reform. The Appendix includes a new literal translation of Richard III from Latin.
  • Item
    A Tale of Two Tragedies: Catharsis of Hero and City in Miltonâ s Samson Agonistes and Shakespeareâ s Coriolanus
    (2019-10-01T00:00:00-07:00) Szczesny, Stanley; Dr. Scott Crider; Dr. Joshua Parens; Dr. David Sweet
    In his prologue to Samson Agonistes, Milton champions the conventions of Greek tragedy over those followed by Elizabethan dramatists. Great tragedy, he contends, purges fear and pity out of audiences, facilitating a more sober, moral, rational life. Based on his argument and on the content of the poem, the most important difference between classical and Elizabethan tragedy is the Chorus. The Chorus represents a poetic, monolithic, communal voice that interacts dialectically with a strong, independent hero. The Elizabethans eschewed the unified Chorus in favor of realistic and comedic imitation of the various members of the British masses, which, according to Milton, dilutes the dialectical conflict of heroic independence with community morals and weakens the potential of tragedy to produce a cathartic synthesis in the audience. In order to further understand and test Miltonâ s conception of the Chorus, this dissertation compares Samson Agonistes with Shakespeareâ s Coriolanus. Coriolanus was selected because many critics have contended that it is the closest Shakespearean tragedy comes to imitating the unified structure and aims of classical tragedy while still retaining many Elizabethan conventions. Coriolanus is a model of the Aristotelian tragic hero who is superior in virtue but falls because of an error. His aristocratic, military values are depicted in sharp contrast with the increasingly republican values of the Roman citizens. Those citizens are depicted in typical, Elizabethan fashion, making their conflict with Coriolanus an ideal contrast with the Chorusâ s conflict with Samson. Further, there are many fascinating parallels between the experiences of Samson and Coriolanus and in the structure of both plays. This dissertation will argue that while Shakespeareâ s more realistic and entertaining imitation of complex political interactions does produce tragic emotions, especially in the final confrontation between Coriolanus, Volumnia, and Virgilia, Coriolanus dies rejected by Romans, Volscians, and often by audiences. On the other hand, Miltonâ s tightly constructed dialectic between Samson and the Chorus, including the conflicts with Manoa and Dalila, tends to produce a more meditative experience and to mediate a clearer cathartic resolution. Samson dies celebrated by the Danite Chorus, and audiences, with some important exceptions, have accepted him as a hero.
  • Item
    "Charity Itself": Virtue, Happiness, and Christian Love in Pride and Prejudice
    (2020-06-01T00:00:00-07:00) Hardy, Augusta; Theresa Kenney, Ph.D.; Steven Stryer, Ph.d.; David O. Davies, Ph.D.
    Despite the historical evidence that Jane Austen was a devout Anglican, many readers have nonetheless contended that her Christian faith does not truly inform her fiction. Even those who do identify Christian themes in her works tend to argue that her early three novels, of which Pride and Prejudice is one, have a lightness of theme and tone that Austen abandoned in favor of more serious and explicitly religious subjects for her final three novels. While critics have described Christian elements in Pride and Prejudiceâ such as the importance of repentance, humility, and forgivenessâ none have yet made a prolonged study of the way these Christian ideas pervade, not simply punctuate, the narrative. In my dissertation, I argue that Pride and Prejudice is a fully Christian work because Austenâ s moral concerns in the novel are fundamentally, if not explicitly, Christian. The novel is governed from beginning to end by several essential Christian virtues, the chief of which is charity, the queen of the theological virtues. In their different ways, both Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy must improve in Christian charity as a preparation for romantic love: she must learn to judge with charity, and he must learn to consider othersâ needs ahead of his own. Charity is also key to Austenâ s understanding of the happy ending which rewards her characters; she suggests that her characters can hope to achieve real happiness in proportion to their ability to love others unselfishly. Indeed, her idea that happiness consists in generous love is a reflection of her belief that the Christianâ s ultimate happiness and reward is loving communion with God and the saints in heaven. Following charity, humility is also central to the novelâ s Christian vision. Austen shows that this quintessentially Christian virtue must inform justice: only through the humble recognition of their own faults are the hero and heroine able to treat each other justly. Their humility also prepares them for gratitude and forgiveness, attitudes which are themselves the precursors to love.
  • Item
    Heidegger, Lonergan, and the Modern Philosophic Tradition
    (2017-07-01T00:00:00-07:00) Arioli, Daniel; Dr. Robert E. Wood; Fr. James Lehrberger; Dr. Michael Sharkey
    This dissertation begins from the guiding notion that Bernard Lonergan and Martin Heidegger, by virtue of their dialogue with the Western philosophic tradition and their attempt to overcome the modern paradigm of knowing and of the human person, and when read together, offer a unique and broad horizon wherein to situate a robust philosophical anthropology, taking the human person as both an intellectual being and as fully situated in a history and culture. The basic thesis is that, taken together, Lonergan and Heidegger offer a framework for getting beyond or sublating the impasses of modern thought. The dissertation first lays out the basis of the claim that Lonergan and Heidegger can be read as responding specifically to the problematic set by modern philosophy. It then presents each thinkerâ s formulation of that problem. The bulk of the dissertation lays out, as running parallel, some of the central features of each thinkerâ s master worksâ Insight and Being and Timeâ with an eye to allowing their complementarity stand forth. As regards Lonergan, we treat first the notion of insight, followed by the patterns of experience as pre-reflective organizing principles of experience; then we move on to a treatment of history and the place of fully-human knowing in that history, with a discussion of the self-affirmation of the knower. With Heidegger, we begin with a discussion of Being-in-the-world, move through a treatment of historicity and facticityâ Daseinâ s â thrownnessâ â and then proceed to a discussion of judgment and the ways in which knowing must be regarded as a founded (or non-primary) mode of access to reality. Finally, we compare both thinkersâ understandings of being in a final chapter, and suggest that these understandings of being are an essential part of both thinkersâ understandings of the human person. The dissertation concludes with a brief assessment of the possible avenues of further investigation, with a special emphasis on the possible development of a philosophical anthropology taking its bearings from the insights of Lonergan and Heidegger.
  • Item
    Gabriel Marcel's Metaphysics of Hospitality
    (2020-10-01T00:00:00-07:00) Schwarz, Mary Francesca; Dr. Chad Engelland; Dr. Jonathan Sanford; Dr. Robert Kugelmann
    This project emerges at the intersection of Gabriel Marcelâ s metaphysics and philosophical anthropology. I present a phenomenological inquiry of Marcelâ s notion of the metaphysics of hospitality and how he believes it heals the broken world. To illustrate this notion of the broken world, I place Marcel in dialogue with the social philosophy of Jean-Paul Sartre which is characterized by alienation and despair and show how antithetical it is to Marcelâ s healing notion of hospitality. I also explore the concept of hospitality from a sociological and historical perspective and as it is considered in the philosophies of Emmanuel Levinas and Jacques Derrida. The thesis explores the ontological framework of these two recent thinkers in order to show that their accounts of absolute alterity and unconditionality have problematic implications for their claims regarding hospitality. By presenting Marcelâ s ontological framework and his belief that alterity is relative, I show how his metaphysics of hospitality offers an attitude of reverence for the human person. The Marcelian concepts of disponibilité, presence, participation, sacredness and human dignity enrich the understanding of a metaphysics of hospitality, which both respects the value of otherness and fosters genuine communion.