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Liberal Faith

Essays in Honor of Philip Quinn

Edited by Paul J. Weithman

Publication Year: 2008

Philip Quinn, John A. O’Brien Professor at the University of Notre Dame from 1985 until his death in 2004, was well known for his work in the philosophy of religion, political philosophy, and core areas of analytic philosophy. Although the breadth of his interests was so great that it would be virtually impossible to identify any subset of them as representative, the contributors to this volume provide an excellent introduction to, and advance the discussion of, some of the questions of central importance to Quinn in the last years of his working life. Paul J. Weithman argues in his introduction that Quinn’s interest and analyses in many areas grew out of a distinctive and underlying sensibility that we might call “liberal faith.” It included belief in the value of a liberal education and in rigorous intellectual inquiry, the acceptance of enduring religious, cultural, and political pluralism, along with a keen awareness of problems posed by pluralism, and a deeply held but non-utopian faith in liberal democratic politics. These provocative essays, at the cutting edge of epistemology, the philosophy of religion, philosophical theology, and political philosophy, explore the tenets of liberal faith and invite continuing engagement with the philosophical issues.

Published by: University of Notre Dame Press

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pp. viii-ix

This volume collects some of the papers from the Philip Quinn Memorial Conference held at the University of Notre Dame in December 2005. The conference was made possible by the John A. O’Brien Chair of Philosophy at Notre Dame and by the university’s College of Arts and Letters. The conference could not have been held without the organizational work of Angela Smith of the Notre Dame...

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pp. 1-24

Philip Quinn was the John A. O’Brien Professor of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame from 1985 until his death in November 2004. The present volume collects some of the papers presented at a memorial conference for Professor Quinn held at Notre Dame in December 2005. The papers in the collection are by some friends of Phil’s whose work he regarded highly...

Part 1. Epistemology

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1. Self-Trust and the Diversity of Religions

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pp. 27-42

The diversity of religions is widely regarded as one of the most serious problems for conscientious belief in a particular religion, both among ordinary people and among professional philosophers. The problem is not unique to religious belief because people have the same reaction to any instance of irresolvable disagreement. I think it is illuminating that this is not just a philosopher’s puzzle...

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2. An Epistemology That Matters

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pp. 43-55

The two most fundamental questions for an epistemology are, what is involved in having good reasons to believe a claim, and what is involved in meeting the higher standard of knowing that a claim is true? The theory of justified belief tries to answer the former, whereas the theory of knowledge addresses the latter. The history of epistemology, however, can in large part be read as a history of trying to establish that there is a necessary...

Part 2. Philosophy of Religion

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3. Presence and Omnipresence

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pp. 59-82

Thomas Aquinas, who has a rich, sophisticated account of love, thinks that love consists in two desires: the desire for the good of the beloved and the desire for union with the beloved.1 In the contemporary literature on love, there is considerable discussion of the connection between love and the first of these desires, for the good of the beloved. In this paper, I want to reflect on the second of the desires of love, the desire for union with the beloved...

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4. Self-Annihilation or Damnation?: A Disputable Question in Christian Eschatology

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pp. 83-117

By the fourth century, if not earlier, a picture of what happens to human beings at the death of the body had been largely agreed upon by Christians. It was a picture intimately linked with a particular anthropology, as all such inevitably are: depicting what happens when we die is always at least an extrapolation from what we take ourselves to be while alive; it is also among the more important tools we have for focusing and elaborating our self-understanding and for meditating discursively and visually upon what we take ourselves to be...

Part 3. Political Philosophy

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5. Moral Foundations of Liberal Democracy, Secular Reasons, and Liberal Neutrality toward the Good

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pp. 121-144

A comprehensive political philosophy should provide an account of the normative basis of the form of government it favors. It should also show how the normative basis it articulates can justify a constitutional structure. In that light, it will support a range of standards not only for evaluating laws and public policies but also for the ethics of citizenship on the part of individuals. The form of government in question here is liberal democracy, and my central questions are how it may best...

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6. Egalitarianism without Equality?

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pp. 145-175

Like, I expect, many other people, I am drawn to democratic egalitarianism in large part because it seems to me to fit so well with my religious convictions. Democracy’s ethos of equal respect for all seems to me to be among the proper political and cultural expressions of the universal love my religion enjoins. Egalitarian principles of distributive justice seem to me to be among the proper ways...

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7. Torture, Justification, and Human Rights: Toward an Absolute Proscription

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pp. 176-201

I recently published an article entitled “History, Human Rights, and Globalization” that attempted to gauge changes since 1948—attributable in part to globalization processes—in the content of human rights, the major abusers and guarantors of human rights, and the justification of human rights.1 It is the last measure— justification—that is revisited in this essay, prompted both by certain probative...

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Afterword: A Eulogy for Phil Quinn

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pp. 202-206

Phil Quinn was a jewel. He was rare and valuable, a treasure whose loss we mourn.1 Phil had a powerful and supple mind of crystalline clarity. He was immensely knowledgeable in most areas of philosophy and contributed to many of them, writing more than 150 scholarly articles. He excelled as a commentator and interlocutor. Many of us are greatly indebted to Phil for his copious and insightful comments on our work—always delivered within a day, penciled in the margins of our papers in his textbook hand...


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pp. 207-208


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pp. 209-216

E-ISBN-13: 9780268096557
E-ISBN-10: 0268096554
Print-ISBN-13: 9780268044169
Print-ISBN-10: 0268044163

Page Count: 224
Publication Year: 2008