Critics often charge that agent-causal libertarianism is unintelligible due to the uniqueness of agent-causation—the sui generis causal relationship said to be involved when agents make free choices. This paper presents five objections, which are taken to be the only good objections, to agent-causal libertarianism and argues they all fail to show agent-causal libertarianism is unintelligible. The first four objections fail outright. The fifth objection fails in a special way. Naturalistic agent-causal libertarian theories succumb to this fifth objection; theistic agent-causal libertarian theories do not. This entails that if agent-causal libertarianism is intelligible, then it is only so within theism.
This article critically analyzes the environmental economics paradigm of David Pearce and Robert Kerry Turner. Our analysis is inspired by the philosophy of Herman Dooyeweerd, in particular his transcendental criticism and theory of modalities. We describe how Pearce and Turner theorize the concept of sustainable development. On the basis of this description we identify immanent tensions in their approach and analyze to what extent these tensions are caused by implicit normative presuppositions in the key concepts used by Pearce and Turner. Finally, we examine whether Dooyeweerd’s conception of the economic aspect can diminish these tensions.
In this paper I explore, in sections 2 and 3, respectively, Herman Dooyeweerd’s notion of naive experience and the notion of common sense as found in the writings of Thomas Reid and G. E. Moore. I argue in section 4 that naive experience and common sense are assigned a structurally similar functional role by their advocates—viz., the role of touchstone for philosophy. In the final section I stage a conversation between Dooyeweerd and Reid about the touchstones they adopt.
Students and philosophers alike often find Dooyeweerd’s writings unclear and inaccessible, and the ideas expressed in them obscure and difficult to grasp. In this paper I will first explore the issue of unclarity in Dooyeweerd’s work—for example, what makes Dooyeweerdian writings difficult to understand? Why is it that his meaning is often unclear? And does this imply that something is (philosophically) wrong with his writings? Second, and as a case in point regarding unclarity in Dooyeweerd’s work, I will examine an important distinction drawn in Reformational philosophy, namely, between naive experience and theoretical thinking. In his paper “The Amsterdam Philosophy: A Preliminary Critique,” philosopher and theologian John Frame criticizes Dooyeweerd for his unclear writings and for drawing an implausibly sharp distinction between naive experience and theoretical thinking. Assessing Frame’s critique will serve as a framework for the discussion of these two related issues.
This article revisits theologian Ulrich Duchrow’s three-decade-old use of the Protestant notion of status confessionis to denounce the capitalist global economy. Scholars quickly dismissed Duchrow’s argument; however, philosopher Thomas Pogge has developed a remarkable “negative duty”—based critique of the current global economic order that might help revitalize Duchrow’s position. The article argues that sound reasons exist for the churches to declare the contemporary world economy a—provisionally termed—status confessionis minor. After explaining the inadequacy of Duchrow’s original position and summarizing Pogge’s account, the article develops a twofold argument. First, Pogge’s in-depth inquiry into the world economy gives Duchrow’s call for a status confessionis a strong yet narrowing economic foundation. Second, to declare the world economy a status confessionis minor is theological-ethically justifiable if the limited though indispensable “prophetic” significance of doing so is acknowledged. Thus, Duchrow’s approach is justified, but only partially.