Volume XVI

Annual issue 2023 (in progress)

1. Can a Catholic be Liberal? Roman Catholicism and Liberalism in a Political Economy Perspective (1800–1970)

Stefano Solari.
The philosophy of the Enlightenment and political thought of modernity found tough opposition in the Roman Catholic Church. Liberalism was associated with Free Masons and revolutionary intent. Nonetheless, liberalism and political economy stimulated some theoretical analysis and specific theoretical positions in terms of social philosophy and social economics by the Church. This paper presents an analysis of encyclical letters and other papal documents, as well as the writings of other Catholic scholars, to elaborate on the theoretical points used to contrast liberalism. Compromises, as well as turning points in the evolution of the Catholic position, are investigated. Lastly, the epistemological and historical reasons for the affinity of Roman Catholicism with ethical liberalism and the limits of this similarity are discussed. 1. Liberal and Catholic, an Italian drama
Section: Articles

2. Ways of Knowing Agency and Development: notes on the philosophy of science and the conduct and use of inquiry

Pablo Garcés-Velástegui.
Development is a value-laden concept and, as such, an essentially contested issue. To different extents, different ideas of development entail different assumptions about human agency. Although economics has been the most influential discipline, increasingly different accounts highlight distinct features of human beings and the contexts they inhabit, which lead to different implications. This article seeks to delineate the boundaries of the discussion and map out what are arguably the main alternatives within the field. Since such discussion deals with the question of what human action is, the argument is elaborated from the philosophy of science. Contra convention, the discussion uses a philosophical ontology, which is concerned with out connection to the world. Jackson’s heuristic is adopted to generate four philosophies of science and four notions of agency, regarded as ideal typical. Neopositivism advances a rational agent, reflexivity suggests a patient, critical realism furthers an interagent, and analyticism proposes a transagent. This article invites scholars and practitioners interested in this increasingly interdisciplinary area to raise their awareness regarding the foundations on which their ideas about human agency build and note the implications they have for the production and consumption of knowledge.
Section: Articles