(Epistemic Evil: A Third Problem of Evil makes several sig...)
Epistemic Evil: A Third Problem of Evil makes several significant contributions to scholarship on the problem of evil. It defends an ontological formulation of the problem of evil that differs significantly from both the logical and the evidential formulations. It provides a detailed examination of the best-of-all-possible-worlds hypothesis and the relevance of that hypothesis to the problem of evil. It offers detailed criticisms of the arguments of many leading Christian apologists. Above all, however, it identifies a third problem of evil. Tierno calls this the problem of epistemic evil. This problem arises in the context of our efforts to make judgments about the world in which we live and about how we ought to human understanding, act in that world. Such judgments often lead, through no corrigible defect in the conduct of the agents who make them, to human suffering. There is no sense in which this suffering is deserved. Moreover, the erroneous judgments that lead to this suffering are neither actually nor potentially good for anything. These judgments therefore appear to be anomalous from the standpoint of the Judaeo-Christian creation hypothesis. Tierno carefully develops and forcefully defends the problem of epistemic evil. The result is a groundbreaking work in theodicy that should be of interest to all scholars who are seriously concerned with the problem of evil.
(In this critical examination of Descartes's Fourth Medita...)
In this critical examination of Descartes's Fourth Meditation and the latter part of the Sixth Meditation, Joel Thomas Tierno has produced not only an interesting contribution to Cartesian scholarship, but also a groundbreaking work in theodicy. Each of the theodicean problems that Descartes examines is developed in detail. So are his various arguments with respect to the compatibility of these forms of error and God's infinite perfection. As a part of this process, the significance of the problem Descartes raised in the Fourth Meditation to his larger epistemological project in the Meditations is carefully considered. This relation has not previously been adequately appreciated or investigated. The distinctive feature of Tierno's arguments is that his conclusions are drawn from the failure of Descartes's arguments in the Fourth Meditation. Tierno implies that these arguments are crucial to Descartes's philosophical project as a whole and, as such, deserve greater attention.
Bachelor, State University of New York, Oswego, 1981. Master of Arts, State University of New York, Brockport, 1982. Ma, State University of New York, Buffalo, 1991.
Doctor of Philosophy, State University of New York, Buffalo, 1991.
Instructor State University of New York, Buffalo, 1984—1986, 1993, Elmira College, 1993—1994. Assistant professor Erie Community College, 1994—2000. Professor College Southern Nevada, Henderson, since 2000.
Instructor Buffalo State College, 1995—2000. Reviewer Sophia, Melbourne, 2000—2006.
Member of American Civil Liberties Union, Southern Poverty Law Center, American Philosophical Association, Phi Theta Kappa.
Married Gina Sully, November 25, 2001.