Friday, August 5, 2022
Friday, July 29, 2022
Saturday, July 23, 2022
Mullins’ reply can be found in the first part of the post (titled “Mullins Strikes Back”). The second part is a reply by Schmid. Because my article was directed at Mullins rather than Schmid, and because Mullins’ reply (and this rejoinder of mine) are already quite long as it is, I am in the present post going to confine my attention to Mullins’ remarks. I intend no disrespect to Schmid. But I have been meaning anyway to write up a reply to his recent article on my Neo-Platonic argument for God’s existence (to which he refers in this latest piece). So I will put off commenting on Schmid until I am able to get to that.
Wednesday, July 20, 2022
Thursday, July 14, 2022
Philip Goff to criticizing the panpsychism he defends in his book and elsewhere. Goff begins by reminding the reader that he and I agree that the mathematized conception of nature that Galileo and his successors introduced into modern physics does not capture all there is to the material world. But beyond that we differ profoundly. Goff writes:
I agree with Galileo (ironic, given the title of my book) that the qualities aren’t really out there in the world but exist only in consciousness. So I don’t think we need to account for the redness of the rose any more than we need to account for the Loch Ness monster (neither exist!); but we do need to account for the redness in my experience. Following Russell and Eddington I do this by incorporating the qualities of experience into the intrinsic nature of matter, ultimately leading me to a panpsychist theory of reality.
Sunday, July 10, 2022
Sunday, July 3, 2022
Panpsychism is the view that conscious awareness pervades the physical world, down to the level of basic particles. In recent years, philosopher Philip Goff has become an influential proponent of the view, defending it in his books and . He builds on ideas developed by contemporary philosophers like David Chalmers and Galen Strawson, who in turn were influenced by early twentieth-century thinkers like Bertrand Russell and Arthur Eddington (though Russell, it should be noted, was not himself a panpsychist).
Monday, June 27, 2022
On CNN the other day, liberal commentator Van Jones complained that the Democrats are “becoming a party of the very high and the very low” ends of the economic spectrum, and do not appeal to those in the vast middle, including the working class. He notes that the “very well-educated and very well-off” segment of the party talks in a way that sounds “bizarre” to ordinary people, citing as examples the use of terms like “Latinx” and “BIPOC.” He could easily have added others, such as “cisgender,” “whiteness,” “intersectionality,” “heteronormativity,” “the carceral state,” and on and on. To the average person, the commentators and activists who use such jargon – insistently, humorlessly, and as if everyone does or ought to agree – sound like cult members in need of deprogramming, and certainly of electoral defeat. (I would also note that having a college degree and being facile with trendy political theory does not suffice to make one “very well-educated,” but let that pass.)
Sunday, June 19, 2022
Sunday, June 12, 2022
Friday, June 10, 2022
Tuesday, June 7, 2022
1. Church Teaching against Racism
2. Late Scholastics and Early Modern Popes against Slavery
3. The Rights and Duties of Nations and Immigrants
4. What is Critical Race Theory?
5. Philosophical Problems with Critical Race Theory
6. Social Scientific Objections to Critical Race Theory
7. Catholicism versus Critical Race Theory
Monday, June 6, 2022
Tuesday, May 31, 2022
Monday, May 23, 2022
Saturday, May 14, 2022
But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me; for you are not on the side of God, but of men.” Then Jesus told his disciples, “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. (Matthew 16:22-25)
Monday, May 9, 2022
Thursday, May 5, 2022
Saturday, April 30, 2022
Monday, April 25, 2022
Friday, April 22, 2022
Many thanks for your enjoyable and vigorous rejoinder. If your eyes fall on this, I know they will be rolling at the prospect of yet another round. But I cannot resist a reply to what seem to me basic misunderstandings, along with crucial concessions disguised as rebuttals. I do promise to refrain from Photoshop antics and cheap puns, for the sake of preserving our armistice and basic good taste. Plus, I wouldn’t want any of your readers to spill their sherry.
Monday, April 18, 2022
Tuesday, April 12, 2022
Tuesday, April 5, 2022
Sunday, April 3, 2022
Thursday, March 31, 2022
Sunday, March 27, 2022
Monday, March 21, 2022
Nobody denies that conspiracies occur. They happen every time two or more people collude in order to secure some malign end. When people criticize “conspiracy theories,” it is a particular kind of conspiracy that they find implausible. I’ve written several times before about some of the marks of conspiracy theories of this dubious kind. rather than a rigorous and dispassionate consideration of the merits and deficiencies of all alternative possible explanations. They tend to violate Ockham’s razor, posit conspiracies that are too vast and complicated to be psychologically and sociologically feasible, and reflect naiveté about the way modern bureaucracies function. The vastness of the posited conspiracy often has implications for the reliability of news media and other sources of information that and unfalsifiable. (For simplicity’s sake, from here on out I’ll use the expression “conspiracy theories” to refer, specifically, to theories having vices like these – acknowledging, again, that there are conspiracies of a more plausible kind, and thus conspiracy theories of a more plausible kind.)
Monday, March 14, 2022
Friday, March 4, 2022
At one and the same time:
- the damage inflicted by the aggressor on the nation or community of nations must be lasting, grave, and certain;
- all other means of putting an end to it must have been shown to be impractical or ineffective;
- there must be serious prospects of success;
- the use of arms must not produce evils and disorders graver than the evil to be eliminated. The power of modern means of destruction weighs very heavily in evaluating this condition.
End quote. I submit that Russia’s invasion clearly fails to meet the first, second, and fourth criteria, and NATO military action against Russia would clearly fail to meet the second, third, and fourth criteria.
Friday, February 25, 2022
Monday, February 21, 2022
Friday, February 18, 2022
Friday, February 11, 2022
Wednesday, February 9, 2022
Wednesday, February 2, 2022
At the Claremont Review of Books, Joseph M. Bessette sets out .
Aidan Nichols on , at The Lamp.
At UnHerd, Thomas Fazi and Toby Green make At The Tablet, Alex Gutentag on . “Mandatory panic”: Freddie deBoer on . A Johns Hopkins University study lockdowns did no good and caused much damage..
Thursday, January 27, 2022
We’ve been talking about Balthasar’s view that we may at least hope that all human beings are saved. Now, Balthasar was a Catholic theologian who was careful to try to avoid contradicting definitive Church teaching on the subject. That is why he does not endorse the universalist view that all must and therefore definitely will be saved, which is heretical (as is shown and ). But it is also significant that in the title of , he is careful to frame his question: “Dare we hope ‘that all men be saved’?” In other words, he’s asking about whether all human beings might be saved. He’s not asking whether all creatures with intellect and will, including fallen angels, might be saved. Indeed, in the book he says, of demonic powers:
Let it be said at the outset that theological hope can by no means apply to this power. The sphere to which redemption by the Son who became man applies is unequivocally that of mankind… [O]ne cannot agree with Barth’s claim that the angels had no freedom of choice and that the myth of a “fall of the angels” is thus to be rejected absolutely… [T]he doctrine of a fall of the angels, which is deeply rooted in the whole of Tradition, becomes not only plausible but even, if the satanic is accepted as existent, inescapable. (pp. 113-14)
Friday, January 21, 2022
If it is said of God that: “God our Savior … desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all” (1 Tim 2:4-5), then this is the reason for the fact that the Church should make “supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings … for all men” (1 Tim 2:1), which could not be asked of her if she were not allowed to have at least the hope that prayers as widely directed as these are sensible and might be heard. If, that is, she knew with certainty that this hope was too widely directed, then what is asked of her would be self-contradictory. (pp. 23-24)