Wednesday, April 25, 2012
McInerny on TLS
D. Q. McInerny very kindly reviews my book The Last Superstition in the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars Quarterly. From the review:
In his previous publications Professor Feser has shown himself to be a philosopher of the first rank, and in this work he has given us a document of singular importance. Of all the books written in response to “the new atheists” … this one has to be counted among the very best. There are three principal reasons why this is so. The first has to do with the style in which the book is written; it is direct, clear, forceful, and—no small matter—witty. Secondly, the arguments which carry the substance of the book are of the highest quality; they are tightly constructed, masterfully controlled, and compelling. Thirdly—and I take this to be the book’s strongest feature—there is the manner in which Professor Feser sets the phenomenon of the new atheism in a larger historical/philosophical context, and thereby gives it sharper identity and makes it more fully understandable. He shows that the new atheism, and the secularism of which it is a particular manifestation, did not come out of the blue, but that it has its roots in our philosophical past; to know that philosophical past is to have a firmer grip on the philosophical present.
As I say, very kind, as is the rest of the review. One correction, though. Of the expression “New Atheists,” Prof. McInerny writes: “that designation, I believe, originates with Feser.” In fact I cannot take credit for it. I believe I first came across the expression “The New Atheism” in the cover story of the November 2006 issue of Wired magazine, around two years before my book appeared.