Saturday, September 30, 2017
Yesterday I appeared on The Michael Medved Show with Skeptic magazine’s Michael Shermer. (Unfortunately, the podcast seems to be behind a paywall. [Update: A reader kindly calls my attention to this link, where you can listen to the show.]) It was billed as a “debate,” though I would describe it as more of a friendly discussion. Shermer was very polite and even complimentary about my book Five Proofs of the Existence of God, which I appreciate. (Shermer says: "It's a good book... well-argued, well-articulated.") Naturally, he does not agree with the book, but as every philosopher knows, you can find a book interesting and worth reading and thinking about even if you don’t agree with it. But as it happens, we did end up agreeing on a few things, such as the weaknesses in certain pop arguments for God’s existence.
Friday, September 29, 2017
In the Winter 2017 issue of Pro Ecclesia, Baylor University philosopher Thomas M. Ward kindly reviews my book Scholastic Metaphysics: A Contemporary Introduction. From the review:
This accessible, insightful, entertaining book introduces and defends Scholastic, mostly Thomistic, metaphysics in dialogue with important figures from contemporary analytic metaphysics… Feser is blessed with a clear and entertaining prose style, which makes it all the more enjoyable to engage his philosophical work. I highly recommend this book…
Tuesday, September 26, 2017
Having recommended my book The Last Superstition in a recent podcast, in yesterday’s show Ben Shapiro kindly recommended Five Proofs of the Existence of God. (His comments about the book occur about 41 minutes into the show.) Thanks, Ben! This week I’ll be recording a Skype interview for Ben’s Facebook Live podcast, which will run next Monday.
This Friday I will appear on The Michael Medved Show at 1:00 pm PT to debate Michael Shermer on the subject of atheism versus theism.
Monday, September 25, 2017
My review of Armand Marie Leroi’s excellent book The Lagoon: How Aristotle Invented Science appears in the September issue of Isis: Journal of the History of Science Society.
The link takes you to just the first page of the review, but as it happens there are only a few further sentences on the page that follow it. So when you’re done reading what you see at the link, come back here for the rest of the review. Here it is:
Friday, September 22, 2017
Perhaps the most vivid manifestation of the cluelessness of New Atheists is their strange compulsion to comment at length on books they admit they have not read. Naturally, you see this frequently from anonymous doofuses in comboxes, Amazon reviews, and the like. But what is really remarkable is how often even otherwise intelligent and educated people make fools of themselves by doing exactly what they accuse religious believers of doing – forming an opinion based on preconceptions rather than the actual evidence. We saw biologist Jerry Coyne do this a few years ago when he devoted over 5000 words across two blog posts to harshly criticizing a David Bentley Hart book he admitted he had not read. The latest example comes from theoretical physicist Mano Singham at Freethought Blogs.
Tuesday, September 19, 2017
My recent interview on Daily Wire’s The Andrew Klavan Show has now been posted. You can hear the audio at the Daily Wire website or at Ricochet, and you can see the video either at the Daily Wire (if you are a subscriber) or on Facebook. (Addendum: You can now watch it on YouTube as well.) We talk about The Last Superstition, mechanism versus teleology, natural law, and Five Proofs of the Existence of God.
Friday, September 15, 2017
Thoughts and experiences seem to lack spatial location. It makes sense to say of a certain cluster of neurons firing that they are located several centimeters in from your left ear. But it seems to make no sense to say that your experience of feeling nervous, or your thought about the Pythagorean Theorem, is located several centimeters in from your left ear. After all, no one who opened up your skull or took an X-ray of your head would see the thought or the experience, nor would either be detectible through any other perceptual means. In his book The Mysterious Flame: Conscious Minds in a Material World, Colin McGinn defends this commonsense supposition that mental states and processes are not locatable in space.
Monday, September 11, 2017
Today on his Daily Wire podcast, Ben Shapiro kindly recommended my book The Last Superstition, characterizing it as “really fantastically written” and “rare for a philosophy book, really readable and lucid.” His comments on the book can be heard about 38 minutes into the show.
Speaking of The Daily Wire, I will be interviewed this week on The Andrew Klavan Show.
Friday, September 8, 2017
The Steely Dan sound is well known to anyone who has heard even one or two of the band’s best known songs, and founders Donald Fagen and Walter Becker contributed equally to it. Fagen’s is the voice we associate with that sound. What we might call the Steely Dan attitude, however, derives in large part from Becker, who died earlier this week.
Saturday, September 2, 2017
Having looked recently at David Hume on induction and Hume on causation, let’s take a look at Hume’s famous treatment of miracles. To be more precise, let’s take a look at Hume’s argument as it is interpreted by Antony Flew in his introduction to the Open Court Classics edition of Hume’s essay Of Miracles. This being Hume, the argument is, shall we say, problematic.