Tuesday, December 4, 2018

COMING SOON: Aristotle’s Revenge (Updated)


My new book Aristotle’s Revenge: The Metaphysical Foundations of Physical and Biological Science will be out early next year from Editiones Scholasticae.  More information forthcoming, but to whet your appetite, here are the cover copy and the detailed table of contents:

Actuality and potentiality, substantial form and prime matter, efficient causality and teleology are among the fundamental concepts of Aristotelian philosophy of nature.  Aristotle’s Revenge argues that these concepts are not only compatible with modern science, but are implicitly presupposed by modern science.  Among the many topics covered are the metaphysical presuppositions of scientific method; the status of scientific realism; the metaphysics of space and time; the metaphysics of quantum mechanics; reductionism in chemistry and biology; the metaphysics of evolution; and neuroscientific reductionism.  The book interacts heavily with the literature on these issues in contemporary analytic metaphysics and philosophy of science, so as to bring contemporary philosophy and science into dialogue with the Aristotelian tradition.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
 
0. Preface

1. Two philosophies of nature

1.1 What is the philosophy of nature?
1.2 Aristotelian philosophy of nature in outline
1.2.1 Actuality and potentiality
1.2.2 Hylemorphism
1.2.3 Limitation and change
1.2.4 Efficient and final causality
1.2.5 Living substances
1.3 The mechanical world picture
1.3.1 Key elements of the mechanical philosophy
1.3.2 Main arguments for the mechanical philosophy

2. The scientist and scientific method

2.1 The arch of knowledge and its “empiriometric” core
2.2 The intelligibility of nature
2.3 Subjects of experience
2.4 Being in the world
2.4.1 Embodied cognition
2.4.2 Embodied perception
2.4.3 The scientist as social animal
2.5 Intentionality
2.6 Connections to the world
2.7 Aristotelianism begins at home

3. Science and reality

3.1 Verificationism and falsificationism
3.2 Epistemic structural realism
3.2.1 Scientific realism
3.2.2 Structure
3.2.3 Epistemic not ontic
3.3 How the laws of nature lie (or at least engage in mental reservation)
3.4 The hollow universe 

4. Space, time, and motion

4.1 Space
4.1.1 Does physics capture all there is to space?
4.1.2 Abstract not absolute
4.1.3 The continuum
4.2 Motion
4.2.1 How many kinds of motion are there?
4.2.2 Absolute and relative motion
4.2.3 Inertia
4.2.3.1 Aristotle versus Newton?
4.2.3.2 Why the conflict is illusory
4.2.3.3 Is inertia real?
4.2.3.4 Change and inertia
4.3 Time
4.3.1 What is time?
4.3.2 The ineliminability of tense
4.3.2.1 Time and language
4.3.2.2 Time and experience
4.3.3 Aristotle versus Einstein?
4.3.3.1 Making a metaphysics of method
4.3.3.2 Relativity and the A-theory
4.3.4 Against the spatialization of time
4.3.5 The metaphysical impossibility of time travel
4.3.6 In defense of presentism
4.3.7 Physics and the funhouse mirror of nature

5. The philosophy of matter

5.1 Does physics capture all there is to matter?
5.2 Aristotle and quantum mechanics
5.2.1 Quantum hylemorphism
5.2.2 Quantum mechanics and causality
5.3 Chemistry and reductionism
5.4 Primary and secondary qualities
5.5 Is computation intrinsic to physics?
5.5.1 The computational paradigm
5.5.2 Searle’s critique
5.5.3 Aristotle and computationalism

6. Animate nature

6.1 Against biological reductionism
6.1.1 What is life?
6.1.2 Genetic reductionism
6.1.3 Function and teleology
6.1.4 The hierarchy of life forms
6.2 Aristotle and evolution
6.2.1 Species essentialism
6.2.2 Natural selection is teleological
6.2.3 Transformism
6.2.4 Problems with some versions of “Intelligent Design” theory
6.3 Against neurobabble

UPDATE 12/9: Some pre-publication praise:

"With characteristic clarity and panache, Feser argues that the principles of Aristotelian and Thomistic philosophy, especially metaphysics and the philosophy of nature, are not challenged by developments in modern and contemporary science.  Indeed, Feser thinks that a proper understanding of the natural sciences discloses the enduring value of these very principles.  The book offers an excellent analysis of many of the key philosophical questions that lie at the heart of discourse about the implications of the physical and biological sciences. It is a very important resource for philosophers and scientists."

Dr. William E. Carroll, Aquinas Institute, Blackfriars, University of Oxford

188 comments:

  1. Congratulations, Ed! This must be a relief — the scope of the work looks impressive. Can’t wait to learn all the things. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

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  2. Seems like a fat book. Can't wait.

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  3. Right up my alley, hope its not all blah. Will read, will critique if not impressed, as far and wide as I can. Greg R.

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    1. Who are you and why should anyone care whether you're impressed?

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    2. Hes Greg R. !!! all jokes aside thought, is it not good to raise critiques if he has some genuine concerns with the material so that he can either be corrected or expose Feser's position?

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    3. Yes it is. Still, for some random goof in a combox to arrogantly announce that he "hopes it's not all blah" and will critique it if he's "not impressed" is amusing and, frankly, doesn't seem to speak well of his actual ability to providean effective critique. He sounds like just another self-satisfied gnu. I guess time will tell.

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    4. "As far and wide as I can" -- only if you're not impressed though, right?

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  4. Thomists make the slight of hand of going from the fact that matter is always in a certain shape to saying that there MUST be two (and somehow only two) principles composing a thing, form and prime matter. There is not proof of this. And the idea that potentiality has entity status is like an obsession with them. Who doesn't know you can throw a rock or break a stick? What infallible argument says we can make something philosophical out of this? Hegel's chapter on Perception in his first book is an example of the extreme this can get to. The world is causa sui to use Spinoza's phrase. It is it's own causality, but not prior to itself. This can all be understood through physics. Everything is just a bunch of varied matter that can be divided infinitely

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    1. The claim that matter is always a certain shape is a bedrock metaphysical principle for Thomists, as is the claim that there are two and only two principles that compose a thing.

      You've clearly done your homework, anon. Please tell us some more, because this is really insightful.

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    2. 'Shape' has got nothing to do with it. Shape is an example of form, but form is not identical with shape.

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    3. "Everything is just a bunch of varied matter that can be divided infinitely."

      There are two ways that sentence may be taken. The first (mere divisibility) is uninteresting and irrelevant. The second (causation through composition) is more interesting and relevant, but on that score, the A-T crowd have had arguments showing that you're wrong for more than two thousand years. In response to this, you haven't even presented an argument. Looking at the rest of your post, I'm pretty convinced you've never formulated or indeed read such an argument.

      And as for the part where you say, "Who doesn't know you can throw a rock or break a stick? What infallible argument says we can make something philosophical out of this?" ... The confusion, vacuity, irrelevancy, murk, and unwarranted pride packed into those two sentences is frankly breathtaking. And to be delivered in such a small package, typed so quickly!

      Y'know, it takes mere moments for a fertilizer truck to tip over and spill its contents across the highway...but it takes hours and hours to clean all that manure off the road so drivers can resume their commute. That's the image which came inescapably to mind as I contemplated the kind of effort required to clean up the mess you just posted.

      Son, you ain't half so well-informed as you presume. Those who've spent any time on these topics can tell, just glancing through your post, that even if you were right, it wouldn't be for any reasons you're aware of.

      Next time, please do the reading before you show up in class.

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    4. "The world is causa sui to use Spinoza's phrase. It is it's own causality, but not prior to itself. This can all be understood through physics."

      You must know something that the physics community is ignorant of. Why don't you publish it and receive all the accolades (and the chicks, the chicks)?

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    5. That's sleight of hand, genius.

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    6. @grodrigues

      I didn't know a physics jock could get the chicks. Whoda thunk?

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    7. @Bill:

      "I didn't know a physics jock could get the chicks."

      Woa, are you trying to tell me it's not just me?

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    8. DrYogami, if the soul is the form of the body, wouldn't it disappear when the body decays away?

      Isn't this the difference between Plato & Aristotle's theory of forms - that Aristotle's forms don't have an independent existence, but Plato's do?

      I'm more interested in what Aristotle thought about this than in how Aquinas appropriated/modified Aristotle for his own theological purposes.

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  5. Where does the world come from? The world comes from its original state of singularity, which, because it was a point of timeless energy, could span time and matter from itself, and the arising world's force out of nothing, through
    transitioning, following the law of its nature, from a frozen state into a fluid one [the ever changing world we see now]. See on Youtube Neil de Grasse Tyson's interview with Stephen Hawking, in which he asks the genius where the world comes from. They have commentary from physicists on Hawking's incomplete but ingenious answer. All talk of potentiality having the nature of thinghood, aside from obvious scientific facts, is totally motivated by the pursuit of proof for a single supernatural being. Aristotle was as smart of Hegel. Both of them were genius status, as was Aquinas. All three talked a lot of fluff, and Hawkings and Einstein were a leugue above all of them

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    1. At the risk of feeding a troll:
      1. That's not how we arrive at the proposition that all material things are composed exclusively of both matter and form. It in fact derives from the deeper notion of potency and act, which you badly mangled by suggesting that we concretize potency.
      2. We don't need an infallible argument to show that we can draw philosophical implications from potency and act.
      3. The universe cannot be its own cause, for every cause is prior to its effect. You can't get away with saying otherwise: even when the cause is not temporally prior to the effect, it still takes logical priority, and nothing is logically prior to itself.
      4. Your model shows your confusion: if this singularity transitioned from a changeless state to a changing one, then it needs an external cause of its own, for whatever can undergo change is composite, and all composites are contingent.

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    2. 'All talk of potentiality having the nature of thinghood, aside from obvious scientific facts, is totally motivated by the pursuit of proof for a single supernatural being'

      This just ignores the origin of the actuality/potentiality distinction, which is Aristotle's way of trying to explain the nature of change. It's his middle way between Parmenides and Heraclitus. True, he uses it to argue for God, but that's not the underlying motivation for the theory.

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    3. you can say that talk of potentiality is motivated by pursuit of God; but why would that matter? What motivates a person to make an argument does not affect the validity of an argument. There are straightforward rules of logic, but those rules do not include anything about motivations. Truth is truth no matter what someone's motivation is for believing it. People sometimes says that theists believe in God because they are motivated by fear. But if the proposition "God exists" is true, then this truth is not affected by the believer's motivations.

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    4. @AnonymousDecember 4, 2018 at 9:10 PM

      The world comes from its original state of singularity [...] See on Youtube Neil de Grasse Tyson's interview with Stephen Hawking....

      That's the major flaw of POP-Science... people who are ignorant of the subject take as "facts" things that are not even speculations, but speculations based on further speculations, such as in this case.

      First of all any honest astrophysicist will tell you we have no idea what happened at the Big Bang (BB), in fact we are not sure what happened until a time about 300,000 years after the BB.

      In addition take in account we understand decently only baryonic matter and interactions, which make up only about 4-5% of the universe, while the remnant 95%, composed mainly by dark energy and dark matter, is still a complete mystery. Even assuming Dark Matter (DM) is even real(most astrophysicists assume it is, but it's not a given). If DM does not exist it means our current theory of gravity (General Relativity) needs major revision.

      Finally, even IF the universe was "timeless" this does not imply the universe is its own cause. In fact Aquinas did not even assume the universe had a beginning in time.

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    5. "Aristotle was as smart of Hegel. Both of them were genius status, as was Aquinas. All three talked a lot of fluff, and Hawkings and Einstein were a leugue above all of them"

      First of all Hawking did not contribute to anything substantial in science. None of his theories are proven and several have been debunked.

      Einstein had huge contributions, but also made a lot of terrible mistakes, especially regarding quantum physics.

      Claining "they talked lots of fluff" is in itself fluff and meaningless as a statement, since it doesn't address any actual argument and it shows more ignorance of the topic than anything else.

      After all you base yourself on an interview by a pop-scientist (possibly a rapist too) regarding some wild theories by another scientist who was losing his marbles at the time.

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    6. So are you a conservative? Is Trump a rapist because people have charged him with inappropriate behavior? Are you maybe even racist? And what has this to do with his science? How many Catholic priests are pedophiles, tying children to crosses (viewing them as child Christ) and molesting them? Did not Aquinas's hero Socrates have sex with young boys? As the
      old Catholic Encyclopedia says, to make rash judgments about someone else's character is itself a mortal sin. As for Hawkings, he applied QM to black holes,
      instead of the usual GR (QM and GR need a medium to be reconciled and they are
      workign on that). He connected a lot of dots for scientists and provided much work
      that can be proven priceless in the future. Till the end his wit was strong

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    7. I find it so bizarre that people still think scientism is a valid philosophical stance. It's so ironic at such a basic level, and Ed has already spent a great deal of time pointing this out.
      The worst aspect of these arguments isn't that the manure truck got knocked over going too quickly around the corner, it's that every manure truck driver passing the corner seems to think HE can do it safely at that speed.

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    8. Many of the theories, with some pruning, can be put together to form the theory of everything

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  6. “What If There Are No Laws Of Nature? How nothingness can explain everything about reality.”
    Cover Page - New Scientist 11th November 2017

    "Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing."
    Stephen Hawking (Scientist)


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    1. You have to divide Hawking's philosophy from his physics. He doesn't know or understand philosophy, just as Aquinas didn't understand physics. For example (of the latter), Aquinas said "water is converted into fire", which is stupid because water puts out fire. And he said light is proved to be a quality because "the rays of different stars produce different effects according to the diverse natures of bodies." The conclusion does not follow; the "proof" does not stand

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    2. @Anon

      Noone knew much about physics back then, whereas anyone with an internet connection has access to all the world’s philosophy now. There is no excuse.

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    3. Yes, Aquinas was so stupid he never noticed that water puts out fire. (I should not have to label this as "sarcasm," but wow, sometimes I wonder.)

      When I read Aquinas's comment in context, it seems Aquinas is referring to water disappearing in a heated form into the air, as fire does, and the agent of that change is fire itself. So water takes on some of the characteristics of fire (it is extremely hot, it disappears into the air). So fire converts water into something like itself.

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    4. Your BS detector should fire at the words "can and will." If he really knew what he was talking about, he would have been bold enough to say "did." - Simon James

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    5. "Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing."

      I am still waiting for this to happen, so we can verify it experimentally. Until then I take it as an unsubstantiated hypothesis. (An unutterably idiotic one, mind you, but that's beside the point.)

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    6. Tony,
      Hawkings' idea is unsound even as physics. The laws of physics have been derived by consideration of an actual, existent and running universe. Thus, they can not even attempt to describe the coming-to-be of the universe itself.

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    7. Gyan, I know.

      I was being (or trying to be) funny. I was particular amused at his placing the verb in the FUTURE tense, as if the expected process had yet to take place.

      The assertion of anything "creating itself" is idiotic, and the notion that "the law of gravity" would be the leading contender for the rationale of the action is really bad even from the POV of modern science, much less basic philosophy. Hawking may have been a good physicist, but he was an absolutely awful thinker outside of his small box. Physicists should be told carefully and in words of one syllable or less that even atheist philosophers would cringe at Hawking's atrocious errors. You don't have to be invested in a God as creator to see how bad his mistakes are.

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    8. Hawking's comment is speaking of force, which comes from the original timeless energy point called the singularity. Science does apply to this, and reasoning. But when the allegedly unambiguous Aquinas clearly says "water is converted into fire" people try to say its about steam, when that doesn't fit the words written by him

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    9. Since you're going to offer that as a quote, you ought to provide a source. I searched for those words you put into St. Thomas' mouth, about water being 'converted into fire,' and could not find them.

      I was able to find the one arguing that light is a quality, and frankly, your criticism shows that you should give up trashing his thought. As an Aristotelian, he knew about the Categories, of which 'quality' is one, and it is broader than you seem to have in mind, since it encompasses active dispositions and 'habits' (itself a broader term than what we're accustomed to). Surely, there's a sense in which we may call light a quality if dispositions count, since producing light is a disposition of the stars. Aquinas did get a few things wrong, but you can't prove your point about what he was wrong about or why he was wrong if you don't know what he was saying.

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    10. He said water is converted into fire in that very article

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    11. Actually Aquinas never literally said water is converted into fire.

      He does say "water is generated by fire" and that "fire can be nourished from water" (The Commentary of St. Thomas Aquinas on Aristotle's Treatise on the soul, Lesson IX, 335), which is literally true as combustion can produce water as byproduct, however "water" simply stands for "liquid" here (from the idea of the four basic Aristotelian elements), indeed you can burn liquids like alcohol.

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    12. So now Aquinas is so ambiguous that he says water when he had other words in Latin that are more general. His article "Whether light is a quality" is quoted exactly as I said. And fire cannot be nourished from water. Aquinas was smart, but there are plenty of people alive now who are as smart as he was and probably some even smarter than he

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    13. Since you want to bring it up, I read that article where he says that light is quality. He does not say that water is convertible into fire in that article.
      Since I'm pointing that out, has it ever occurred to you that sometimes the translation isn't that good? Or, barring that, that granting that St. Thomas worded a minor point poorly does not commit us to saying that he was so ambiguous as to be worthless, as your complaint and tone imply you think?

      You're obviously a troll.

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    14. You're the one saying very intelligent physicists are morons when it comes to cosmology when I've even been trying to connect their ideas for you.

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    15. I haven't called anyone stupid, and it isn't bad to draw attention to confusion. And so far, the only person I've said is wrong is you.
      Nice try.

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    16. My translation says water, and even your traslation says water, So you dismiss
      modern physicists when it doesn't accord with your common sense, but will do
      everything possible to defend Aquinas your hero. He was good at formulating
      objections to his positions (or got those from others) and having some type of
      response to them. But he proves strictly few things in his body of work because it
      is very hard to prove anything outside of math with certainty

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    17. Since I'm the only one still replying, I expect your last comment was addressed to me.
      Now, I haven't dismissed physics, Anonymous, and you know better than to say that. It's equally plain to everyone that I have *not* appealed to common sense to do so.
      What has really happened, as anyone should be able to see, is that you have conflated confused thinking and physics, and I and others have been pointing out why your thinking is confused or otherwise erroneous. This includes explanations given for why calling the singularity a physical thing is confused, and why it can't be the first cause.

      Maybe your translation says 'water,' but as I said before, the article I read, where he argues that light is a quality, does not say 'water' can be converted into fire. Unless there's a different article in his works where he does say that, please stop attributing that to him.
      And as for 'doing anything possible to defend Aquinas as [my] hero,' I also acknowledged that he was wrong about a few things, in this very thread.

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    18. I assume you understand math is simply a symbolic exercise of logic?

      To believe that one of the most well-argued and influential philosophers in history (you don't have to be a theist to be honest about this point) thought that water feeds fire in the simplistic and literal sense you're implying is most dishonest.

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    19. Its not dishonest, its a the most basic reading of his words

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  7. Oxford quantum physicist and Thomist begins blog series addressing Sean Carroll's argument to explain Why there is Something Rather than Nothing?

    http://www.quantum-thomist.co.uk/my-cgi/blog.cgi?first=42&last=42

    http://www.quantum-thomist.co.uk/my-cgi/blog.cgi?first=43&last=43

    The same scientist argues the compatibility of Modern science and Thomism

    http://www.quantum-thomist.co.uk/my-cgi/blog.cgi?first=44&last=44

    http://www.quantum-thomist.co.uk/my-cgi/blog.cgi?first=45&last=45

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    1. Wait but doesn't everyone understand that modern science has refuted Thomism because it presumes final and formal causes don't exist and Thomism just happens to not fit its methodological abstraction of just efficient and material causality?

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    2. @Houdini I think "understand" is far too strong a word. "Parrot"? "Peddle", perhaps?

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  8. @ Houdini

    I may be wrong, but I think that if things were this simple, perhaps contemporary scientific genius Wolfgang Smith, both a brillant physicist, mathematician, and Thomist philosopher, would have realised it and would have consequently abandoned Thomism. There's still such a thing as brillant physicist-philosophers who "have faith" in Thomism. Ofc, this doesn't mean that Thomism is necessarily right - that'd just be a fallacious Appeal to Authority argument, which bears no weight whatsoever. This does mean, however, that the idea that Thomism is incompatible with modern science may be (at least) questionable. A debate between Smith and scientists who think modern science has disapproved Thomism would be much appreciated.

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    1. Sorry, irony sometimes doesn't translate well through online mediums. My comment was a joke.

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    2. I think Houdini's comment was writ ironical.

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    3. I think Houd was being sarcastic.

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    4. Oooh yeah. Yep. I can see that now, my bad. Anyways, I still hope my comment will enable someone to discover Wolfgang Smith if he doesn't already know the guy.

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    5. Thanks AJ!, I just did and am reading The Plague of Scientistic Belief!

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    6. You're welcome! So! Is it good? :)

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    7. @AJ
      Houd was joking but I understand your paranoia. I am from New York.

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    8. To everyone on this blog, I cannot recommend Dr. Nigel Cundy’s Blog at Quantum Thomist enough. He is very bright. His specialization is Quantum Field Theory, but he is pretty knowledgeable of Aristotelian-Thomistic philosophy which he argues to be most compatible with modern physics. He also has a good enough understanding of mechanist and empiricist philosophy to pinpoint their weaknesses. He also has a book, “What Is Physics: A Defense of Classical Theism”. I plan to get it when it becomes available on Amazon again. Please everyone go support his blog by reading his posts.

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    9. Wolfgang Smith is the theistic Timothy Leary of Science. If the philosophy gets dry just read a few random pages from anything he's written. His writings + Alan Aversa's A-T page = rocket fuel dabs for the perplexed.

      I also noticed recently that Wallace's The Modeling of Nature is now available to download for free. (months after I bought the hard copy, of course) Another mind-blowing work.

      We're about to see far more than the end of atheism, folks.

      Too bad so many atheists will be too busy to realize what's going on---because they're so wrapped up with all those court cases against them.

      But who knows: maybe people like Krauss will look up the word decorum.

      "Ohhhhhh, he's makin a list, checkin it twice . . ."

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  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  10. Your explanation is full of terms that lack a clear meaning. "The world comes from its original state of singularity" - aren't you saying it comes from itself? This singularity "was a point of timeless energy" - does this mean anything. I have heard a "point" defined as something that has neither length nor breath nor depth, ie something that doesn't actually exist. These points are mental tools for doing geometry. Also point of view, and point as a verb, but what does your "point of timeless energy" mean? Re "energy" I understand we only measure it when it does some work, and the measurement usually refers to the passing of some period of time. So does "timeless energy" mean anything? If de Grass Tyson and Hawking have been speaking fluff like this on youtube, why would you bother listening? You haven't explained things just because you've put scientific sounding jargon into sentences that resemble English.

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    1. God is said to be his own causality without being the cause of himself or prior to himself. You don't understand what I wrote, but didn't refute it

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    2. I agree that I didn't refute what you wrote. I can only refute arguments when I can grasp what they are. I read your "point of timeless energy" and wondered why "point" why "timeless" why "energy" and after thinking about it, I didn't have anything. Maybe I'm the only person on this thread who didn't immediately understand what it meant.

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    3. Anon, God is not said to be his own causality. He is said to require no causality at all, including self-causality, because His existence is identical to His essence. Such an elemental error does not inspire confidence that you know enough about Thomism to argue against it, much less refute it.

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    4. What Fred said.

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    5. The expression "causality of itself" has caused confussion on here, same as it did
      when Descartes used the expression to explain God. His explanation of what he meant sufficed. My understanding of the singularity is in accord with Spinoza. It had all the causality it needed within itself, owned by itself. Its nature, its law, is to cause

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    6. Your misspellings, ungrammatical sentences, and pseudo-philosophical gibberish inspire about as much confidence as your lack of knowledge of Aristotle and Aquinas.

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    7. "Singularity" sounds like another name for "God", it would seem, considering it needs no causality.

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    8. With consciousness though

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    9. No Longbowman, it creates itself even though it is not prior to itself. To truly appreciate anon's genius, you must become fluent in gibberish.

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  11. May I request that anyone interested -- or even those who aren't -- go to Amazon (https://www.amazon.com/Aristotles-Revenge-Metaphysical-Foundations-Biological/dp/3868382003/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1544005735&sr=8-5&keywords=aristotle%27s+revenge) and scroll down to a link on the right to request it be adapted for Kindle readers? At least this might become available all the sooner in that format. :-)

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  12. It is thought that people from the Middle Ages had insights lacking in later ages. All the more so Aristotle.

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    1. Yes. Didn’t you know that the medievals were inbred, illiterate, superstitious bigots who copulated with farm animals? We only truly gained Enlightenment when Madam La Guilloutine brought Liberté, Égalité, and Fraternité to all.

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    2. It certainly is thought! And with no supporting arguments! It was also thought (by Renaissance thinkers, no less) that the gothic style of architecture was "barbaric" and "primitive", despite the architectural and structural innovations present that didn't exist in Renaissance architecture. It was also "thought" that the Dark Ages covered the entirety of the middle ages, despite the fact that the church was responsible for the founding of the scientific method and the birth of universities.

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  13. I know what I want for my 51st birthday in April.

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  14. Consider it whetted.

    I wonder if some of the people ranting about Thomism, have even read the table of contents, or seen your past reflections on the work of E.A. Burtt

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    1. Those people are probably ignorant of science as well. I would not be surprised if they never even had a freshman course in quantum mechanics.

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  15. My money is ready.

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    1. Scholastic Metaphysics was worth it just for about 40 select pages that got my attention: Ed hit the ground running with the best refutation I've read against scientism, and then just as I was crusin along real nice and comfortable with the basics after that, here comes Ed again, cosmic sledgehammer in hand, with a barrage of staggering stuff about the principle of sufficient reason, the principle of causality, and the principle of noncontradiction all smashed together in the back seat, vis-a-vis physics/qm theorizing ridin shotgun.

      Surely we don't have to warn him about energy drinks.

      Anyway, I expect Revenge will be more mind-halting rocket fuel for all.

      The bonus is: I may not even have to read Burtt's book after all. Time is theoretic money.

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  16. Aristotle's physics assumes that matter is prior to force and force is prior to energy, while the theory of everything says its the exact reverse. The worlds comes from a principle, but its a material principle, not a Platonic form. Platonic forms may have created the world. As Daniel Dennett says, who knows anything whatsoever about the casual power of Forms? Anyhow, there are those two ways to explain the world, and I don't see why someone must believe and can believe that it can be proved there is a supernatural God, a person. Thanks for the responses

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    1. This has little to do with Aristotle's physics, and has to do with his metaphysics. Its about ideas that science must assume, that it cannot prove. Ask yourself what must be true about us, and about the world in order for us to even do science at all.

      As for the theory of everything, is it a necessary principle? If not, it requires an explanation outside of itself for its application in the world. If it is, follow the logical path and you will find that the theory would have to have all the attributes of God.

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    2. The energetic principle that is the root of the world is not a person, although it may have other attributes applied to "God". The physics of the theory of everything started with Descartes and Spinoza on motion (minus Spinoza idea of Thought with a capitol T). There are explanations to how the world came about, using logic applied to science. Proving definintely there is a God is not possible, in our opinion

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    3. Science rests on assumptions about the world that require defending and that defense won't be scientific.

      Again, simply investigate the very idea of anything being the root of the world. As for the root not being a person, a lot can be said to show that this is nonsensical. For instance, if it's the root of the world then it cannot be part of it, and thus must be supernatural. If it is the root then it wont have an explanation external to it and thus must be self-explanatory, and thus necessary. If it is necessary, it must be incapable of change, and since all material things must reside withintime and space and can, in principle, be changed, it must be unchanging, timeless, and immaterial. If all things came from it, then it must be all powerful too. Also given that all things derive from it, if you think we have genuine rationality and the ability to reason, and thus genuine intellect and will, then this must be derived from it also. This it will have intellect and will, thus it must be rational, thus a person.

      Call it whatever you like, but it will have the traditional attributes of God.

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    4. "if it's the root of the world then it cannot be part of it, and thus must be
      supernatural."

      The world always existed outside of time, till the law within, outside time, moved
      its timeless movement into the "big bang", first creating force, then either time/space through which matter arose, or matter through which time/space arose. THAT last part is a far more interesting subject than Aristotle.


      "If it is the root then it wont have an explanation external to it and thus must be self-explanatory, and thus necessary."

      Nothing is necessary in the Thomistic sense. That's all mental imagery plus
      sensation within the mind (like E. Gilson ironically claimed modern philosophers do), not revelevant to the world.

      "If it is necessary, it must be incapable of change"

      It could be necessary but an evolving thing. Possible

      "and since all material things must reside withintime and space and can, in principle, be changed, it must be unchanging, timeless, and immaterial."

      The eternal singularity was immaterial. It was a principle "Simple" is a Thomistic term clothed in personality. Read Hegel on its dissection.

      "If all things came from it, then it must be all powerful too."

      Unproven. Even a being less than all powerful good possible create from nothing. And even great a being greater than himself but uniting two separate things in it and uniting them to form a being creater than himself (like in Alladan). The number of things Aquinas proved in his words could be counted on one's fingers. The universe is all powerful in the sense it it envolds all things, not imagery things.

      "Also given that all things derive from it, if you think we have genuine rationality and the ability to reason, and thus genuine intellect and will, then this must be derived from it also."

      Reason and free will come from the brain. Thomists think they full understand matter, that its just a dead thing. But that's idea is derived from ideas derived
      FROM THEIR SENSES about objects they have encountered in life. Who can say with infallible certainty that they know all the powers matter can have?

      "This it will have intellect and will, thus it must be rational, thus a person."

      From the arguments I've established, this does not follow in any way in showing a God, even a finite one, is real. Thanks for the response.

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    5. I don't think that there is a "theory of everything" that has widespread acceptance among scientists. I just read science writer Philip Ball's 2018 book "Beyond Weird: Why Everything You Though You Knew About Quantum Physics is Different". According to Ball, not only are there still several competing theories in Quantum Physics, but the Nobel Prize is still available to anyone who can reconcile Quantum Physics with Relativity Theory.

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    6. Anon,

      First off, you seem to think by matter that we mean particles and up, and everything more fundamental, like forces, quantum fields and energy, etc are not matter. By matter, I mean all things physical.

      "The world always existed outside of time, till the law within, outside time, moved
      its timeless movement into the "big bang""

      That is a nonsensical statement. If the world exists outside of time, then it cannot change.

      "The eternal singularity was immaterial."

      Again, by matter we don't mean just particles.

      "Reason and free will come from the brain"

      If that is so obvious, maybe you should tell all the philosophers obsessed with trying to solve the problem and who are ultimately getting nowhere. It's like trying to make a circle out of squares, but they just keep trying and failing. With an Aristotelian foundation, the problems they face disappear.

      "Who can say with infallible certainty that they know all the powers matter can have?"

      We don't need to. Either the modern understanding of matter has to radically change, or matter alone completely negates any possibility of reason and freewill. Here is a good read detailing the problem: http://www.newdualism.org/papers/E.Feser/Feser-acpq_2013.pdf

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    7. Anonymous modus operandi is quite amusing. Thomism is only "mental imagery" or "unproven" while at the same time showing a complete ignorance of what Aristotelean-Thomists say. His claims however, come "from science" (which is provably false), have absolutely no evidence or arguments to back them up, and are laced with unrecognized, controversial (e.g. false) assumptions. Just one example:

      "The world always existed outside of time, till the law within, outside time, moved
      its timeless movement into the "big bang", first creating force, then either time/space through which matter arose, or matter through which time/space arose."

      Whatever gobbledygook this is, it is not physics, but at best rank sophomoric philosophy produced by someone whose only skill is to pretend that watching youtube interviews of S. Hawking gives him any sound knowldge of physics. A waste of time.

      Go read a book.

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    8. I am in the middle of read many books. The main objection to my explanation for the
      existence of the world is: "If the world exists outside of time, then it cannot
      change."

      That is a statement, not an argument. Eternal laws outside time can, without violating reason, cause the beginning of time. It just takes some thought to think it through. Instead of my "material singularity", think of it as the platonic Form of Causality itself.

      Aquinas fools so many of you because he is such a darn good writer. For example, he
      says that the distance between nothing and something is infinite so an infinite
      power alone can create. But:

      1) There is no evidence given that there is a qualitative relation in the thought between nothing and something which is definitely infinite

      2) There is no evidence given that some finite in power can't overcome certain types of infinities and maybe then even create

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    9. Anonymous, what you call the main objection does not need to be argued: it's true by definition. And while it's true that something outside of time can cause events within time, there are two problems.
      The first is that a law cannot have causal power, being a description of how other things behave. But behavior assumes change, and ex hypothesi there is none to begin with.
      Second, you've presented your singularity as something which itself changes. In other words, you're trying to do away with a Divine First Cause by replacing Him with a contradiction.

      This is before anyone even points out that other objections have been leveled (such as the few I made when I said "At the risk of feeding a troll"), which are at least a tad different.

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    10. There is something to begin with, either a Form who's nature is to cause or a material singularity. The first may not change, but the second would. I don't see a contradiction

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    11. Your response is so cute, Anonymous.
      The contradiction should have been easily spotted: if the material singularity is the first cause, as you have suggested, then it must be changeless - not merely in the sense that it does not change, but in the sense that it cannot change. But then you tell us that it changes. You're telling us that the first cause is something which cannot be the first cause.

      If we want a second difficulty, and I expect others have already brought it to your attention, it is this: under relativity theory, time and space are inseparable. Your singularity cannot be material precisely because it is outside of time, and therefore does not exist in space. Yet matter ipso facto exists in space.

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    12. No, space time and matter come from Force which comes from Energy. That is as plausible as anything Aristotle said about there just having to be somebody out there with the name God. Something timeless can "rest" in its timeless for uncountable "infinities" but "one day" (not really in time) leap into the explosion we call the big bang. There is nothing irrational about this, but you choose not to take anything but A/T seriously. That's your free will

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    13. Anonymous, since energy is the capacity to do work, and work is just the ability to move something over a distance, energy is itself a meaningless concept without space-time. So your singularity still can't exist as a physical thing.
      Moreover, you obviously didn't read what I said very closely. I said that the first cause must be changeless, in the sense that it *cannot* change. And I already gave a reason that you never addressed: because whatever is mutable is contingent, and whatever is contingent needs a cause. Your observation that something can remain changeless in a timeless state and then 'one day' change has nothing to do with that at all, even if it were correct (and I have my doubts).

      But I called you a troll earlier, so I shouldn't be surprised that you give such a weak answer.

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    14. The effects of energy is different that its form, its form during the singularity being something we don't know anything about as far as I know. The Thomistic concepts of contingency and necessity are philosophized beyond what is used in science, and by "philosophized" I mean that they are psychological ideas having so correspondence to external reality. Prove otherwise. I am not a troll. I like to discuss these subjects. "If you can't stand the heat then get back in the shade" John Lennon

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    15. You're obviously a troll, as shown by your dismissive treatment of contingency and necessity. You're the one who should prove your claim about their uselessness, but you wouldn't even know where to begin. As they have been employed thus far, they are not uniquely Thomistic, but belong to a far older tradition of thought. Moreover, they obviously do apply to external reality.
      The reason mutable things are contingent is because what is mutable can change into a completely different thing; thus, it can cease to exist, and be replaced by something else. This consideration demonstrates that necessary beings must be immutable.
      And the first cause must be something which cannot fail to exist, or else reality is unintelligible at its core, for now there can be no complete explanation for reality.
      But I'm wasting my time and effort.

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    16. Your position on this is same as on the brain. Scholastics think, despite what they say, that they totally understand the essence of matter. And they can't prove that they do

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    17. We don't claim to have an exhaustive account of what matter is, and the arguments and objections we have offered do not depend on having one. Rather than psychoanalyzing people, maybe you should offer an argument for why we must think we 'totally understand the essence of matter.'

      And I find it ironic that someone who fancies himself a proponent of a purely scientific cosmology would suddenly hide behind ignorance about what matter could be like.

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    18. For you, the Pythagoreans and tons of mathematicians like Godel (who's position is closer to mine) who thought that Math, its platonic form, caused the wrorld were idiots and Aristotle alone has the only possible alternative. I think my move to a material principle is not as dramatic as yours to a personal Creator. But for you the Pythagoreans had no brains. As I said above, it's hard to prove anything outside of math, and proving there is a God I believe to be impossible. Aquinas's first two ways are really one way. Motion is a type of cause, so unite the first 2 ways into one on efficient causes. Why can't the motion of causes (as for the Jains) go on forever in the past? If you imagine it like an eternal dominoes series, you need something outside eternally starting it. That I grant from Aristotle. But one can imagine planets having moved forever because of gravity without something outside doing anything. Its a different move in the intellect here. If the eternal universe of motion was supported by that, or PM (perpetual motion, something rejected by Aristotle), then the need for a God falls apart. "But who created gravity!" So the first 2 ways boil down to the third, to psychology!

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    19. Instead of saying contingent, say matter is malleable (not always), extended (not always), and has other potentialities that can be done with and to it (nothing beyond what science can speak of someday). What's the infallible argument that because I can paint a chair there must be a philosophically understood God who is Existence Itself? There is none. The Third Way (with the first two based on it) is nothing but Leibniz's "principle of sufficient reason" argument, regardless of certain people saying its a different argument. The Fourth Way is just the old ontological argument. The Fifth ways is totally convoluted. "There is purpose, so there is a God". Saying there is purpose is identical to saying there is a God (or gods)! There are motions and forces. The world works like a computer. There is no way to prove there is a God, however there is mystical existential phenomenological meaning in life without God.

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    20. So I step out for a few days, and now I really regret that I came back.
      Anonymous, I won't stop saying matter is contingent; «malleable» is clearly not the right word, for the claim is that matter does not have to exist.
      I may stop saying matter is always extended, but since you're the one trying to make it all pure science, and I've been using the standard scientific definition of matter, you need an argument before I let go of the objection I designed to appeal to your sense of scientism. Stephen Hawking didn't dispute the definition I used when he offered his model, he tried to do away with with singularity and the beginning of space-time, so appeal to him won't do.

      And slanderer that you are, you haven't the slightest evidence that I think the Pythagoreans were stupid, or that I consider Gödel a fool, nor is there any forthcoming for your other opponents. You, on the other hand, are coming very close to being labeled as one in my book, and not for disagreeing with me or with my personal outlook. It's because you pretend to understand something you obviously haven't spent any time studying seriously, as demonstrated by your ludicrous 'translations' of Thomas' five arguments and your confused equivocation of the potency/act distinction and efficient causation. I have no problem with people who admit that they don't get it (I don't claim to know all of Thomas' thought!), and who want to discuss the matter seriously, but you clearly don't fit either criterion.
      At least read Taylor Marshall's Thomas Aquinas in 50 Pages. I don't consider it the best book on Thomism, but it's free, you should be able to find it no problem, and your understanding of the school of thought will be light years ahead of where it is now.
      And while you're at it, you can go and search the responses Dr. Feser has written to Robert Oerter on this blog. Several of them address your abysmal knowledge of the Thomistic treatment of causation, free of charge. It would also be nice if you read some of Garrigou-Lagrange's works. You can some of it here for free.

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  17. I am looking forward to the chapter

    3.3 How the laws of nature lie (or at least engage in mental reservation)

    Is that strict or broad mental reservation?

    Is it kind of like the "lie like a dog" sort of lying? Or maybe lye-ing (which might clean up some messes lying around. No pun unintended.)

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  18. Edward Feser, you are a hero.

    God saw the New Atheism, and simply said, "Let there be Feser."

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  19. Oh great...another friggin' book from Feser I am going to have to order. :)

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  20. I've really enjoyed listening the books of yours available on audible. Any chance this work or others will be recorded?

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  21. Very interesting contents, good to see some of these newer topics being discussed by a Thomist philosopher.
    Only other philosopher that I have read defending Presentism from Aristotelian point of view(particularly against scientific objections) is E.J Lowe.

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  22. It's now available for pre-order on Amazon's European websites and will be released on December 14th (that's Friday next week)! Right in time for Christmas :D

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  23. I quite look forward to reading this, especially the section on Biology.

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  24. I'me very interested in the chapter on Quantum Hylemorphism and how you've mae use of Aristotelian metaphysics to frame and interpretation of the formalism . I tried to work out some time ago if there is some natural connection between the wave function and the substantial form of a system with distinct parts, but I didn't come up with anything definitive.

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  25. It looks terrific, Ed! Looking forward to it


    I was reading scholastic metaphysics when you speak about the distinction between "objective" (qua objects of thought) potencies and real or "subjective" (qua grounded on a subject) potency

    My question is, if someone were to try to collapse all subjective potency into objective potency (for ex: To say that I have the potential to do math would, in this reading, be identical with saying that it is logically possible that I i do math, therefore being no distinction between objective and subjective potency) what would be the rebuttal?

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  27. I read a Buddhist scholar who said that the fact that we put infinite "bad desire" into the world proves the world doesn't exist. Hmm. You guys are stuck on two writers (A and A), and stuck in the mud because it it. There is a whole world of
    philosophy out there if you will open your minds to all perspectives and enjoy the openess.

    Besides, I can definitely prove to you that Aquinas's God does not exist, from his teaching that God continually holds the whole universe in existence. If that is the case, then God is right their sustaining the perpetrator as he rapes the baby girl. Can a HOLY ("set apart") being really be intimately involved in evil acts? How can he not be held accountable when he is the basis for the physical haecceity of those
    wicked moments? GR

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    1. Bro, do you even De Malo? Aquinas has responded to objections about God being causally responsible for evil actions despite divine causation. Perhaps you should go read 'em!

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    2. "As Augustine says (Enchiridion xi): "Since God is the highest good, He would not allow any evil to exist in His works, unless His omnipotence and goodness were such as to bring good even out of evil." This is part of the infinite goodness of God, that He should allow evil to exist, and out of it produce good.
      " - Aquinas

      What your argument ultimate amounts to is: With my limited intellect, I can't find an explanation for why God would allow evil, therefore there isn't a God.

      I hope you can see the obvious fallacy in that.

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    3. As for the openness, maybe you should be more open to Aquinas and Aristotle. From my experience, many people who embrace Aquinas came to do so by realising the issues with other philosophies. As has been pointed out by quite a few, many of the most difficult problems in philosophy today weren't even problems at all for Aquinas and arose simply out of abandoning aspects of Aristotelian and Scholastic philosophy.

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    4. Been there, done that. Aquinas doesn't address the "physical haecceity" angle I put on the argument because it disproves his God's existence.

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    5. The "physical haecceity" of the act is no graver evil than (and probably less evil than) the physical haecceity of a man suffering grievously from having a leg cut off in an accident - say, an earthquake. Why is it we never hear of an accidental amputation from natural causes a physical haecceity "proof" there is no such thing as a good God?

      I read a Buddhist scholar who said that the fact that we put infinite "bad desire" into the world proves the world doesn't exist. Hmm.

      Hmmm indeed. The fact that you read a book by an idiot Buddhist somehow proves that paying very close attention to A and A is a mistake? For both the "we put" and the "infinite bad desire" are hopelessly, delusionally disfunctional comments about (a) the world; and (b) the world as understood according to A-T philosophy. Naturally the conclusion "drawn" therefrom is less than admirable. Far less. Actually, it is impossible to underrate the intelligibility of the thesis.

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    6. @AnonymousDecember 7, 2018 at 1:11 PM

      Clearly you are pretty much clueless of what is going on here.

      Prof Feser and other Thomists have assessed ideas well beyond just Aristotle and Aquinas.

      Perhaps instead of reading shady scholars (sorry but eastern philosophy are just murky nonsense), you might bring yourself up to speed.

      Keep up!

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    7. Again, your argument boils down to: I can't think of an explanation, therefore there isn't one.

      It's a non-sequitor

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    8. The amputation might be considered an imperfect which God could sustain, but not child molestation. God doesn't just allow evil. By his sustaining power he picks up the child;s rapist, takes the child, puts them together, and actualizing all the evil that unfolds. Then he walks away claiming to be all Holy. That is Aquinas's God for you

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    9. Well, for one thing, the holiness of God doesn't rest on His being 'set apart,' Anonymous; the holiness of creatures is predicated on being 'set apart (for God).' God is holy because He is 'wholly other.' Nothing is like Him, though I shouldn't that up. You'll just complain about how this squares with our belief that we bear the Image of God, without bothering to go and research the Thomistic doctrine of Analogy, or accepting any answer we may offer.
      For another, since evil is a privation of good, and good and being are convertible, evil cannot be 'sustained' strictly speaking. The privation of being is not itself being, and only being can be sustained in existence. What's really going in any situation you may point to and say 'how can God sustain THAT and still be called 'holy'?" is that God is sustaining things that are good in themselves, but which have been perverted in some way. Not that I should bring that up, either, since you won't accept what I said about how good and being are convertible. Nor would you accept anything I might say in response should you object that something perverted is an evil entity, thus 'disproving' the convertibility of goodness and being.

      I'm obviously addicted to feeding trolls.

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    10. I am actually very open to understanding how you can refute my argument. "God is sustaining things that are good in themselves, but which have been perverted in some way." Please explain how that is possible? THANK YOU!

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    11. Let me put it bluntly. Is a man inside a boy )like Socrates) a moral negative in the soul only, and then an imperfection in physical nature. Or is it physical evil in itself. Your position on God's sustaining power forbids the second view

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    12. A holy god would not sustain a man as he rapes a little girl. People rape because they desire to rape, so all God would have to do is not allow harmful desires to enter the stream of consciousness. Free will (in the libertarian sense) is incoherent. It leaves no explanation for why a person acts on one desire rather than another. A robot that makes random errors is still a robot. Furthermore, free will is impossible if God is unchangeable. If He knows I will do X, it is possible to do ~X, but that possibility is no longer accessible due to the fact that it's impossible to change His foreknowledge.

      Making goodness and being equivalent is Thomist nonsense. We already have a word for being: being. Making evil into "privation of good" doesn't get god off the hook. He purposely didn't place dominoes in certain places, knowing it will lead to privation.

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    13. Anonymous, your "more blunt" treatment was more opaque than mud.
      And your demand for an explanation, especially in light of your assertion that my view can't permit physical evil, suggests that you don't understand what it is to be perverse. A physical thing can be defective, and therefore "suffer evil." An action or faculty can be directed to something contrary to its natural telos, and is consequently perverted. What makes it so hard to see how God can sustain those things insofar as they already exist? That should be straightforward enough.

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    14. If God sustains everything, he sustains the acts of rape and molestation, unnatural acts. Either God is not holy or there is something flawed in Catholic moral teaching on the natural law of human bodies

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    15. Well, I think I see your problems, Anonymous, and I mean other than simplistic thinking and jumping to conclusions.
      So let me try again:
      1. What God sustains, He sustains *as being.*
      2. An unnatural or perverse act suffers the privation of its telos.
      3. Since goodness and being are convertible, whatever God sustains, He sustains *as something good.*
      4. God does not sustain anything *as something bad,* since a thing is bad only insofar as it suffers of some privation.
      5. From the above considerations, it follows that when God sustains an unnatural or perverse action, He is sustaining it insofar as it as it is a good act *which happens to suffer the privation of its telos.*
      How does this deal with your examples? I'll only address your rape example, since 'child molestation' seems too broad a category to say anything definite. Now obviously any rape is a sex act, but all sex acts are proportioned to these two ends:
      (1) Procreation and
      (2) Unifying the sexual partners for life-long partnership.
      What makes a sex act good qua sex act is that it is proportioned to these ends by nature. But every case of rape undercuts at least the second end, and that is what makes it perverse and unnatural. What happens is that in any case of rape, God is sustaining it *as a sex act,* as something proportioned to specific ends; and insofar as it is proportioned to those ends, it is good. However, He is *not* sustaining it as something deprived of its teloi. To complain that God sustains these acts as they are is to complain that God doesn't force our actions to do what nature 'intends' them to, and people have written extensively on that.

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    16. Anon,

      Your assumption is that a holy God cannot sustain acts of rape. So far, you haven't given any argument defending this. You have just stated it.

      As I said, you (and Counter Rebel) are assuming that if you can't explain it, there can't be an explanation. It doesn't follow. One reason to allow evil is to bring greater good out of it. For instance, in order to be courageous, which is good, there must be fear, and for there to be fear there must be something to fear, such as something bad or evil. The good only needs to outweigh the bad. I'm not claiming to know why God allows specific cases of evil in the world, only that bringing out a greater good sufficiently explains the evil in the world.

      Another point is this: we can prove God's infinite goodness and holiness with more certainty than you can prove that a good and holy God would never allow evil (which you have yet to prove). Since this is the case, it is more prudent to question your claim than it is to question the holiness of God.

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    17. If an erect penis inside a 2 year old's bottom is only an "imperfection" to you, then Aquinas has perverted your mind. If it is a physical perversion (AND IS IS), than a God who IS holiness can't sustain it. That's just obvious. There is no room in Aquinas's world for demons sustaining things because that would mean they could create

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    18. "I don't know how you were diverted
      You were perverted too
      I don't know how you were inverted
      No one alerted you...
      While my guitar gently weeps"
      George Harrison

      Rape is rape, and your God is responsible; no wait, he doesn't exist! Perverted sinners proved this by their acts. At least they are good for something before we shot them in their heads. I'm done on this blog. Good luck in life. Good wishes

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    19. "Than a God who IS holiness can't sustain it"

      Why not?

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    20. Dear Anon: First, you don't grasp Thomism. Nothing in Thomism demands saying what you have described is "only" an imperfection.

      Second, you don't understand "physical perversion". What is perverse is so according to a norm, a standard. And that standard cannot be, itself, physical matter. The norm can be ABOUT the physical, and can REQUIRE a certain physical condition, but the norm itself is distinct from the physical matter: it is always physical matter insofar as it is ABOUT or FOR something. And "aboutness" requires telos and a formal aspect.

      Thirdly, why must it be erect to be perverse?

      Fourthly, please go learn something about A-T distinctions before tendering a set of silly objections.

      Fifthly, GET A NAME already. It's easy. It doesn't have to be your name. You don't even have to get an account, just conclude each comment with something identifiable, like "The Silly Anti-Thomist".

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    21. The Thomist hair-splitting doesn't change anything. God still sustains all that is necessary for a rape to take place, while it takes place. Even if rape doesn't have a positive ontology, that doesn't change the immediate reality and horror of the experience of being raped.

      Grace and Rust: "What makes a sex act good qua sex act is that it is proportioned to these ends by nature." I don't care about nature's purposes. Nature for the longest time had a great deal of people die in infancy, people living in dangerous conditions, parents dying while the children are still growing up.

      "What happens is that in any case of rape, God is sustaining it *as a sex act,* as something proportioned to specific ends; and insofar as it is proportioned to those ends, it is good."

      So what? He sustains it as it causes immense harm to the victim.

      Billy: "One reason to allow evil is to bring greater good out of it."

      It is very arrogant, callous, and insulting for well-off Thomists in their ivory towers to suggest that God allows rape of children and famine to bring a "greater good" out of it. (In doing so, they're actually defending the existence of child rape. It's okay for rape to exist, just so God can do something He could do anyway.) God, in His omnipotence, does not need rape to accomplish His purposes. God's end would be salvation (if He is all-loving). So is God dependent on child rape to get people to Heaven? How puny. I guess we need to be thanking child rapists. If they didn't do what they did, God wouldn't be able to bring about this sadistic "greater good."

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    22. Even if (against God's omnipotence), God needed child rape to bring about some built-out-of-children-being-raped "greater good." (anyone ever read The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas) we can still point out that the greater good itself in unnecessary. Since God is omnipotent, He could make us all happy right away without allowing child rape, and happiness (or agent satisfaction) is all that really matters. So even if permitting some evil R is needed to bring about "greater good" X, X is not needed to bring about God's happiness (as He is perfectly happy eternally) nor our happiness, so X itself (and by extension, R) is not necessary.

      So Thomists: quit defending the existence of child rape, you monsters.

      "we can prove God's infinite goodness and holiness with more certainty..."

      With tired, old arguments that have been refuted. I read Feser's Five Proofs. None of those arguments, even if sound, prove that an omnipotent, omniscient, and morally perfect being exist. And save me the crap about how God is not moral in the way humans are. Doesn't matter. Feser didn't prove God is moral in any sense.

      "...than you can prove that a good and holy God would never allow evil (which you have yet to prove). "

      J.L. Mackie already proved that God would not evil. A loving person does not allow unnecessary harm to inflict their loved ones. If I see a child being raped, I would stop it. Apparently YHWH is too busy with heavenly wine. (And save me the nonsense about Alvin Plantinga and free will. There is no free will. You do what you desire to do, and you can't choose your desires.)

      "For instance, in order to be courageous, which is good, there must be fear, and for there to be fear there must be something to fear, such as something bad or evil."

      "The good only needs to outweigh the bad."

      One miserable child in a room to keep the rest of the city happy? I'd walk away from Omelas.

      "Since this is the case, it is more prudent to question your claim than it is to question the holiness of God. "

      You guys are the ones who spit in God's face by affirming that He watches sweet children get raped (screaming in pain and agony) and doesn't save them. I don't believe a loving god would do that. (Or need that.) It is out of respect for God that atheists deny His existence.

      "The only excuse for God is that He doesn't exist." -Friedrich Nietzsche

      Delete
    23. "If it is a physical perversion (AND IS IS), than a God who IS holiness can't sustain it. That's just obvious."

      Just saying it is obvious is not an argument. You seem to think it is a contradiction for God to sustain a perverted act, so if that is the case, put it in logical terms to explain whether the contradiction occurs.

      I don't think it is obvious, however I do agree that it is emotionally compelling, but then that, for present purposes, is hardly a strong philosophical point.

      Here is something you might be interested in reading:
      http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2010/12/unbroken-and-problem-of-evil.html

      Delete
    24. Ohh look who is back with all of his stupidity. All of your points are already addressed in previous threads you've featured on dude. Your reckless sophistry isn't compelling anyone.

      Delete
    25. Remember this is one of the logorrheic troll, SP wannabes that Feser specifically banned. Let's all have some restrain and not feed him, so comment moderation doesn't have to come back.

      Delete
    26. "All of your points are already addressed in previous threads you've featured on dude."

      No. They never gave a reason why an agent chooses one thing over another. So free will is indistinguishable from randomness.

      Delete
    27. Counter Rebel,

      "In doing so, they're actually defending the existence of child rape."

      Not at all. I'm trying to sufficient explain it. Quit it with the emotional appeals. Its like you dont have an argument to stand on. Child rape is still a bad thing. Like I quoted Aquinas, who quotes Augustine, God permits evil. He allows it. It doesn't mean it has any inherent goodness (which is a contradiction), and it doesn't mean we have to like it either.

      As for everything else you said,

      "One miserable child in a room to keep the rest of the city happy? "

      If that is your interpretation of what Aquinas and Augustine mean by bringing out a greater good, then you simply don't understand them. You should probably actually know what you are talking about before making such heavy accusations, like that we think child rape is good. Come on.

      Delete
    28. I was raised Catholic and my middle name is named after Aquinas. I had so many
      troubles with scruples that once I realized I couldn't prove the faith, I gave it up. Now, as for the argument here, a husband can't ejaculate outside his wife
      under any situation according to Catholics because the natural law is in his body.
      Thomism says everything has a definite nature. Now if the husband accidently
      finishes outside the wife, that would be imperfect. So perhaps imperfection can
      be applied to the bodily act of a masturbator (aside from the mortal sin on his soul if he fully consents). But an erect penises in a child's holes is a physical evil that God, as holy, cannot sustain in existence. Hence Thomas's God does not exist. Case closed GR

      Delete
    29. Billy: "Not at all. I'm trying to sufficient explain it."

      Yes, you are. You are saying that ultimately, it's okay for child rape to exist as long as it leads to a needless greater good. That's perverse. Enjoying ten slices of pizza may be a greater good than enjoying two slices, but if the cost of ten slices of pizza is a woman's getting raped, then that greater good can go to hell. Similarly, all greater goods can go to hell if even one child is miserable. God doesn't need greater goods; He is all-powerful, and could make a world with no pain whatsoever.

      "Its like you dont have an argument to stand on."

      Benevolence entails behaving in a benevolent way. Watching someone get raped (not to mention, allowing the desire for rape in the first place) is not loving. If you can't see the conflict between love and raping a child, then there's nothing left to say. The argument from evil is sound, whether or not you Thomists acknowledge it as such. The only reason to allow pain is to ameliorate a bigger pain, which is only an obstacle for weak deities, not all-powerful ones. (So process theism would be an acceptable alternative to classical theism, in my view.)

      "Child rape is still a bad thing."

      So what? It has a label of being bad, but it still happens anyway. This was one of the big realizations I had in my conversion to hard determinism and moral nihilism. So what if rape and the like is 'evil' (whatever that means), if it still happens anyway? J.L. Mackie:

      "He [R.M. Hare] sums up his case thus: 'Think of one world into whose fabric values are objectively built; and think of another in which those values have been annihilated. And remember that in both worlds the people in them go on being concerned about the same things--there is no difference in the "subjective" concern which people have for things, only in their "objective" value. Now I ask, "What is the difference between the states of affairs in these two worlds?" Can any answer be given except "None whatever"?'" (Ethics: Inventing Right and Wrong, pg. 21)

      That said, even though rape is not evil, I still oppose it and would not allow it, given my sympathy. I hate pain, I hate being in pain, and I don't want others to be in pain either.

      Billy: "If that is your interpretation of what Aquinas and Augustine mean by bringing out a greater good, then you simply don't understand them. "

      They're saying it's okay for children to get raped, which shows how smug and unempathetic they are as human beings. Augustine even told Christian rape victims that their being raped might be due to pride. What an awful, callous human being.

      Telling people they "don't understand" is a typical tactic of the religious. I hear it from Calvinists all the time when I point out that their god predetermines the rape of children along with all other evil (or, if you prefer: harmful) behaviour.

      Delete
    30. Anonymous: "[A]n erect penises in a child's holes is a physical evil that God, as holy, cannot sustain in existence. Hence Thomas's God does not exist. Case closed GR"

      Amen to that. Don't let Thomists babysit your children. They might rape them, and then say "God allowed it for a greater good, so don't get upset." And to say "God is holy" when he allows RAPE OF CHILDREN is to make holiness a vacuous concept.

      Given the incoherence of free will, the debate on God's existence is truly over. Given determinism (perhaps with some quantum randomness), even if there is a god, he or she would have no rational reason to punish people for their actions. I've debated free will with people in this comments section. It's amazing how much smoke they blow when I ask a very simple question: Why did the agent choose A over B? No free willer can answer it. If pride caused Satan to rebel, then he isn't responsible, since he didn't choose to be prideful. If pride only influenced Satan, then it's only a partial explanation for his choice at best. One is still left wanting to know why he acted on his pride rather than not. (Die roll.)

      Delete
    31. No. They never gave a reason why an agent chooses one thing over another. So free will is indistinguishable from randomness.

      Ohh shut up and go away that clearly is addressed many times you never articulate that objection in a compelling, non-question begging way in the first place.

      And clearly a rapist on your view is better off doing it then not so again just shut up with this idiocy.

      Delete
    32. Once again, no answer.

      If there's no reason why you do one thing rather than another, then the choice is random. If there is a reason, then your choice is determined, unless you choose what the reason for your choice is, which leads to an infinite regress. If the reason doesn't cause the cause, then it doesn't fully explain why it happened rather than not, since its presence is compatible with the other outcome. As I said, "One is still left wanting to know why he acted on his pride rather than not. (Die roll.)" Abstract "reasons" don't explain anything.

      "[C]learly a rapist on your view is better off doing it then not so again"

      Er, no. I don't believe in moral realism, so there is no 'better'. But there is a 'less painful', and I would prevent rape given the opportunity, unlike your god. The problem of evil is an internal critique. I need not personally believe in evil to use it.

      Delete
    33. "Once again, no answer."

      Because I have no intentions of feeding a troll, this silly argument you have presented have been addressed numerous times in previous threads.

      "Er, no."

      oh Yes, your assertion doesn't change anything. if "less painful" has no moral value there is no reason why this relevant state should be brought about. infact on your view we should totally do the opposite.

      Again I have no intention of feeding further someone incapable of putting 2+2 together.

      Delete
    34. Anonymous: "[T]his silly argument you have presented have been addressed numerous times in previous threads"

      They blew plenty of smoke, but they never answered why one does one thing rather than another. If an explanation need not lead to its outcome, then the outcome is randomized. There's no reason why one outcome transpired rather than the other, given multiple explanation/choice pairs. Why did one explanation win out?

      "[I]f "less painful" has no moral value there is no reason why this relevant state should be brought about."

      Some of us care about reducing pain.

      Delete
    35. Stop being a fruit loop. Compatiblilism is for Theistic Personalist "deities". We don't do that here. But you know that.

      https://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2013/01/metaphysical-middle-man.html

      You haver been answered clearly and concisely but we all know you don't care.

      Delete
    36. I was never given a reason why an agent chooses one thing rather than another. I would leave this comments section forever if someone gave me an answer.

      Delete
  28. Already being The Jimi Hendrix of Thomism, you just may also be the James Brown of philosophy ("The Hardest Working Man in . . ." the Philosophy Business).

    But you're gonna wear me out, Ed. Yeah yeah, I'll be reading it too my usual 7 times aloud. Hopefully your fans won't lapse into (or dare I say remain in) that Oprahmerica Stepford Stasis, subject to:

    "You don't even multi-read Feser, Bro."

    Merry Christmas

    ReplyDelete
  29. Many years ago as a Stanford undergraduate, I did a review and analysis of The Philosophy of Nature (Duquesne University Press) by Andreas Gerardus Maria van Melsen. I received a low grade because the professor didn't think much of an Aristotelian-Thomist work on philosophy of science.

    ReplyDelete
  30. I will end this discussion with this, and leave.

    B Theory of time itself refutes Aristotle. Original matter was in a form (or forms) we could not image. The world could be falling to the emptiness of empty (Kantian world) Modern physics, which people like Robert Sungenis fight against, leads to this blend of German idealistic thought with Russian thought (Lennin). In the beginning there an undeterminate temporal order. Corpuscles (which Leibniz speculated on with metaphysics and logicism) in a void being so distinct from another that they will not intereact, Except by the emerging strength of law which spans the universe.

    Before the "vacuum enegy"??? What is south of the South pole Stephen Hawkings forcing argues.

    Timelessness can make the leap from its state into creating time flow as we know it. Enter the great book of Lawrence Kraus. Read it like a trained phenomenologist would read it. It could have been Husserl's favorite book! This is identical to the wisdom of Tao, and if you are more Platonically inclined, to Confuscian Heaven. But no need of a person out there

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "I will end this discussion with this, and leave."

      There was never any "discussion", but thank you nonetheless.

      Delete
    2. B Theory of time itself refutes Aristotle.

      You might first prove that B-theory of time is true... and you might also have to prove how it does invalidate Aristotle (it doesn't).

      Original matter was in a form (or forms) we could not image.

      You confuse form with shape.... It's like confusing speed with electric charge.

      Before the "vacuum enegy"??? What is south of the South pole Stephen Hawkings forcing argues.

      Hawkins rebuttal is really meaningless for this discussion. Aquinas and Aristotle do not even argue the Universe has a beginning. They allow it to be eternal.

      Hawking's statement, which is based on a speculation which is itself based on speculations, at best contends with some moieties of the Kalaam argument, like the one given by William L. Craig, but that's it.

      Timelessness can make the leap from its state into creating time flow as we know it. Enter the great book of Lawrence Kraus. Read it like a trained phenomenologist would read it.

      Krauss book was pretty much terrible. It was taken apart even by fellow atheists.

      Notably, it is also speculation based on speculation, as Krauss hypotheses are far from proven and mostly based on mathematical theories that have not had any meaningful experimental confirmation (and probably never will).

      In fact even John Horgan (hardly a religious person) at "Scientific American" criticized Krauss, both as a physicist and as ridiculous pseudo-philosopher (see: https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/cross-check/is-lawrence-krauss-a-physicist-or-just-a-bad-philosopher/ )

      Even stronger is the critique of David Albert, who has degrees both in physics and in philosophy, which basically takes Krauss apart (https://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/25/books/review/a-universe-from-nothing-by-lawrence-m-krauss.html).

      Even staunch atheist biologist and philosopher like Massimo Pigliucci (Rationally Speaking Blog) attacked Krauss.

      By the fact you speak about "the great book of Lawrence Kraus"(sic – I mean at least spell it right) it means you probably know as much of science as you do about philosophy: pretty much nothing.

      Delete
    3. FM, thank you. You saved me a lot of work to say just that.

      Delete
  31. It sounds like an interesting book, but why reduce everything to metaphysics? Thomas' philosophy of nature is capable of standing by itself.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. jac

      I'm not sure why you think Ed's reducing everything to metaphysics.

      Metaphysics is ontologically prior to epistemology in that there first has to be a metaphysical reality or being in which epistemological theorizing can be carried out.

      But epistemology is logically prior to metaphysics in order to know metaphysical truth.

      So both are dependent on each other, but in their different respective senses.

      This is a point missed by the Reformed presuppositionalists, which is one reason why they think that somehow a first metaphysical principle can nevertheless be used as a logical justification for both theism and Christianity. It's also very handy in discussions, because one can just mouth some presuppositionalist rhetoric and never actually have to argue one's view---or read anything. Once you get the lingo, voila: you have a Pocket Fisherman version of Blik-Faith that you can use in place of having to do any thinking. If anyone questions you about the logical justification of your view---Bingo!---just parrot a few presuppositional ontology claims as if they're airtight epistemological arguments---a true labor-saving device. Pay no attention to that 70+% of their children running away from Christianity behind the curtain.

      Delete
    2. Once you work out the details of formal and final causality you can have an onto-epistemology, as being is not divorced from knowing. That's a modern problem.

      Delete
  32. Dr. Feser,

    Could you please write a review of Father Chad Ripperger `s books "The Metaphysics of Evolution" and "The Principal of the Integral Good"?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I second this. The first demands a response.

      Delete
  33. One should note some people confuse B-Theory time with Eternalism(which is a way of modeling time using Parmenides' metaphysics).

    Perhaps this person meant Eternalism refutes Aristotle?

    ReplyDelete
  34. What makes the sunset?
    What makes the moon rise?
    What makes the tide remember to hide
    And why does it soon rise?

    What makes a star fall?
    Where does it fall to?
    Why does its flight make us stop
    In the night and wish as we all do?

    And what holds a cloud together?
    And what makes the sky so blue?

    What makes the sunset?
    What makes the moon rise?
    Is it my love for you?

    And what holds a cloud together?
    And what makes the sky so blue?

    What makes the sunset?
    What makes the moon rise?
    Is it my love for you?

    Existential mysticism!

    ReplyDelete
  35. Nice! Another fine book to look forward to. Well done and congratulations, Dr Feser.

    While I'm excited for the entire book, I'm especially looking forward to the final three sections. Will be very informative and interesting!

    ReplyDelete
  36. Oh no, it's got a black cover like scholastic metaphysics. I'm guessing I'm too dumb for it again.

    ReplyDelete
  37. "Oh no, it's got a black cover like scholastic metaphysics."

    I think originally Ed was going to have no lettering on the cover at all and title it Smell the Glove.

    ReplyDelete
  38. "4.3.6 In defense of presentism"

    Wait, so a Catholic will be defending an A-theory of time? How does that square with the Catechism "600 To God, all moments of time are present in their immediacy"?

    The B-theory is often used to protect free will and omniscience. But with an A-theory, God knows what the choices will be before they even exist. That means to choose ~X (if God believes I will do X) would be to prove God wrong or change the past (making God have believed something different).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am glad you brought it up. The Thomists' acceptance of A-theory of Time has left me scratching my head. How do they reconcile presentism with God's omniscience? How does God know the future choices made by people with free will if the future does not exist yet in one way or another?

      Delete
    2. It is a mistake to confuse A Theory and B Theory with Presentism and Eternalism.

      http://www.arcaneknowledge.org/philtheo/temporal/temporal.htm

      Also there is no reason why we can't accept Relativity and believe the present is merely local.

      http://www.arcaneknowledge.org/philtheo/temporal/temporal.htm#ch5

      Delete
    3. additionally:

      My favorate quote from the above Paper.

      "If a consequence of relativity is that the present can only be defined from a local perspective, it does not follow that the present (or its respective past or future) is unreal. On the contrary, observational, perspective-dependent reality is the only kind of reality that deserves to be called physical, if physics is taken to be an empirical science."

      Delete
    4. Anon.

      So many mistakes.

      1)Your first mistake is to equate A-theory Time with Presentism. They are related but not synonomous. Also the whole A vs B Theory time nonsense is flawed.

      http://www.arcaneknowledge.org/philtheo/temporal/temporal2.htm#ch10

      2. Presentism is merely the philosophical belief that the present is real vs eternalism which denies it.

      3. God doesn't have to be present in Time for the present which exists in time to be real.
      God knows the future not because God has external senses that look foward in time but because God is the cause of the furture & God knows it because He knows Himself the concerent cause of it.

      Enough of the Theistic Personalism. We don't do that here.

      Delete
    5. "God knows the future not because God has external senses that look foward in time but because God is the cause of the furture"

      Are you a compatibilist, then? God causes my future free choices, which are 'free' because they line up with my desire (which God also predetermined)?

      Delete
    6. Stop being a puff.

      https://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2013/01/metaphysical-middle-man.html

      Delete
    7. Your linked article does not discuss free will at all or how it fits with exhaustive divine foreknowledge.

      Delete
  39. Wm. Lane Craig of course is not a Thomist. I remember Craig somewhere writing that Aquinas seems to need a B theory of time, but that the saint in places speaks as though working from an A theory. I don't know whether 'A theory' and 'B theory' would be anachronisms if read into Aquinas, such that the saint can be said to hold some third theory.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well I guess this book would be pretty much first articulation of presentism from Thomistic perspective.

      I don't think any of those terms can be applied to Aquinas because they didn't exist at his time. But from the theory of act/potency I think its clear that thomist must favor presentism or at least some version of A-theory.

      Delete
    2. Here you go Ficino from me (BenYachov/Jim the Scott)to you. This should clear that up for you.

      http://www.arcaneknowledge.org/philtheo/temporal/temporal.htm

      Delete
  40. I don't have time to keep debating these subjects, although I keep letting myself get pulled into them. I just wanted to state a few points which you can debate and perhaps refute, but to which I won't respond

    1) Its presumptuous to believe that we know definitely, from philosophy, that solid material objects have two principles, form and prime matter. How solid does the matter have to be? Is a pond one form or two? How you group things is
    psychology. And so is the idea of the world being contingent in the sense that it needs a supernatural God. People have experiences that the world is one mystical entity; you have an experience that its dependence on a necessary being. No arguments can settle this. Finally, in some Eastern Christian traditions, they have essence, power, and energy as the THREE components of things. Are you sure they are wrong?

    2) I never said that the world caused itself. Hawking meshes philosophical stuff with physics and he is wrong when he does that. What I said was that the world came from a state of timelessness to moving time. Understanding what actualized the transition (a law within the timeless singularity) took me a freaking long
    time for me to grasp, but it makes sense despite you all making fun of it.

    3) The Thomistic God is the actualizer of even bestiality. Think about that for a minute. He is its primary foundation. You can try to make some argument (switching to homosexuality here) that its not wrong to rub lotion on a guy and if he gets hard that's accidental but that if its with intention to consent its all a absence in the soul blah blah blah. Very un-Thomistic. What actually happens is existential reality, acts from our sexual nature that often are perverse. No God that is Holy, that is "set apart", to whom nothing wrong can be imputed to, can possibly sustain and actualize certian sexual acts. So Thomism as a whole has a huge hole in
    it (pun intended). GTR

    ReplyDelete
    Replies



    1. Well I am bored enought to answer this nonsense.

      >I don't have time to keep debating these subjects, although I keep letting myself get pulled into them. I just wanted to state a few points which you can debate and perhaps refute, but to which I won't respond

      Promises....Promises....Yeh and my first college girl friend promised me we would one day marry and I would get to have her goodies.

      That didn't happen. My later college girlfriend OTOH....;-) NICE!!!:D (Marriage is an awesome sacrament for a young man let me tell ya)


      >Its presumptuous to believe that we know definitely, from philosophy, that solid material objects have two principles, form and prime matter.

      We know based on the arguments which you are dodging here or you are confusing them with empirical investigation.

      >How solid does the matter have to be? Is a pond one form or two? How you group things is
      psychology. And so is the idea of the world being contingent in the sense that it needs a supernatural God.

      This is as goofy as listening to a Young Earth Creationist gab about "Why don't animals give birth to missing links on a regular basis if Evolution is true" & twice as silly.

      Dude! DO YOUR HOMEWORK!

      > People have experiences that the world is one mystical entity; you have an experience that its dependence on a necessary being. No arguments can settle this.

      Lazy...

      >Finally, in some Eastern Christian traditions, they have essence, power, and energy as the THREE components of things. Are you sure they are wrong?

      Ambigious as well. Which Eastern philosophical Tradition? You didn't name any?

      >2) I never said that the world caused itself. Hawking meshes philosophical stuff with physics and he is wrong when he does that.

      It is self evident you both have the same compotence in the area of philosophy.

      >What I said was that the world came from a state of timelessness to moving time.

      In other words it had the potental to have time and something actualized that potental and by definition that thing was already in act.

      > Understanding what actualized the transition (a law within the timeless singularity) took me a freaking long time for me to grasp, but it makes sense despite you all making fun of it.

      A "Law" is an observed regularity in nature not a causal agent. At best it's a place holder for a final cause but not an efficent one or formal one.

      >3) The Thomistic God is the actualizer of even bestiality. Think about that for a minute.

      He causes rational beings to exist who choose to commit immoralities & perversions with non-rational animals. So what?

      >He is its primary foundation.

      No He is the concerent cause of causes of existing things nothing more. He causes rational being who freely choose to violate the moral law to exist and act out their perversions. So what?

      >You can try to make some argument (switching to homosexuality here) that its not wrong to rub lotion on a guy and if he gets hard that's accidental but that if its with intention to consent its all a absence in the soul blah blah blah.

      Dude if you are going to make creepy homosexual inferences at least do so in praise of Milo Yiannopoulos.

      >Very un-Thomistic. What actually happens is existential reality, acts from our sexual nature that often are perverse.

      The perversion is in the act's lack of moral goodness & lack of rationality.

      >No God that is Holy, that is "set apart", to whom nothing wrong can be imputed to, can possibly sustain and actualize certian sexual acts.

      Yes He can since the accidents of the act are not evil per say.

      >So Thomism as a whole has a huge hole in
      it (pun intended). GTR

      Rather you are committing falicies of equivocation and are boring everyone in the process.

      Delete
    2. "NICE!!!:D (Marriage is an awesome sacrament for a young man let me tell ya)"

      I'm tempted now.

      "He causes rational being who freely choose to violate the moral law to exist and act out their perversions"

      Choices are based off what the mind perceives as worth doing. To be free, you'd have to choose what you desire, which starts a regress of choosing desires based on prior desires.

      Perhaps you're a compatibilist, which makes God the ultimate cause of rape and the Holocaust.

      "Yes He can since the accidents of the act are not evil per say."

      So what? Still, he sustains what is necessary for the act to take place while it takes place. Some Thomists even think our "free" choices are ultimately caused by God.

      Delete
  41. Throw fake grenade into combox and run. Classy.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Didn't you say, agreeing on that with John Searle, that natural selection was non-teleological in The Last Superstition? Did you change your mind on that?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll just quote the only text referring to Searle, teleology, and natural selection that you're sure gives that impression. That way, everyone here will be able to clearly see just how much of an expert you are on the Teletubbies Scale of Sentence-Structure Analysis:

      "The main problem with the theory in question, however, is the one emphasized by John Searle, namely that natural selection simply has nothing whatsoever to do with teleology or natural functions, and that that is indeed the very point of appeals to natural selection."

      Yeah, once again Edward Feser and John Searle are riffin' in sync: just two peas in the exact same teleological pod, for sure.

      I bet they're out singing duets of Christmas carols right now to a statue of Darwin.

      Delete
  43. Son of Ya'Kov

    The tell-tale problem of that whole A-vs-B time theory arbitrage crowd is that when you ask them what time theory they're running on in adjudicating the whole mess---they won't even give you the time of day.

    I think you've made it clear. It's like ole By-What-Standard? Ayn Rand once said, they're wasting the present moment, to put off the problem of the next one.

    ReplyDelete