Tuesday, April 21, 2009

TLS on radio

Some more upcoming radio interviews about The Last Superstition: I will be appearing on The Bob Dutko Show this Wednesday (the 22nd) at around 2:05-2:35 pm EST. Next week, on Thursday the 30th, I’ll be on The Jim Bohannon Show from 8-9pm PST.


  1. Dear Edward,

    Let me ask about your defense of the after-life. It's a part of TLS and it's inspired by Aquinas' hylemorphic antropology.

    The best Aquinas' argument (along the hylemorphic lines) I know of is the following:

    "We have to say that the human soul is entirely incorruptible. For a clear understanding of which we should consider that what per se belongs to something cannot be removed from it, just as from a man it cannot be removed that he is an animal, nor from a number that it is either even or odd. It is clear, however, that being per se belongs to form, for everything has being in virtue of its proper form; whence being can in no way be separated from form. Therefore, things composed of matter and form are corrupted by losing the form to which being per se belongs. But the form itself cannot be corrupted per se, but it is corrupted per accidens, insofar as the composite thing that exists by the form loses its being, provided the form is such that it is not a thing that has being, but it is only that by which the composite thing has being. If, therefore, there is a form which is a thing that has being, then it is necessary for that form to be incorruptible. For being is not separated from something that has being, except by its form getting separated from it; therefore, if that which has being is the form itself, then it is impossible that being should be separated from it. It is manifest, however, that the principle by which a man understands is a form that has being in itself, and [that it does not have this being] only as that by which something [else] exists. For understanding, as the Philosopher proves in bk. 3. of the De Anima is not an act performed by some bodily organ." (QDA a. 14, co.; transl. by G. Klima.)

    First, the existence belongs to the soul per se? I've thought that is the privilege of the A-T God.

    Second, why the soul could go out of existence only by separating? Isn't it possible for some entity to go out of existence without being separated?

    Thank you.


  2. Hello Vlastimil,

    Aquinas's view is that the soul has no natural tendency to go out of existence, so that nothing else in nature can destroy it. Only compounds of form and matter can go out of existence through natural means, because the matter could always in theory lose the form it happens to have at any moment. Rational souls (and angels), being forms without matter, thus have a kind of natural immortality.

    But like everything other than God, souls (and angels) are compounds of essence and existence, and thus (a) still have to be sustained in being by God at every moment they exist, and (b) could therefore be annihilated if God wished. So, being per se belongs even to souls (and angels) only in a qualified sense. It is indeed God alone to whom being per se belongs without qualification.

  3. FYI

    Footnotes are messed up in Ch.2 on the Greeks Bearing Gifts, starting at around #27, which is not reffed in the text that I could see. Hence, there are 32 footnotes in the back; but only 31 references in the text.