Monday, December 26, 2011

Links of interest

Kathrin Koslicki and Tuomas Tahko are two important contributors to the current revival of interest in neo-Aristotelian metaphysics.  Tahko’s commentary on Koslicki’s book The Structure of Objects is available via his blog.

Mike Flynn, hard SF writer extraordinaire and friend of this blog, is interviewed here.

David Goldman argues that, like Europe, the Islamic world is facing a catastrophic decline in population.  

An interview at with the executive director of the winery that produces the Aquinas line of wines.

Robert Pasnau discusses Averro√ęs, the decline of Islamic philosophy, and the revival of philosophy in the medieval West.

Metaphysician Stephen Mumford describes the influence superhero comic books had upon him.

New and recent books to watch for: 

Stephen Mumford and Rani Lill Anjum, Getting Causes from Powers

Something new from the late David Stove: What’s Wrong with Benevolence: Happiness, Private Property, and the Limits of Enlightenment [Links to reviews here.  Scroll down.]

Bruce Charlton, another friend of this blog, has recently published Thought Prison: The Fundamental Nature of Political Correctness


  1. I just have to say thanks. As a busy (inadequately) philosophically trained evangelical pastor it's helpful to have some guidance as to reading while re-learning Aquinas after being victimized by post enlightenment understandings.

  2. Thanks Mr. Feser. I wonder do you have any podcast recommendations? Additionally, is there ever any chance that we would hear you on a program like Unbelievable? It's a Christian discussion show that a pits a Christian against a non-Christian is an informal setting. A certain Stephen Law has recently appeared on it discussion the EGC.

  3. For those interested here is the link

  4. Mr. Feser,

    I really appreciate your blog!

  5. I really, really recommend Charlton's book. It's a nice sequence of aphorisms, but its aim is clear: to understand political correctness as a self-destructive Christian heresy. Good stuff.

  6. I strongly recommend Dr. Charlton's "Thought Prison," which is a good companion to Eric Voegelin's works on the poisonous character of modernity. I had the good fortune to read it a few months back and it deeply impressed me at a time when my ideas about the nature of the world were in flux. His conclusions are a lot more radical than most people are comfortable with, but I think they're inescapable.

  7. Okay Dr. Feser, here's a semi-related question for another post if you ever have the time. Mr. Flynn says this in his interview:

    "...'Places Where the Roads Don’t Go' started with an abstract idea suggested by Searle’s Chinese Room and Lucas’ Goedelian Proof."

    ...I'm not mathematically minded enough to think about the philosophical implications of Lucas' Goedelian proof, I must admit.

    But I AM curious as to how you, Dr. Feser, as an Aristotelian-Thomist would respond to the (in)famous Chinese room thought experiment conceived by John Searle.

    From the little bit I've read on the thought experiment (re.: from the wikipedia article on it) Mr. Searle seems to think that the thought experiment disproves dualism. This seems problematic for Aristotelian-Thomists since Aquinas is a hylemporphic dualist. Searle himself apparently takes the position of biological naturalism.

    I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on this one day if you have the time, Dr. Feser.


  8. Hi NOT the Philosopher.

    In fact, Searle's thought experiment is an argument against functionalism, a materialistic theory of the mind (not a critique of dualism).

    You can read prof. Feser's thoughts on the Chinese Room in his "Philosophy of Mind: a Beginner's Guide", pp. 155-159.

  9. Thanks for the promotion Ed, as ever!

  10. Thank you very much 21st Century Scholastic!

  11. Before those other books, get and read The Last Superstition and *master* it. A staggering achievement and I'm still only at page 184. Protestants and independent Christians would do well to remember that Craig, Geisler, Hackett et. al. all mastered Aquinas, and in the 70s advocated him to students (including myself). Craig once joked with me in 1980, "Have you memorized Aquinas yet?"

    Let me warn you, as a used and rare book dealer, to be careful in ordering books. As an example, Charlton's Thought Prison goes for $31 and up on, and on you'll pay about $22 including shipping.

    Go to to get a bigger picture of the market for any particular book. I got Thought Prison for a total of $14.54 including shipping, from, but had to use bookfinder to find that deal. And bookdepository is the seller who has it at $31 on, while their own site has it for the $14.54 shipping-included price!

  12. Also--you can get the kindle version of Thought Prison for $9.99. I highly recommend Dr. Charlton's blog.