Thursday, February 6, 2014

Studia Neoaristotelica

Readers not already familiar with it should be aware of Studia Neoaristotelica: A Journal of Analytical Scholasticism.  Recent issues include articles by Nicholas Rescher, Richard Swinburne, Theodore Scaltsas, William Vallicella, James Franklin, Helen Hattab, and other authors known to readers of this blog.  Subscription information for individuals and institutions can be found here.


  1. Re: Nicholas Rescher, has anyone else here heard the following story about him?

    A graduate student comes to the department office and wants to speak with him. The receptionist says, "He's working on a book." The student says, "That's fine; I'll wait."

  2. Hello? [tap tap tap] Is this on?

    [crickets chirping]

    I guess I'd better not quit my day job. ;-)

  3. As an average guy I like to see smart people crack jokes, makes them seem less intimidating to me :)

  4. Have ye something against the chirping of crickets? 'tis a soothing sound, you know; -- though, admittedly, vastly underappreciated by those who are fast at what they do. Why, I'll bet Rescher himself underappreciates the salvific chirrups. Not that he doesn't like 'em, mind you; just that by the time he stops to listen, he's already somewhere else.

  5. My immediate reaction was "Nicholas Rescher? That's a name I haven't heard in a long, long time." I'm glad to know he's still around and kicking.

  6. Yeah, he's 85 and not showing any signs of slowing down.

  7. Has anyone read The One God: A Commentary on the First Part of Saint Thomas' Theological Summa by Garrigou-Lagrange? I'm thinking of purchasing this. Is it a good commentary?

  8. I haven't read all of it, but it's online here and I've looked through parts of it. It appears to be of the same high quality as his Reality: A Synthesis of Thomistic Thought, which is quite good.

  9. Thanks for the link Scott - bookmarked!

  10. Scott: I haven't heard that joke told about Rescher, but I've heard a similar one told about N. T. Wright.

  11. I can see that. Wright's pretty productive.

  12. And of course there's this entry from the Philosophical Lexicon:

    resch, (1) v. To evince an extravagant or pathological degree of intellectual energy in many directions. "He is always resching into print - one can't keep up with his stuff." (2) rescher, n. A unit for measuring the volume of printed pages, equal to the collected works of Francis Bacon (hence, a rescher of Bacon). 1 rescher = 10,000 sheffers. "The new wing will increase the library capacity by over a thousand reschers."

  13. The amount of things one learns in this combox.

  14. Here's a good one (from the PL):

    o schlick, adj. Characterizing a theory of position close-shaven by Occam's razor. "Push, pull, schlick, schlick." ("Push, pull, Click, Click!")

    Another (BF) good(rich) one:

    o skin, v. To ignore the inside of something. "There is more than one way to skin a katz." Hence, skinner, n. one who skins.

    I'd do some more, but I'm easily tired.

  15. Two more from the Philosophical Lexicon:

    1. quine, v. (1) To deny resolutely the existence or importance of something real or significant. "Some philosophers have quined classes, and some have even quined physical objects." Occasionally used intr., e.g., "You think I quine, sir. I assure you I do not!" (2) n. The total aggregate sensory surface of the world; hence quinitis, irritation of the quine.

    2. aquinas, (from a-, not, and quine) Philosophers who refuse to deny the existence or importance of something real or significant.

    - - - - -

    One may wonder why, given its definition, Dennett would have included "aquinas" in the PL.

    Ah, but he did not.

    We read the following in the preface to the 2008 Edition of The Philosophical Lexicon:

    "During the 21 years that have past [sic] since the publication of the last edition in 1987, Daniel Dennett received almost two hundred new entry proposals. These were all passed on to me [Asbjørn Steglich-Petersen] along with the editorship in May 2008. 56 of the proposals have been selected for the 2008 Edition and added to the 245 entries from the Eighth Edition."

    And a quick perusal of NEW ENTRIES 2008 reveals that "aquinas" was added in 2008.

    Clearly, "aquinas" was added to the PL only after Dennett had passed on responsibility for it to Steglich-Petersen.

    So the implied charge of self-incrimination may be dismissed, right?

    Not so fast.

    The new entries for 2008 were selected from the "almost two hundred new entry proposals" passed along to Steglich-Petersen by none other than Dennett himself.

    And now... may wonder whether, in passing along the new entry proposals, Dennett might have hoped that a particular one would not be included in future editions of the PL.

  16. Also of possible interest is that fact that Dennett appears to be responsible for the definitions of both "quine" and "foster."

    See here for his coinage of the latter. His mention of symmetry considerations indicates that "quine" was already defined at that point, this definition therefore presumably having been at least approved by him as well despite his own views on qualia.

    Perhaps Dennett just has a sense of humor.

  17. (foster, v. To insist on the importance or existence of something insignificant or unreal. "Qualia should not be quined, but fostered!" - commentary by J[ohn] Foster on "Quining Qualia", Oxford, 1979.)

  18. This question is totally out of nowhere and completely off-topic, but does anyone here know how Michael J. Loux pronounces his last name? I've always pronounced it loo, but I've also seen/heard others with that name pronounces it low—and the minor-league Cubs pitcher Barret Loux pronounces it loucks (ou as in house and cks as in ducks).

    I suppose to keep this more or less on-topic we could regard it as another example of the indeterminacy of the physical: nothing in the marks on the page (or pixels on the screen) determines how the name is to be pronounced or even to which specific person it refers, and yet when I use it I quite determinately mean the Notre Dame philosopher.

  19. I don't know how Michael J. Loux pronounces his last name, but according to Pronounce Names Barret Loux is, lo and behold, mispronouncing his last name.

    Sorry to be so unhelpful.

    (Although, I suppose, a case might be made that I have contributed another nail to the determinacy-of-physical-marks coffin.)

  20. (Or, more precisely, pounded for good measure the additional nail already added above.)

  21. Theodore Scaltsas' Project Archelogos looks to be somewhat interesting. I wonder if the founding of the project might have drawn some of its inspiration from Netz's, The Shaping of Deduction in Greek Mathematics: A Study in Cognitive History.

  22. @Glenn:

    Thats actually one of the sites I've looked at, and it gives mutually contradictory pronunciations: "Low, rhymes with Blow," and (below it) Barret the Pitcher's, as well as one I didn't mention: Luke's.

    So yes, it's very helpful on the indeterminacy argument.

  23. The Archelogos site looks (Luke's?) very interesting too.

  24. Scott,

    Thats actually one of the sites I've looked at, and it gives mutually contradictory pronunciations:

    Oh, I missed that. (I did.)

    And I shouldn't have.

    But I didn't slow down, er, scroll down, as I was in too much of a hurry to get back to my reading of Trevanian's The Loux Sanction.

    - - - -

    My favorite Trevanian work is Shibumi (though The Main is a close second). In the same basic genre as Shibumi is Lustbader's The Ninja. The Ninja is the first in a series of books with Nicholas Linnear as the main character. The second book of that series is The Miko. The Miko -- the character, rather than the title -- had been taught jaho, one of the supposed skills of which included the ability to mask or hide intent. So, and to playfully overstate the case, I have sometimes thought that there are modern-day wanna-be Mikos all attempting to mask or hide intentionality.

  25. After reading all these, I'm still groaning over "rescher of Bacon."

  26. Re: Loux. I'm at ND and there everyone calls him "luhx"