Monday, April 27, 2015

Animal souls, Part I

Here’s a postscript, in two parts, to my recent critique in Public Discourse of David Bentley Hart’s case for there being animals in heaven.  In this first part, I discuss in more detail than I did in the original article Donald Davidson’s arguments for denying that animals can think or reason in the strict sense.  (This material was originally supposed to appear in the Public Discourse article, but the article was overlong and it had to be removed.)  In the second part, I will address some of the response to the Public Discourse article.  Needless to say, those who haven’t yet read the Public Discourse article are urged to do so before reading what follows, since what I have to say here presupposes what I said there.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Review of Mele

Over at the online edition of City Journal, I review Alfred Mele’s recent book Free: Why Science Hasn't Disproved Free Will.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Toner and McInerny on Scholastic Metaphysics

Two new reviews of Scholastic Metaphysics: A Contemporary Introduction.  First, in the Spring 2015 issue of the American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly, Prof. Patrick Toner (pictured at left) kindly reviews the book.  From the review:

This is an excellent little survey of scholastic metaphysics, written more or less from the perspective of “analytic Thomism”…

The refutation of scientism is elegant and thoroughly successful…

Feser explains the rationale behind [the] principle [of causality], distinguishes it from the Principle of Sufficient Reason, and defends it against many objections, including a standard from Hume, as well as more recent worries, from Newton, and from quantum mechanics.  Very useful material.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Back from Princeton

This past Saturday, I gave the Princeton Anscombe Society’s 10th Anniversary Lecture, on the subject “Natural Law and the Foundations of Sexual Ethics.”  Prof. Robert George was the moderator.  The Daily Princetonian covered the event, and the Anscombe Society has posted some pictures.  Video of the lecture has also been posted at YouTube.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Hart jumps the shark

In the April issue of First Things, David Bentley Hart takes Thomists to task for denying that some non-human animals posses “irreducibly personal” characteristics, that they exhibit “certain rational skills,” and that Heaven will be “positively teeming with fauna.”  I respond at Public Discourse, in “David Bentley Hart Jumps the Shark: Why Animals Don’t Go to Heaven.”

Friday, April 3, 2015

The two faces of tolerance

What is proclaimed and practiced as tolerance today, is in many of its most effective manifestations serving the cause of oppression.

Herbert Marcuse

Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.

H. L. Mencken

Given current events in Indiana, I suppose it is time once again to recall a post first run on the old Right Reason blog in March of 2007, and reprinted on this blog in December of 2009.  Here are the relevant passages, followed by some commentary:

Albertus Magnus Center summer program

The Albertus Magnus Center for Scholastic Studies is sponsoring a two-week summer program in Norcia, Italy, from July 12-25.  The theme is Aquinas’s commentary on I Corinthians.  Details can be found here.