Saturday, October 27, 2018

Violence in word and action

Bernard Wuellner’s always-useful Dictionary of Scholastic Philosophy defines violence as “action contrary to the nature of a thing.”  Readers of Aristotle and Aquinas will be familiar with this usage, which is reflected in their distinction between natural and violent motion.  Some of their applications of this distinction presuppose obsolete science.  For example, we now know that physical objects do not have motion toward the center of the earth, specifically, as their natural end.  Hence projectile motion away from the earth is not, after all, violent.  But the distinction itself is not obsolete.  For example, trapping or killing an animal is obviously violent in the relevant sense.  It is acting contrary to the natural ends of the animal.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Capital punishment on The Patrick Coffin Show

A few weeks ago I was interviewed by Patrick Coffin on the subject of capital punishment and the recent change to the Catechism.  You can now watch the interview either at The Patrick Coffin Show website or at YouTube.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

By Man on radio

Last week on The Catholic Current radio show, I was interviewed by Fr. Robert McTeigue about By Man Shall His Blood Be Shed and the recent change to the Catechism’s treatment of capital punishment.  The interview lasted an hour and you can listen to the podcast online.

Friday, October 12, 2018

The voluntarist personality

A voluntarist conception of persons takes the will to be primary and the intellect to be secondary.  That is to say, for voluntarism, at the end of the day what we think reflects what we will.  An intellectualist conception of persons takes the intellect to be primary and the will to be secondary.  For intellectualism, at the end of the day, what we will reflects what we think.  The two views are, naturally, more complicated than that.  For example, no voluntarist would deny that what we think affects what we will, and no intellectualist would deny that what we will affects what we think.  But the basic idea is that for the voluntarist, the will is ultimately in the driver’s seat, whereas for the intellectualist, the intellect is ultimately in the driver’s seat.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Caught in the web

Many of you will have heard the awful news already.  Longtime blogger Zippy Catholic has died.

David Oderberg’s new book Opting Out: Conscience and Cooperation in a Pluralistic Society has just been published by the Institute of Economic Affairs.

At the Daily Intelligencer, the liberal Andrew Sullivan on the dangerously illiberal tendencies currently unfolding within the Democratic Party. 

At Five Books, Peter Hacker on the best books on Wittgenstein.