Monday, March 30, 2020

Franklin on Aristotelian realism and mathematics

At YouTube, mathematician and philosopher James Franklin, author of An Aristotelian Realist Philosophy of Mathematics, offers a brief introduction to the subject.  Also check out the website he and some others have devoted to Aristotelian realism, as well as Franklin’s personal website.

A public lecture on mathematics and ethics that Franklin is scheduled to give on April 2 will, in light of the COVID-19 situation, be pre-recorded and posted online.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Craig, conventionalism, and voluntarism

At his personal Facebook page and also at the Reasonable Faith Facebook page, William Lane Craig briefly comments on my First Things review of his book God Over All.  Bill says:

For our philosophically inclined readers who are interested in divine aseity and Platonism, here's a great little philosophical exercise: Where does this review by Ed Feser go wrong? (Hint: do I hold that mathematical truth is conventional? Why think I should?)

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Aquinas anticipated everything

So notes a friend who sent me this image of the cover of a dissertation from the 1950s.  (No doubt the author was using the phrase in a different sense than has now become familiar.  Any guesses as to the true subject matter?)

Friday, March 20, 2020

Craig contra the truthmaker objection to presentism

Presentism holds that, in the temporal realm (that is to say, apart from eternal and aeviternal entities), only present objects and events exist.  Now, if statements about past events and objects are true, then there must be something that makes them true.  But in that case, the “truthmaker objection” to presentism holds, past objects and events must exist.  I’ve argued in previous posts that this objection is greatly overrated.  Indeed, for the reasons I gave there, I can’t myself fathom what all the fuss is about.  William Lane Craig seems to agree.  In his book God Over All (which I reviewed recently in First Things), he has occasion briefly to address the issue.  Craig writes:

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Coronavirus complications

For reasons most of which have to do directly or indirectly with the COVID-19 coronavirus situation, none of the remaining public lectures for the first half or so of the year that I had announced a couple of months ago will occur.  (There are still events planned for the latter half of the year, which I will announce closer to the time.)

Also, in light of the situation, my college, like many others, has abruptly transitioned to online teaching.  The resulting new workload promises to be as heavy as it was sudden and unexpected. 

I fully intend to keep this blog going to doomsday and beyond, but if things temporarily get a little slower here in the next couple of weeks as I adjust to this new reality, that is why!

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Review of Craig’s God Over All

My review of William Lane Craig’s book God Over All: Divine Aseity and the Challenge of Platonism appears in the April 2020 issue of First Things.  You can read it online here.

Sunday, March 8, 2020

On-topic open thread (and a word on trolls)

Folks, please don’t post off-topic comments in the comboxes.  I will delete them, and any responses to them, as soon as I see them, and (since I don’t always see them immediately) sometimes that means that a long thread will develop that is destined to end up in the ether.  Remember, if your comment begins with something like “This is off topic, but…,” then it isn’t a comment you should be posting.  And remember too, there is always that remedy for concupiscence known as the open thread.  Here’s the latest.  This time, everything is on topic, from acid jazz to Thomas Szasz, from Family Guy to Strong AI, from the coronavirus to Miley Cyrus.

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

The other way to lose a war

Rod Dreher comments on the U.S. deal with the Taliban to withdraw, at long last, from Afghanistan.  He writes: “The Taliban whipped… the United States… We simply could not prevail.  The richest and most powerful nation in the world could not beat these SOBs.”  Well, that’s obviously not true in the usual sense of words like “whipped” and “beat.”  Suppose you effortlessly beat me to a bloody pulp and I fall to the ground, desperately panting for air and barely conscious.  You put your boot on my neck and demand that I cry “Uncle.”  I refuse, despite your repeated kicks to the gut, and after fifteen minutes or so of this you get bored and walk away.  It would be quite absurd if, wiping the blood off my face and pulling myself up to my wobbling knees, I proudly exclaim: “Did you see how I whipped that guy?”