Wednesday, December 30, 2020
Saturday, December 26, 2020
The access problem for mathematical Platonism
Sunday, December 20, 2020
District Attorney Michel Foucault
Saturday, December 12, 2020
What was the Holy Roman Empire?
However, while these things are true of the institution of the state in general, they do not entail the existence of any particular state. That is to say, while the natural law and our supernatural end require that there be states, they don’t require that there exists Germany, specifically, or the United States, or China. For the most part, the same thing is true of empires. Nothing in natural law or in our supernatural end requires that there be a British Empire, specifically, or a Mongol Empire.
Friday, December 4, 2020
Augustine on divine illumination
Plato held that the Form of the Good makes other Forms intelligible to us in a way comparable to how the sun makes physical objects visible to us. He also took our knowledge of the Forms to be inexplicable in empirical terms, since the Forms have a necessity, eternity, and perfection that the objects of the senses lack. His solution was to regard knowledge of the Forms as a kind of recollection of a direct access the soul had to them prior to its entrapment in the body.
Thursday, November 26, 2020
Links for Thanksgiving
The rediscovery of hell. At First Things, Cardinal Pell abandons Balthasarian wishful thinking.
Never mind 2020. David Oderberg asks: How did Donald Trump win in 2016?
Reading Religion reviews Steven Jensen’s book on Thomistic psychology.
The AARP magazine on the heartbreaking last days of Stan Lee.
Monday, November 23, 2020
Church and Culture radio interview
You can find links to other radio interviews and the like here.
Saturday, November 21, 2020
Tyranny of the sovereign individual
and therefore he is like a part in relation to the whole. But he who is unable to live in society, or who has no need because he is sufficient for himself, must be either a beast or a god.
Aristotle, Politics, Book I
At The American Conservative, Rod Dreher interviews theologian Carl Trueman about his new book The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self. Trueman argues that the collapse of traditional sexual morality cannot be understood except as a consequence of a radically individualist conception of the self that has been working its way ever deeper into every nook and cranny of the Western mind through the course of the modern age – including the minds of many so-called conservatives. Yet too few defenders of traditional sexual morality realize this. Trueman says:
Thursday, November 12, 2020
Means, motive, and opportunity
Trump’s fiercest critics are hardly in any position to disagree. For years they insisted with shrill confidence that Trump “colluded” with Russia to steal the 2016 election – even though, as honest lefties like Matt Taibbi and Glenn Greenwald vainly tried to warn them, that was a conspiracy theory for which there never was serious evidence.
Thursday, November 5, 2020
Pink on Aristotle’s Revenge
Edward Feser’s Aristotle’s Revenge is presented as a philosophical defence of Aristotelianism in its robust scholastic form, as exemplified by the work of Thomas Aquinas. This broadly Thomist Aristotelianism, Feser argues, far from being a block to the study of nature, provides a metaphysics that is the necessary foundation for any science of nature, from physics to psychology. The “revenge” lies in this fact, and most especially in the indispensability of Aristotelian doctrine to the very understanding of science and scientific investigation itself…
Monday, November 2, 2020
Perfect love casts out fear
Months of lawlessness have left people on edge and anxious, and their anxiety is unlikely to be much abated by the outcome of the election. For either the party of lawlessness will win, or it will lose and manifest its fury in further rioting, looting, burning, hounding of political enemies, and attempted subversion of lawful authorities. There remains much to be anxious about either way, and there likely will be for some time.
Friday, October 30, 2020
“Pastoral” and other weasel words
Analects of Confucius, Book XIII
But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.
“Weasel words,” as that expression is usually understood, are words that are deliberately used in a vague or ambiguous way so as to allow the speaker to avoid saying what he really thinks. The phrase is inspired by the way a weasel can suck out the contents of an egg in a manner that leaves the shell largely intact. A weasel word is like a hollowed-out egg, one that seems on the surface to have content but which is in fact empty.
Thursday, October 22, 2020
Dupré on the ideologizing of science
Thursday, October 15, 2020
Lockdowns versus social justice
Last April, Fr. John Naugle argued in an important article at Rorate Caeli that indefinite lockdowns violate the natural human right to labor in order to provide for oneself and one’s family, and thus are deeply contrary to social justice. He revisits the issue in a follow-up article. Some Catholic defenders of the lockdowns are people who, in other contexts, claim to stand up for the rights of workers and to oppose consequentialist thinking. But as Fr. Naugle points out, their rationalizations for the lockdowns are precisely consequentialist in character – pitting the alleged benefits of lockdowns against inviolable natural rights – and harm workers far more than any other segment of society.
Monday, October 12, 2020
The Church embraces Columbus
Saturday, October 10, 2020
Joe Biden versus “democratic norms”
No one who claims to favor Biden over Trump on the grounds of protecting “democratic norms” can, at this point, be speaking in good faith. They are either culpably deceiving themselves or cynically trying to deceive others. Packing the Supreme Court would be as radical a violation of “democratic norms” as any president has ever attempted. It would destroy the independence of the judiciary, making of the court a dictatorship for the party in power. Yet Biden and Harris persistently refuse to say whether they favor court-packing. Biden has now said that voters “don’t deserve” to know his position on this absolutely crucial issue before the election – even though he acknowledges that “it’s a great question” and says he doesn’t blame people for asking it! Can you imagine the hysteria that would ensue if Trump gave such a lunatic answer to a question that momentous? This is reason enough not to vote for Biden, whether or not you vote for Trump.
Thursday, October 8, 2020
Weigel’s terrible arguments
Wednesday, September 30, 2020
Aquinas contra sedition and factional tyranny
Friday, September 18, 2020
Aquinas contra globalism
Trade must not be entirely kept out of a city, since one cannot easily find any place so overflowing with the necessaries of life as not to need some commodities from other parts. Also, when there is an over-abundance of some commodities in one place, these goods would serve no purpose if they could not be carried elsewhere by professional traders. Consequently, the perfect city will make a moderate use of merchants.
Saturday, September 12, 2020
The rule of lawlessness
Saturday, September 5, 2020
Scholastics contra racism
The members of mankind share the same basic rights and duties, as well as the same supernatural destiny. Within a country which belongs to each one, all should be equal before the law, find equal admittance to economic, cultural, civic and social life and benefit from a fair sharing of the nation's riches. (Octogesima Adveniens 16).
This suggests a useful definition of racism, which is best understood as the denial of what the pope here affirms. In other words, racism is the thesis that not all races have the same basic rights and duties and/or supernatural destiny, so that not all races should be equal before the law, find equal admittance to economic, cultural, civic and social life, or benefit from a fair sharing of the nation's riches.
Saturday, August 29, 2020
Open thread (and a comment on trolling)
Tuesday, August 25, 2020
Separating scientism and state
Thursday, August 20, 2020
The particle collection that fancied itself a physicist
Saturday, August 15, 2020
Let’s play Jeopardy
They all claim that 2 and 2 can sometimes equal 5.
Who are Fr. Antonio Spadaro, Critical Social Justice ideologues, and the Party (Ingsoc) in George Orwell’s 1984?
Thursday, August 13, 2020
Russell’s No Man’s Land
Philosophy, as I shall understand the word, is something intermediate between theology and science. Like theology, it consists of speculations on matters as to which definite knowledge has, so far, been unascertainable; but like science, it appeals to human reason rather than to authority, whether that of tradition or that of revelation. All definite knowledge – so I should contend – belongs to science; all dogma as to what surpasses definite knowledge belongs to theology. But between theology and science there is a No Man’s Land, exposed to attack from both sides; and this No Man’s Land is philosophy. Almost all the questions of most interest to speculative minds are such as science cannot answer, and the confident answers of theologians no longer seem so convincing as they did in former centuries. (p. xiii)
Saturday, August 8, 2020
The links you’ve been longing for
3:16 interviews Thomist philosopher Gaven Kerr.
At Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews, Kerr reviews Timothy Pawl’s book In Defense of Extended Conciliar Christology.
Honest criticism or cancel culture? At Persuasion, Jonathan Rauch on six signs that you’re dealing with the latter. At The New York Times, Ross Douthat offers ten theses about cancel culture.
If aliens really exist, where the hell are they? Michael Flynn surveys 34 possible answers.
Thursday, August 6, 2020
Popes, creeds, councils, and catechisms contra universalism
Sunday, August 2, 2020
A statement from David Bentley Hart
Atheist Delusions and The Experience of God.
Friday, July 31, 2020
Scripture and the Fathers contra universalism
That All Shall Be Saved and in earlier work.