Friday, March 26, 2021
Saturday, March 20, 2021
Meta-abstraction in the physical and social sciences
In his recent book on the philosophy of time, Raymond Tallis notes how this has happened in modern thinking about the nature of space and time. First, physical space has come to be conflated with geometry. Whereas the notions of a point, a line, a plane and the like were originally merely simplifying abstractions from concrete physical reality, the modern tendency has been to treat them as if they were the constituents of concrete physical reality. But then a second stage of abstraction occurs when geometrical concepts are in turn conflated with values in a coordinate system. Points are defined in terms of numbers, relations between points in terms of numerical intervals, length, width and depth in terms of axes originated from a point, and so on. Time gets folded into the system by representing it with a further axis. Creative mathematical manipulations of this doubly abstract system of representation are then taken to reveal surprising truths about the nature of the concrete space and time we actually live in.
Friday, March 12, 2021
Lacordaire on the existence of God
Tuesday, March 9, 2021
Aquinas on video
The Thomistic Institute also makes available a wide variety of other excellent video materials. And while we’re on the subject, I should also call attention to a similar but different project, the superb iAquinas series of videos, which are in English, French, and Spanish. Hours and hours of worthwhile viewing!
Thursday, March 4, 2021
Preventive war and quarantining the healthy
A “preventive war” is a war undertaken proactively against a merely potential enemy, who has neither initiated hostilities nor shown any sign of intending imminently to do so. The Japanese attack on the United States at Pearl Harbor is a famous example. This is not to be confused with a “preemptive war,” which involves a proactive attack on an enemy who has shown signs of intending to initiate hostilities. The Arab-Israeli Six-Day War is a standard example.