Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Hell and conditional prophecy

In a recent talk at the Angelicum (which can be viewed at YouTube), Fr. Simon Gaine addresses the question of whether scripture teaches that some will in fact be damned.  He notes that certain prophecies of Christ might seem to imply this, but suggests that they may plausibly be read as conditional prophecies rather than descriptions of what will in fact happen.  Let’s take a look at his argument.

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Capital punishment and the law of nations

What is the nature of Pope Francis’s 2018 change to the Catechism’s teaching on capital punishment?  Does it amount to a reversal of traditional teaching?  A development of doctrine that is consistent with that teaching?  A prudential judgment?  And if the latter, is assent to the new formulation binding on the faithful?  Barrett Turner offers an important analysis in his Nova et Vetera article “Pope Francis and the Death Penalty: A Conditional Advance of Justice in the Law of Nations.”  Let’s take a look.

Monday, May 8, 2023

Substance, teleology, and intentionality

There is an illuminating parallel between the traditional Aristotelian distinction between substances, artifacts, and aggregates, and the distinction John Searle draws between intrinsic intentionality, derived intentionality, and as-if intentionality.  This might seem odd given that the Aristotelian distinction is concerned with very general questions about the metaphysics of physical objects, whereas Searle is concerned with a very specific topic in the philosophy of mind.  But on closer inspection the parallel is quite natural and obvious, and the connecting link is the notion of teleology.  Let’s first consider each distinction, and then we’ll be in a position to see the parallels.

Tuesday, May 2, 2023

A Festschrift for Gyula Klima

My essay “Truth as a Transcendental” appears in the Festschrift Metaphysics Through Semantics: The Philosophical Recovery of the Medieval Mind: Essays in Honor of Gyula Klima, edited by Joshua P. Hochschild, Turner C. Nevitt, Adam Wood, and Gábor Borbély.  Gyula’s work has contributed mightily to the revival of interest in medieval and Scholastic philosophy, and this honor is most deserved and welcome!  You can check out the table of contents at Josh Hochschild’s Twitter feed or at the publisher’s website.