"One of the best contemporary writers on philosophy" National Review
"A terrific writer" Damian Thompson, Daily Telegraph
"Feser... has the rare and enviable gift of making philosophical argument compulsively readable" Sir Anthony Kenny, Times Literary Supplement
Selected for the First Things list of the 50 Best Blogs of 2010 (November 19, 2010)
I'll have to take a look. It seems to touch on, if perhaps tangentially, and from a theological angle, the perennial problem of universals; at least in a moral-rule of recognition, form. [ To borrow and somewhat repurpose one of Herbert Hart's famous terms ]In a world in which secular metaphysics (if metaphysics is even admitted) or anti-metaphysics rules out not only teleology and prescriptive norms deriveable from such, but also objective natural kinds, there is nothing intersubjectively "real" left on which to base moral imperatives.Hence we are nowadays left with the goof-ball exhortations of the progressive kind to "exercise our imaginations" in an attempt to identify with that which on their own interpretive principles has no essential nature much less an objective commonality or shared identity with you. Thus, "It's wrong to ignore the suffering of 'X', because X is like you". Except on the speaker's own theory it really is not; and .... so what anyway.The solidarity pimpers will not of course, be deterred. Urges well up within "them" which they seek to satiate, and in expectation of doing so, they will continue to emit noises which mimic the moral and ethical pronouncements of the past; back when people believed that such propositions were more than just emotive rhetoric.But one has no more reason to credit that rhetoric with meaning what it superficially means, than to take literally a progressive appetite-thing [ formerly known as a 'soul' or conceived of as a coherent person with a fixed or enduring identity] when it blurts "Evolution 'designed' " .... this or that, , or with regard to itself that, "I chose", or "I decided ..."What pere Bergoglio's habitual appeal to an unmediated solidarity portends, or says about his personal beliefs, is something I have not personally been able to tease out.
DNW,""It's wrong to ignore the suffering of 'X', because X is like you". Except on the speaker's own theory it really is not;"So, you are asserting a self contradiction. There is no such self contradiction, only a misunderstanding of the word "really".All "should" statements really are an expression of one's personal sensibilities, which really are the manifestation of material processes in a real material being who really experiences the emotional sense of "ought" or "should".That holds for you, and everybody else, whether you realize it or not.I say you "should" not discriminate against people based on body form descriptions such as race, height, sex, and weight. I am pretty sure you and Dr. Feser would say basically the same sort of "should". I have no information that either you or Dr. Feser advocate for any sort of racial discrimination.So, is your and Dr. Feser's "should not racially discriminate" somehow a "really" statement, whereas my expressing the same view is somehow unreal?I consider that to be an unjustified display of self importance and arrogance on your part, that you somehow think you express "real" statements of "should", yet you imagine that my expressions of "should" are somehow unreal.What is the basis for your rather grandiose claim to be able to express what people "really" should do?
Rather than chase you around as you flit from one issue to another, I'm going to focus on one thing which you have said; and if that can be cleared up, maybe we can go on from there.You asked:"What is the basis for your rather grandiose claim to be able to express what people "really" should do?"I have tried reading that question three ways to Sunday, and still cannot grasp what it is that you think that you are asking.Even in simplifying it thus: "What is the basis for your ... claim to be able to express what people "really" should do?", does not help.What the Hell is that supposed to even mean?You apparently question what you imagine is a supposed, " ... claim to be able to express ..."" ... what people 'really' should do? "I have not told anyone what he should do; be he ensouled or soulless.So, what's your point?
DNW,"Rather than chase you around as you flit from one issue to another,"My most sincere apologies for thinking too much about too many subjects."What the Hell is that supposed to even mean?"You used the word "really"."Except on the speaker's own theory it really is not"So, in your view these speakers are contradicting themselves, as though they are, in your view, telling people what they "really" "should" do, however, in your apparent view, on their own theory there is no such "really should", despite your assertion that these speakers are proclaiming a "really should" to others.Follow that yet?You have made an accusation of self contradiction for said speakers, who you identify as progressives with a secular metaphysics (if such progressives would admit to a metaphysics at all).Those are just your words, so there is hardly a need to appeal to hell to understand them."I have not told anyone what he should do"Ok, so it is your position that there is no such thing as objective morality.You are not telling anyone what he should do because you recognize that all morality is subjective.That's good to know, that we agree, that we really subjectively think people should not be racially discriminated against.Or maybe that is not all quite right? Maybe you suppose you really know and express objective moral truths? If so, could you tell me one? I mean specifically, not just a general notion that there are such objective moral truths, I mean, can you write a sentence that asserts a particular moral truth that is an expression of a specific objective moral good, or an expression of a specific objective moral evil?
DNW,"Rather than chase you around as you flit from one issue to another,"My most sincere apologies for thinking too much about too many subjects."No point in offering me an apology, sincere or not, for your thinking about subjects be they many or few. My concern is not to limit your thinking, but to keep you from cluttering an attempted exchange with your scattershot polemical gyrations and derailments.
I think you should reread what I originally wrote, since in your usual bumbling haste to extract a partial sentence or phrase which you imagine you can then indict, you seem to have missed the entire point concerning the status of universals and their relation to the grounding of moral imperatives. Asserting that I have revealed an implied contradiction resulting from the progressive-things' mimicry of category based moral language on the one hand, and their effective nominalism or outright anti-essentialism on the other, and that you (apparently) propose to resolve this contradiction of contraries with some gibber about the material reality of subjective impressions, will get you nowhere. I am not interested in the notional reality of the subjective impressions or hallucinations of a kind which is by stipulation radically other; insofar as the generation of interpersonal moral claims goes. There may be practical reasons to investigate the best way of dealing with or handling such entities insofar as one is forced or sees it prudent to do so. But that is a different matter entirely. And the moral nihilists and emotivists know it.Which is why philosophers such as Richard Rorty, and politicians such as Barak Obama, jabber on about basing morals on an imaginative projection, rather than on anything that can pretend to an objective or intersubjective extra-mental reality from which moral imperatives may be inferred. It should be understood of course, that believing Catholics will try to pull you out of the ditch into which you have willfully driven. Or even to try and preserve you from the fires of the Hell in which they believe. Others, content to take - with provisos- the progressive at its word that there are no natural kinds and no category based imperatives, may adopt a different view. They may conclude in accordance with those provisos that although the progressive might be subjectively right with regard to itself that it has no soul, and that from its perspective all individuals seem in essence not of a kind, that in their admitting this, there is no reason not to entertain the possibility that some members of the erstwhile category of men, may in fact have souls, whereas others do not. Or that some do indeed merit hellfire whereas others do not. Or that some apparent men do qualify as men and as morally like kinds entitled to reciprocal consideration, whereas others do not.
@DNW: But that is a different matter entirely. And the moral nihilists and emotivists know it.Well, if materialists are right, then emotions aren't really directed towards anything. We emote for no reason at all. It's just illusory 'teleonomy'.Emotions point towards ---> nothing.
It's just illusory 'teleonomy'.I remember Ernst Mayr employing that terminology. Whether he came up with it, I do not recall.But like ol' Herbert Hart in law, even the atheist naturalists, positivists, and mechanists cannot do without some reference to intentionality.Gaia knows they have had enough time through the generations to adjust their language and try to make sense on their own terms, rather than pleading "convenience"."The area of the vascular network we label the heart has the effect of "pumping" the blood through the ... which has the effect of ... the effect of ... as a consequence ... as a result ... "Rather pathetic to hear them saying that they cannot get along without a "figurative" language crutch which does not mean what it appears to mean.Seems a small thing to ask that they jump into the acid bath with both feet, since it is their acid bath and it has been awaiting their arrival lo these many years.
@UncommonDescentEmotion in Latin = ex + motio meaning "out of the action". In Sanskrit, karma comes from कृ (meaning "to do, make, perform etc...") and मन् (a deverbal suffix that in this context is analogous to "ex" in Latin).Now you know that karma is just another word for emotion, and emotion is just another word for karma! :)
DNW,"Asserting that I have revealed an implied contradiction resulting from the progressive-things'"Ok, so you realize progressives are not contradicting themselves when they express a "should" or "ought" statement.Good to know.
WCBChristopher F. Rufo@realchrisrufoThe goal is to have the public read something crazy in the newspaper and immediately think "critical race theory." We have decodified the term and will recodify it to annex the entire range of cultural constructions that are unpopular with Americans. 2:17 PM . March 17, 2021. TwitterAnti-CRT is an intellectual fraud. A cynical act of propaganda that ranks right up there wirh "The Protocols Of TheElders Of Zion". Which it's author Christopher Rufo admits in unmistakable terms.WCB
I've answered this sort of gaslighting elsewhere: https://www.catholicworldreport.com/2022/08/22/countering-disinformation-about-critical-race-theory/
Professor Feser, On the topic of race and catholic theology, a friend of mine has recently recomended me to read the 1963 book "Race, Reflections of a Theologian" by Bonaventure Hinwood, which he claimed to be very good treatment on the topic from the point of view of scholastic philosophy, although the author has a different prespective than the one you have.Have you ever heard of this work and if so, what do you think ? Is it something you address in "All one in Christ" ?
@WCB:Anti-CRT is an intellectual fraud.Heresyyyyy! CRT is intellectual crap. Like materialism. Two peas in a pod.
Why would we trust someone with absolutely no credentials in social science - let alone the relevent areas of research - in their pontifications on CRT?
The appeal to “credentials” is another stock rhetorical dodge. For one thing, what matters is whether the specific arguments I give in criticizing CRT are good or not. If they are good, then whether I have the appropriate “credentials” is completely irrelevant. If they are not good, then that is because either a premise is false or the conclusion does not follow from the premises. In that case too, though, “credentials” are irrelevant. So, either way, “credentials” are irrelevant. To assume otherwise is a variation on the ad hominem fallacy (i.e. rejecting a claim or argument merely because of some purported defect on the part of the person giving it). For another thing, CRT has obvious and acknowledged philosophical influences and content. So if you are going to play the “credentials” game, a philosopher does in fact have appropriate credentials.The bottom line is that you have no justification in an appeal to “credentials” for dismissing the arguments of my book. So, either address them, or buzz off.
Why would we trust someone with absolutely no credentials in social science - let alone the relevent areas of research That comment would have (slightly) more weight if "social science" weren't so nearly an oxymoron term. It could be a viable part of science, if only its practitioners didn't spring out of a bent and degenerate realm of philosophy. But given the reality that so much CRT starts with premises that are so philosophically unfounded and (typically) oxymoronic, , the "relevant areas" of critical analysis include philosophy. (You can't do science without baseline premises on things like observation, falsifiability, etc., which rely on philosophy.) So Feser is right where he needs to be.
What you say is all very well, providing that you present CRT accurately and have the knowledge and scientific expertise to properly evaluate the literature, especially that relating to relevant experimental/observational work. Why would anyone think that you have? Would I consult a sociologist about some current hot topic in philosoohy? I think not.
Where are the results of the experimental/observational work? There is none because CRT is based on personal narrative and storytelling. It can't be based on objectivity and truth because CRT explicitly rejects them as "racist" (truth is just a social construct). There are no testable hypotheses and no measurable data.
Well, that is a good point. But of course, anyone can comment on anything. In any case, CRT is here to stay. Back in the day, if you were a white male, you were king of the world. That's rapidly changing. In another 30 or 40 years, we white people will not be the majority race. The opposition to CRT, trying to make it harder to vote, trying to gerrymander districts, etc, is just putting off the inevitable. It's gonna be a new America, and there's nothing you can do about that.
@Anonymous:In another 30 or 40 years, we white people will not be the majority race. So what? We live in the tyranny of the minorities.Back in the day, if you were a white male, you were king of the world.Lol. Tell that to the millions of white males who were converted into mince-meat in wars just because they had penises. It's gonna be a new America, and there's nothing you can do about that.Black people oppress other black people. Like women oppress other women. Like men oppress other men. You don't understand human nature. The color of our skin is an accident. Our instincts run way deeper.Even if there were a 100% black population in USA, exploitation and abuse would keep existing. And there's nothing you can do about that. It's just human nature. Or survival of the fittest.You'd better learn to live with that.
"Black people oppress other black people."No, no. I'm quite certain that you have that all wrong. As I recall, skinny 5'5" tall Englishmen dressed in platform soled buckle shoes, flare skirted long coats, tight velveteen knee breeches, and towering chalk powdered perukes, disembarked from sailing vessels packed with guns, germs, and steel, and using nets and their dastardly dangerous walking sticks, chased down healthy athletic men in their own paradisaical natural environment: tackling them, shackling them, and, after driving them to the coast, took them all to South Carolina.Or something pretty close to that.Apparently the English ran out of Welshmen to make thralls, and since Bishop Wulfstan objected to them continuing to enslave and sell their own yeomanry, quite naturally they had to go somewhere; and so a mere 600 years later ...
Back in the day, if you were a white male, you were king of the world.Sure...if you were a RICH white male.
According to Mr. Locke*, racism doesn't even make sense. If 'secondary' qualities, like (skin) color depend upon the observer, then your 'black' may be my 'white'.Each of us has a different genetic make-up, so our perceptions may be completely disparate. And 'Natural Selection' doesn't have access to our qualia. Unless color is an objective feature of reality, then 'racism' is a non-sensical term.How could we be sure that slave traders didn't perceive the black slaves as 'white'? *(Bad thinker he was.)
WCBNonsense. What your polemics is saying is those experts who study racism in Maerica and racism's roots in American law are then obligated to shut up, fold their hands, and offer no more personal opinions on these issues!? Because boiled down to the basics, that is all your polemics amount to. The gaslighting is from Rufo and his ilk. Which his quote I posted demonstrates. Efforts to fight bigotry, mysogyny, racism, anti-semiticism ARE NOT CRT! These are separate issues, which may be in part informed by CRT studies but are not the same.WCB
@WCB:Personal opinions are not facts.CRT is a matter of opinion, not a scientific, falsifiable issue.
WCBCRT studies facts. CRT studies history, racism, and how laws reflecting racism become become laws. For example, how segregation and Jim Crow became laws. We see bad laws today. Even though Jim Crow laws were mostly ended, thoughtless laws still affect millions.Recently, we have seen voter caging, voter, discouragment, voter suppression efforts affecting PoC who strongly tend to vote Democratic.WCB
@WCB:Are you talking about 'scientific 'facts'? Could CRT be 'falsified' according to a Popperian paradigm?Recently, we have seen voter caging, voter, discouragment, voter suppression efforts affecting PoC who strongly tend to vote Democratic. Is that an scientific, falsifiable statement? Or is it just a 'matter of opinion, (Plato?)
I>" Efforts to fight ... mysogyny, ...." How precious the indignation. How righteous the sound. And what good fun!But, is anyone going to ask the obvious question?Yes? No?In any event I believe that most men would agree that well formed, intelligent, virtuous and non-neurotic heterosexual women of good character should never be objects of scorn or contempt or exclusion. What careers they choose from the entire range of socially legal activities should be their business, as it mostly is at present. Just being amicable, virtuous, intelligent, self-possessed, and even good to look at maybe, should be credentials enough for respect by most men's lights, I would figure.As for taking a stance on fake women, or lesbians, or females with personality disorders or high levels of neuroticism ... clearly, to call self-interested antipathy toward, and exclusion of such persons from beneficial engagements and relations with one, "misogyny", makes no more sense than to call contempt for and the social exclusion of male cowards, cheats, weaklings, child molesters, free riders, submissives both sexual and otherwise, liars, thieves and similar sorts from your circle of inclusion and concern, "misandry.".Of course we speak only of informal arrangements here. Assortative selection and its concentrating effects will no doubt eventually result in these matters becoming political issues. But for the .moment that is early stages still, and the progressive classes' fondness for and indulgence in abortion may yet make the issue moot.Catholics of course have a different and non approving view of the virtual suicide of the tares, as well as toward benign indifference to the uncongenial. But it appears that they, the Catholics, are struggling to save people who are bound and determined to drown. ... To drown both themselves and anyone naive enough to get within arm's length of them. How this will eventually play out is anyone's guess. God only, knows.LOL
WCBMisogyny. Many women still have problems being paid the same salary as men for the same jobs. And women of color have even lower rates of pay. Many companies forbid workers from discussing their pay to hide disparities like this. In some states, it is now against the law to forbid workers discussing wage dispaities. One way this sort of legal misogyny is being fought. And sites like Glassdoor that post information about companies are making it harder for companies that play such games to hire good talent.And it is not just about women. Cheating women like this cheats their families, including these women's husbands and sons.It may seem cute to disparage efforts to fight misogyny, but many women are not going to buy this sort of word game. Nor will good men. This is not a game. And then there is the issue of sexual harassment which is becoming a big issue in America. Laughing that off is not working as well as it used to.WCB
@ WCB,Do you think that if you tried real hard you could shoehorn some more types of grievances into your definition of misogyny before it burst?Now, as far as sexual harassment goes, you are welcome to hang proven molesters from the nearest yardarm as far as I am concerned. And yeah, I think female stevedors and ditch diggers should earn pound lifted and moved for pound lifted and moved, at just what the going rate happens to be. I'll even up you one. I propose the death penalty for non circumstantial, direct evidence convictions of forcible rape with aggravating circumstances. With video so prevalent and genetic testing being what it is, it's probable that we are approaching a threshold which is beyond even an unreasonable doubt. Certainly all persons who have been so egregiously and unforgivably violated would affirm the justice of that. Or at lesst the justifiability of it.And finally, if it will help to settle your mind even further, please rest assured that it was quite obviously not good women I was laughing at; nor even fake and mentally unstable women. It was you.
"@WCB:Define "women" " Bullseye. Give that man a cigar.
@DNW:These people are crazy. They 'defend' something that can't be assessed with our senses and therefore can't be known.It's pure stupidity.
DNE and Uncommon It is all very simple. A 'biological women' is an adult of the female sex as judged by obvious biological criteria. But the definition of 'women' is a matter of societal choice. We are quite at liberty to enlarge the catagory to include others beyond biological ones if we wish. You may object to.this enlargement, but there is nothing self-contradictory or kooky about it iin itself.
@Anonymous:That we are at 'liberty' doesn't mean that the choice isn't ridiculous and wrong.If science says women are 'X' and society chooses to ignore scientific facts, then you 'progressives' are anti-science and anti-reason.We could also societally 'choose' to say that Darwinian evolution is false.Or that frogs are dinosaurs.Or that circles are squares.People who eschew reality are people who suffer from mental problems.
"It is all very simple."We shall see about that ... whether your reasoning is simple, or simple minded." ... the definition of 'women' is a matter of societal choice. We are quite at liberty to enlarge the catagory to include others beyond biological ones if we wish." You are also quite - as there is no one there to place a muzzle on you, or to tie your hands down - " ... at liberty to enlarge the category ... " of supposed food fit for human consumption to include dog droppings and sewerage; while pronouncing them sausages and potable water.So go ahead and tuck-in, and swill, to your heart's content. Perhaps you may learn something thereby."You may object to.this enlargement, but there is nothing self-contradictory or kooky about it iin itself."LOL. There may indeed be nothing contradictory in announcing a stipulative definition and then repeating it to yourself. But the problem results when you try to pass off or impute to the enlarged definition the same actual force and referent as was possessed by the old one.It is by this means that the woke wish to gain for themselves those accrued recognitions or privileges accorded to the historical members of the defined category; while simultaneously lacking those actual attributes and capacities which were recognized as essential to the original definiendum.See if you can spot the commonalities in the following set:To sell a pig in a pokeTo let the cat out of the bagSawdust breadStalinist democracyTranswomenYou can paint pebbles purple and then enlarge the definition of grapes to include them. I dare you to bite down on one of those newly baptized grapes, though.You would have to be crazy to take it seriously and try it.Get the point?
@DNW:We could also 'enlarge' the definition of cancer as to that of a 'blessing'.If enough people agree, then aggressive tumors are a 'blessing'.That's how low we have fallen.