Monday, June 30, 2014

SCOTUS and Oderberg

Today, with Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, the Supreme Court of the United States has partially redeemed itself after its disgraceful 2012 Obamacare ruling.  Readers of this blog will be particularly interested to learn that the work of the esteemed David Oderberg (specifically, his article “The Ethics of Co-operation in Wrongdoing”) is cited in footnote 34 of the decision.  Also cited are two other, older works of traditional Thomistic natural law theory: Thomas Higgins’ Man as Man: The Science and Art of Ethics and Henry Davis’s Moral and Pastoral Theology.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Pagden on the Enlightenment

Prof. Anthony Pagden’s recent book The Enlightenment: And Why It Still Matters has much to say not only about the Enlightenment itself but also about the Scholasticism against which it reacted.  My review of the book appears today at Liberty Fund’s Online Library of Law and Liberty website.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

The last enemy

There are two sorts of people who might be tempted to think of death as a friend: those who think the nature of the human person has nothing to do with the body, and those who think it has everything to do with the body; in short, Platonists and materialists.  Protestant theologian Oscar Cullmann summarizes the Platonist’s position in his little book Immortality of the Soul or Resurrection of the Dead? as follows:

Monday, June 16, 2014

Summer web surfing

My Claremont Review of Books review of John Gray’s The Silence of Animals is now available for free online.

Keith Parsons has now wrapped up our exchange on atheism and morality at The Secular Outpost.

The latest from David Oderberg: “Could There Be a Superhuman Species?”  Details here.

Liberty Island is an online magazine devoted to conservatism and pop culture.  Music writer extraordinaire (and friend of this blog) Dan LeRoy is on board

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Sullivan’s cavils

I thank The Smithy’s Michael Sullivan for his two spirited further installments (here and here) in his series of posts on my book Scholastic Metaphysics.  (I responded to the first of his posts here.)  Sullivan says some very kind things about my book, which I appreciate.  He also raises some criticisms which, though I disagree with them, are reasonable.  But unfortunately, some of his remarks are unjust and intemperate.  Let me comment on those first.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Judging a book by what it doesn’t cover

In his encyclical Aeterni Patris, Pope Leo XIII called for a “restoration of Christian philosophy.” He was quite specific about what he had in mind:

[D]aily experience, and the judgment of the greatest men, and, to crown all, the voice of the Church, have favored the Scholastic philosophy.

Indeed, he was even more specific than that:

Among the Scholastic Doctors, the chief and master of all towers Thomas Aquinas

We exhort you, venerable brethren, in all earnestness to restore the golden wisdom of St. Thomas, and to spread it far and wide for the defense and beauty of the Catholic faith, for the good of society, and for the advantage of all the sciences… Let carefully selected teachers endeavor to implant the doctrine of Thomas Aquinas in the minds of students, and set forth clearly his solidity and excellence over others.  Let the universities already founded or to be founded by you illustrate and defend this doctrine, and use it for the refutation of prevailing errors.

Review of Gray etc.

Readers of the Claremont Review of Books may want to look for my review of John Gray’s book The Silence of Animals: On Progress and Other Modern Myths in the Spring 2014 issue.  At the moment the review is behind a pay wall, but subscribing will fix that problem.

On another matter, readers keep asking me how to get hold of Scholastic Metaphysics, which was released on April 1, somewhat ahead of schedule.  Apparently the book sold out very quickly because supply could not meet all the pre-orders and Amazon has been out of stock for some time.  I have been told that a new shipment arrived at the U.S. distributor’s warehouse a week or so ago and that the book should once again be available from Amazon this week.  So, sit tight, and many, many thanks for your patience and interest.